Blue Eyed Sun

Blue Eyed Sun - gorgeous greetings cards

Media Coverage

  • Blue Eyed Sun inside the Startup Van

    StartUp Van Sage Summit London 2017

    A year ago I met with the Graham and Mark at the Startup Van pop up studio in London and enjoyed two very funny interviews on camera about business and Blue Eyed Sun.

    This year they were brave enough to let me INSIDE the Startup Van. The van has been home to interviews with hundreds of fantastic start ups and legends like Gary Vaynerchuck. We had a lot of fun again this time and the video has been viewed an incredible 6,600 times so far (Thanks Mum!).

    It's always great fun meeting up with these guys who do a fantastic job of promoting small businesses and startups looking to get noticed by the world.

    They have a ton of subscribers and followers on social media and I'm always learning from their millennial mastery of these amazing tools. As a Sage Business Expert I see them at various Sage events, a company they work closely with to support small businesses.

    We talked about The Greeting Card Project, YouTube vs Facebook, changing communication technologies and greeting cards. Click on the image below to watch the interview:

    See what card I send Mark and Graham here

    Watch my previous videos with the Start Up Van

  • Blue Eyed Sun meets the Startup Van

    Blue Eyed Sun Meets The Start Up Van

    Thanks to my friends at Sage, I recently had the pleasure of meeting Graham Hussey and Mark McDonagh from The Start Up Van at their pop up shop in Shoreditch, London. The Start Up Van helps some of the most talented, fun and influential people in the start up community to tell their story. They have quickly amassed over thousands of followers on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook and are worth following if you love business and start ups.

    The interview was filmed in two sections. In the first short clip below I share the Blue Eyed Sun story. Watch it to hear how we set up our greeting card publishing business, how the business has changed over the years, what's next for Blue Eyed Sun and how we contribute to our industry through The Ladder Club and our involvement with the GCA and the GA.

    We also touch on the Looking Back from Perfect exercise which I will be sharing with  delegates at this year's Sage Summit in one of two talks I am giving in Chicago this July. The Start Up Van guys will also be there and I'm looking forward to catching up with them again soon.

    Click on the play button on the image below to watch the first clip:

    The second clip below is the Start Up Van's quick fire round where the Graham and Mark ask some fun short questions including: what valuable lesson we could teach start ups, which three people I'd have dinner with, what's been our hardest day running Blue Eyed Sun, what I love most about what we do, what musician inspires us, what's the biggest thing that's happened to us, what is our biggest regret and what motivates us.

    There's a funny moment where I completely embarrass myself answering one particular question that makes this one especially worth watching:

    Details of Jeremy Corner's Sessions at Sage Summit 2016 in Chicago

    12 Business Lessons I learned at last year's Sage Summit

    9 Tips for Social Selling that I learned at Sage Summit

    Visit The Start Up Van Website

  • Greetings Today Magazine features Blue Eyed Sun

    Greetings Today Magazine - Blue Eyed Sun

    Greetings Today magazine just featured us in their latest issue. Here's what they wrote:

    Back in 2000, Greetings Today magazine featured a newcomer to the industry in the shape of Jo Corner and her handmade glass enamel cards. Three premises moves later, Blue Eyed Sun’s recent expansion into significantly larger offices and warehousing shows how they’re still growing strongly. Moving into the cloud is this year’s ambition for Blue Eyed Sun MD Jeremy Corner as he’s determined to keep the publishers one step ahead as they look to the future.

    The Blue Eyed Sun team have just moved physically, taking up residence in their lovely new factory at 56 Victoria Road, Burgess Hill, West Sussex, just up the road from their old industrial units in Hove. And now Jeremy is aiming to move everything digitally too: “My goal is to get digital on most of our paperwork and do the full shift over to the cloud. Paperwork takes up space and most of it I only ever look at when I’m trying to clear out the office!

    “In preparation for the move, we’ve done a lot of clearing, sorting and so on. It’s my least favourite job in the whole world. I get side-tracked with the detail of it and then despondent that I can’t get through it all fast enough. “Despite the distractions I got most of it done when we were moving and I’ve photographed or scanned the paperwork I want to keep and recycled the rest.

    “I kept discovering interesting old bits of paperwork. Like our very first order, our original brochure and a load of rejection letters from top retailers that now stock us. The letters were a good reminder that persistence is one of the things that has really kept us growing all these years.”

