that’s me, Charlotte Biggs, founder of this here Card & Gift Network
I love greetings cards; I’ve got boxes full of all the cards I’ve ever received. Gift giving? Yep, love that too; although I still find some people tricky to buy for (it can’t be escaped). The card & giftware industry? Yes! I love the creativeness and kindness that can be found in the designs and the people that make up our industry. I love the online world too; even when my website does something odd for no apparent reason, which is more often than you’d think.
In case you were wondering, I also love… stationery; letterpress, books, writing lists, movies (even some pretty terrible ones), indie music, cherry coke, anything Harry Potter related, cookie dough ice cream, Muse (the band), cats, abstract expressionism, Ross Noble, anything mint flavoured, Supernatural, festivals, fireworks, bubbles, tulips, Cabin Pressure (& pretty much any John Finnemore comedy), strawberry sorbet/vodka/champagne cocktails, Frank Turner, doodling, The West Wing & Aaron Sorkin creations generally… and lots of other things.
I love to meet people who are passionate about what they do. And it really doesn’t matter what that “thing” is that they love. People who are passionate about something are infectious (in the good way). When it comes to the world of cards & gifts, you’ll struggle to find people who love what they do more. Card & Gift folks love what they do and are determined to be the best. In my “day job” I help such driven, passionate folks build the business of their dreams.
I consider myself an “industry insider”. I’ve spent 6 years working directly for a greetings card publisher and another 7+ years as a freelancer helping card & gift companies get noticed online. So, fair warning, this does mean I am a little biased. It also means however that I’m very fortunately placed. I can share the very best of the industry with you, hopefully saving you a litte time & effort; as well as introducing some brand new shiny things you may not have seen before.
OK I can sense a little confusion, why is this important? Because it means my training is in research. Which funnily enough turns out to be incredibly useful if you spend your time hunting down new designers and must-see retailers; or seeking out the best present ideas for Sue & Alan’s 20th wedding anniversary or a unique gift idea for grandma’s birthday
I like to think anything is possible. For the few who’ve said “what about (insert highly unlikely thing)?” OK, you got me, not that. Tsk. What I’m trying to get across here is that if you are struggling to find the right greetings card or a gift do not panic, I’m going to do my best to help you out.
You probably got this from the last point but it’s worth stressing that I’m not really into being negative, so I will always try my best to look for the positive. It just seems a much simpler way to get things done. I can’t always keep it going 100% of the time, but generally if you drop me a line on social media or if you work with me, you’ll find me looking on the bright side. Quick tip, this works both ways, so be positive too, I get a lot of requests and the not so nice ones have a habit of getting “lost” (ahem) in my junk mail.
As the saying goes “I’ve got your back”; have no clue where that saying came from but I’m pretty sure (99%) that it’s a real life saying. I know it’s not always easy to know who to trust, especially online, but I’m happy to say you can trust me. Check out the story of the site and read my testimonials to find out more about my experience to put your mind at rest. But here’s what I’m getting at, all the recommendations made here are with the best will in the world, I only choose a small number of the things “out there” to feature on the site.
The shop in the Member’s hub (coming in 2017) gives Network members (that’s your card & gift sellers) access to products and services for sale. This is for businesses that want extra help with online marketing or online selling. These additional paid services help fund the website and mean that 99% of what I do stays free.
There seems to be a growing idea online of “community not competition” and I love this. There’s plenty of room for us all and I believe that by working together, sharing knowledge and supporting each other we can each be successful in our own way; making our greetings card and giftware community stronger. So why not get involved yourself and join the community.
I like to keep improving, and I believe this will always be reflected in Card & Gift Network. I’m always reading, researching and learning new stuff, which will be passed on through the website and community. Plus it’s not exaggerating to say that I usually have a few dozen ideas for improvements in my head at any point in time.
And Now I Want to Know About You!