By Alice on Thursday February 21st 2008 at 10:29

The pavements are being re-surfaced outside the house today - it’s very noisy.

pavement work

no thanks, yes please

I have an interview in Crafts Beautiful magazine - the next edition which is the April issue.

Crafts Beautiful

Crafts beautiful magazine

What made you choose to exhibit your work in the first place, was art and design a hobby, or did you study it, and then decide you wanted to take it further?

I did a graphic design degree (at Nottingham Trent Uni), specialising in illustration and when I graduated in 2000 (with a first class honours degree!) I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I did some freelance illustration and design work, and also worked at horse yards. Then I got a job working in a gift shop, and the art gallery that supplied the pictures for the shop had a look through my portfolio and they suggested that the illustrations would work well as greetings cards.

How did you feel when it was suggested to you that they would make good cards, as it’s quite a different industry from prints, I imagine?

I thought it was really great as I knew that I could create many more of the illustrations and it was something I loved doing. It was also very good to get some kind of direction.


Did the gallery help you get started, and find an agent, how did the card side of things take off?

After the gallery made the suggestion I then took the illustrations into local shops that sold greetings cards to see if they’d sell them. They said yes. So I launched Alice Palace greetings cards in June 2004. I picked 8 of the designs and got them printed up and then sold them to the local shops. And they sold well, and this gave me the confidence to book my first trade show. I visited the Spring Fair and Top Drawer, and decided to do Top Drawer - which went well. I did this alongside a part time graphic design job which I had for 5 years working Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.


What are your goals with the card department, are you going to/do you sell your designs to department stores, or bigger card companies?

I sell to independant shops throughout the UK (types of outlets include…art galleries, farm shops, card shops, florists, bookshops, children’s shops, garden centres, home interior outlets, contemporary craft shops, whole food shops and art supply shops) and I have distributors in Switzerland and Australia. I started working full time on Alice Palace in April last year and I’m really very happy with how it is going. I have recently started selling shopping bags - and alongside the cards, I also sell postcards, canvasses and mounted prints. The flexibility and freedom of having your own business is amazing!


Do you have any tips or advice for other budding designers or artists that want to start up a business of their own? 

I’d say do what you love, and also do an accounting course - as that’s the bit I find most difficult! I think you need to be suppling something that’s ‘different’. Stick with it and be nice.

Greetings Today Magazine - Feb 08 issue, Special occasions: Au revoir!

AP157 ‘The world please’ featured in special occasions for Au Revoir in Greetings Today magazine.