Take a Look Behind the Scenes of HoneyTree Publishing
In today’s industry interview we’re getting a look behind the scenes of HoneyTree Publishing with Lizbeth Holstein.
Tell us a little about yourself and your company?
I live in Somerset with my husband (Director of Business Development at HoneyTree) and our two children Maxim and Olivia. I have been a prolific artist since 1990, exhibiting in London, Spain and Southern Africa. We founded HoneyTree in July 2008 to enable you to be an individual with your own bespoke, premium-quality stationery.
I had found, after being hosted by friends and family, that finding something appropriate to convey my thanks became a rather limited procedure. One’s stationery choices seemed to be restricted to plain correspondence cards or would feature some “clip art” or computer generated shapes. Instead I would illustrate something myself on a blank card; enjoy the process of thinking of what was most appropriate, but then get frustrated by the shape and quality of the provided envelope. I found recipients would then ask me to design something “similar” for them, they however had more creative fire than they knew, and would come up with brilliant concepts that I would never have suggested!
The upshot was that we started to put a portfolio of illustrations together with little regard for “what was most appropriate”; this would actually stint the real joy of personalisation that we had identified! Finally in September 2009 the concept of allowing all illustrations to be chosen on any type of stationery was made possible through our web designer, enabling our community to “personalise” as they wanted. We have retained the “recommended illustrations” so as to not overwhelm the shopper, yet half the fun for us each day, (we personally print all orders to retain 100% control) is to see what artwork is chosen for which of the 30 stationery products we provide.
Describe your typical working day.
Viewing the previous evening’s orders, feedback forms and enquiries. Co-ordinating with the print team and then working on new products and designs, in particular our 2013 wedding boutique.
What is the best thing about your job?
The variety in seeing who has chosen what and designing new artworks and products. Currently I am working on an amazing Wedding Invitation collection for 2013 and the launch of HoneyTreeCards.com. The new site is code named ‘posh pig’ as this will provide the convenience of moonpig but the quality and design of HoneyTree for the discerning card sender.
Who are your customers?
With our ‘Young HoneyTree’ collection through to our premium writing paper our shoppers range from 14 – 75 years, but the largest percentage are mum’s who are time poor, very discerning and appreciate great design.
What is your favourite product in the shop?
I love our illustrated and personalised correspondence cards, they never go out of date and the artwork selected either for ones self or as a gift says so much about the person. They’re a truly personal gift.
What are the most popular products you’re currently stocking?
Currently our most popular products are personalised charity Christmas cards and personalised party invitations.
What products are you introducing for Christmas?
We have introduced a range of personalised charity Christmas cards.
What trend are you looking forward to introducing to your customers?
We’ll be introducing ‘Art Cards’ for 2013. These are lux cards with stunning art designs on the front and a personalised message inside. Ordered before 12 noon they’ll be sent out first class the same day.
What do you have planned for the year ahead?
Our 2013 will introduce HoneyTreeCards.com for lux ‘Art Cards’, which will be the first time our shoppers can by a greetings card from us (about time as they keep telling us). We’ll also be launching our 2013 wedding boutique collections.
What inspires your product selection?
Seasonal colours and events that enable our shoppers to feel ‘in season and on trend’.
Who are your favourite card and gift designers?
Two Bad Mice – they rock!
Thank you Lizbeth!
Visit the HoneyTree Publishing website.