If love stories have a tendency to make you throw up on your shoes then look away now. Jack and I met seven years ago when he moved down to London and got a part-time job in the restaurant that I worked in. One night after a long shift we struck up a conversation. Before we knew it the sun had come up and the birds were chirping outside. We barely knew each other and yet we had sat talking for eight hours straight without an awkward silence in sight. It was very clear to both of us that there would have to be a date. The diamonds that now adorn the fourth finger of my left hand are the evidence that the first date went very, very well. So well in fact that there was a second date. And then a third. And up until a year ago I thought that neither of us would have a first date ever again. But then we started publishing greeting cards.
When a retailer first looks at our brochure, it's like that first conversation back in the restaurant. Will the sparks fly? Will they see something that they like? Will they want to see more? When they place an order, that's the first date. We get our cards out, dress them up nicely and send them off with our fingers crossed. Then we wait. We pace up and down for the next few weeks chewing our fingernails and staring at the phone willing it to ring. We lose a bit of sleep and a bit of weight (if we're lucky) and we're almost ready to throw in the towel but then... bring brrring... "Hello?...They're flying out you say?... You want to order more you say?... Somebody bring me a pen THESE PEOPLE NEED MORE CARDS GOSH DARN IT!" And just like that, you've got yourself a second date.
There have been a lot of exciting moments since we started out in this business but I would challenge any publisher to tell me that there is a more exciting feeling than the one that comes with getting a re-order. Orders are great: they mean that a retailer saw your cards and liked them enough to give them a go. But re-orders mean that a customer saw your card amongst all of the cards on the shelf and they decided that yours was the one they were going to send to someone they care about. And then other customers did the same until the retailer realised that they'd have to get some more in and before you know it you're in a relationship. It turns out that in business, polygamy is the way to go so now we've found ourselves in several happy relationships with gift shops and galleries around the country and we spend our days adding names to our little black book... and there's always room for more!