A Sneak Peek Behind the Scenes of The Square Card Co.
For this week’s industry interview we’re taking a closer look at The Square Card Co. Founder Kali and new business partner Lucy give us a unique insight into their bright and bold collection of greeting cards and gift wrap.
Tell us a little about your company.
Kali: It’s a 2 fold thing, I am primarily an illustrator. I write and illustrate children’s books, license designs for other companies and design cards and wrap for The Square Card Co, which is run by Lucy.
What inspired you to start your business?
Kali: My children were at a point where they were both at school. I built up designs and a business plan while I was a stay at home mum and then once I had free days I went for it!
What is your role in the business?
Kali: I spend all my day drawing, creating and drinking coffee. I am the arty side of the business Lucy does all the clever stuff!
Lucy: I spend my time doing officey stuff. Processing orders, getting to grips with social media and coming up with new ways of getting our name out there. We also spend a lot of time being very silly together and having a giggle in the office.
Is there anyone else in the team? Tell us about them?
Kali: Lucy, Rachel who runs all the webby stuff, Hattie a young mum who is Lucy’s girl Friday, our lovely warehouse guys and a team of agents.
What makes your workplace special?
Lucy: It is the most beautiful and creative environment to work in. I also just love love love watching Kali creating new designs while I fiddle around on the computer. We work together from Kali’s home which is hidden in the middle the woods in deepest darkest Dorset. The best bit is that we get along so well, it really is a great feeling to work with such a good friend.
What inspires which product lines you create?
Kali: I have always been child-orientated in my design. I write and illustrate books for Random House and all my licensing work is all for children. I am an ex-primary teacher, a mum and work in a very simple way which children seem to relate to.
Tell us about your design style.
Kali: I work primarily in collage. I print sheets of paper up in lots of lovely colours and textures and then cut them up and stick them together to produce the images, I can remember my son bringing a friend home from school for tea who couldn’t believe Finn’s mum had a job cutting and sticking but it really is as simple as that!
Are there any other card or gift designers you admire?
What is your personal favourite product in your collection?
Kali: At the moment it has to be my new animal alphabet wrap … Waterstones are stocking it …yahoo!
Kali: Our animal transport range are flying out at the moment.
Lots more animals, rectangular cards as shops seem to prefer them and a move into adult designs.
What is it like seeing your products in shops?
Kali: Love it and now I have Lucy on board she gets just as excited.
The Manufacturing & Production.
What can you tell us about how your products are made?
Kali: Everything is printed in the UK and all the papers we use have been produced from board sourced from responsible forestry. Our envelopes have FSC accreditation.
Do your products feature any special materials?
Kali: We have just moved over to a lovely bumpy watercolour paper which really makes the colours zing.
What would you like to do next with the business?
Kali: Lucy has done wonders with the business since I passed it over to her in January, she is developing the social media side of things, increasing sales and coming up with new and exciting ways of selling our products. With the pressure of running the business taken off my shoulders, I now have the time to experiment with new creative techniques and really go back to basics, which has breathed a new lease of life into my designs. It also enables me to really focus on all the lovely licensing projects I’m involved with. I am designing wrap and bags for Glick, wall stickers for Stickerscape that will be selling online for Mothercare, cushions for ‘We love cushions’ as well as calendars and postcards for foreign companies. I have also started a new book, which I really didn’t have the time to do when I was working alone.
Where do you dream of seeing your products next?
Kali: My designs have featured on other peoples products in John Lewis but I’d really like to see our cards and wrap selling there.
Thank You Kali & Lucy!
Now you’ve seen the people behind the designs, take a look at The Square Card Co website.