....and returned with four new stockists and a pinch of Covid.
Last week, Rob and I packed up the car and drove from the Isle of Wight, past the Houses of Parliament and into Islington for our first wholesale greetings card trade show - PG Live. As well as selling directly through my website and Etsy store, I'm keen to reach new customers (and make it even easier for current customers to buy!) through wholesale to brick and mortar shops, including independent retailers and zoo shops around the UK.
When I'm not packaging orders, I'm often doing my best to encourage buyers and owners of lovely shops to welcome eco-friendly, wildlife-themed cards and gifts onto their shelves, marketing the opportunity for them to offer their customers something a bit different to the brands we see up and down the high street.
So far, thanks to Covid, my efforts have mostly taken the form of many, many enthusiastic emails. But with restrictions largely behind us, this summer was the right time to dip my toe into the real-life world of trade shows, which buyers visit with the sole aim of finding new brands and products to offer their customers.
PG Live is a greetings card-specific show, attracting buyers primarily from the south of England. It felt like the best place to start, and I planned every detail of my stand space as best I could months in advance. When it came to it, after hours of wall painting and lots of careful industrial-strength velcro placement, we had a slightly nerve-racking night as we left everything to set before we could stick the shelves up and arrange the cards the following day. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning when that first shelf stuck confidently to the velcro in the hours before the show opened!
Visitors browsed the hundreds of talented publishers showcasing their work on Tuesday and Wednesday, and I was delighted to meet representatives from gift shops Farrago, French Grey, En Route and Maybugs, who will all be stocking Wild Lines cards within a couple of weeks! Special thanks to Jackie at French Grey, who chose to spend her 'Sunshine ticket', won at the prestigious Reta Awards, at our stand.
The next stop for us will be Top Drawer in September - please come by stand W29 to sample Wild Lines' eco-friendly animal artwork, cards and gifts in person (this time with a festive feel!)