    The Blue Eyed Sun story started back in 1999 when Jo Kirby, as she was then, specialised in glass enamel greetings cards that she hand-fired on to small pieces of hand-sanded copper in her childhood hobby kiln at 900°C. The glass pieces were then mounted on to GF Smith boards which Jo sold through her own small shop in York where they were one of her best-sellers.

    When she moved to Brighton, Jo decided to make the cards her new business and sold them into leading retailers such as Paperchase, Harrods and Fenwick as well as design-led independent gift and card shops and galleries. “It was a different time back then,” Jo said, “handmade was really taking off and those with something different to offer really started to do well.”

    Despite making a small profit on her first year’s sales of £10,000, Jo considered giving it all up to become a web designer as the internet was growing rapidly and she wasn’t making enough to live off. She added: “It was difficult to generate enough sales. When I could get in front of retailers, most wanted to buy the cards. I just couldn’t see enough customers on my own and I had no sales agents. “I decided to focus on getting sales agents at Home & Gift in 2001. I was approached by 15 at the show, went with six – and overnight the business blossomed.”

    Soon after, Blue Eyed Sun were shortlisted for a Henries Award in the Best Art Cards category, agents’ sales were booming and the business started to grow rapidly. Another year later and their hand-painted Suncatcher cards won a Gift Of The Year award for Best Cards For Design-Led Shops and, with Jo’s partner Jeremy now on board, they moved the company into their first rented premises.

    Having also got married, the couple soon found they were taking business home with them. “Balance was a big challenge for us,” Jo added, “as the business grew rapidly, doubling in size each year for several years, we found ourselves being all consumed with it. “Even with taking on staff to help and finding bigger premises it was very difficult for us as life partners to prevent it taking over our lives.”

    In 2004 things came to a head when a family friend asked Jo how the business was going and she and Jeremy both realised they weren’t happy with things. Luckily the friend was an experienced business coach and managed to help them work through a personal development exercise that helped them find the work-life balance they were after.

    Jeremy said: “Understanding why you are in business, what you want from it and what your goals are has been so important for us. This is something we have to assess regularly to make sure we are still on track and that the business is suiting our needs.”

    Now with 15 in-house staff and a host of home-based craftworkers, agents across the UK and distributors in more than 15 countries worldwide, BES were recently shortlisted for a Queen’s Award For Enterprise for their export success, have been nominated 11 times in the Henries Awards and been finalists in several small business awards.

    “We’ve been very lucky to have had such success in this wonderful industry,” added Jeremy, “my real passion is helping others. Our blog, social media and speaking at events have all been a big part of this for me.” Since 2004 he has been a keynote speaker at the annual Ladder Club seminars for new publishers organised by fellow publisher and retailer Lynn Tait in Leigh-on-Sea.

    Jeremy is also an active member and current treasurer of the Greeting Card Association council and has also served for several years on the Giftware Association’s national committee where he starts his two-year term as vice-chairman in June before moving on to replace Greetings Today magazine columnist Henri Davis in the top job. Blue Eyed Sun's blog helps retailers and other publishers to improve their businesses and understanding of social media. He also regularly talks at industry events on subjects like export, trends, digital marketing and personal development.

    While licensing with other companies for gift products and card ideas that don’t fit the BES look, an important part of the company’s success has been their strong focus on handmade and hand-finished greetings cards. Jo added: “If there’s one word I like to think of to sum up Blue Eyed Sun’s work it’s ‘crafted.’ I love crafts like enamelling, painting, sewing, knitting and crochet. “As our product range develops this theme will remain at the core of what we do. I’m excited about the potential we have going forward.”

    Having bought their 4,000 sq ft Hove premises in 2006, one of their biggest challenges recently has been finding space to expand. They decided to take the plunge with the acquisition of the new building that’s more than four times the size at 17,000 sq ft instead of outsourcing to a third party warehousing company.

    “Our new premises feel a long way from our tiny bedsit in Brighton where I started our business all those years ago,” Jo said. “It’s a wonderful new environment for our team and is well lit with a good amount of space to grow – plus it has sections that we can rent out in the short term and then expand into when we’re ready. “There are so many new product ideas that we’ve wanted to pursue and just not had the space. It’s exciting now that we’ve finally got it.”

    As Jeremy summed up: “Despite the ups and downs of our journey I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s amazing to create products that are shared at such important occasions in people’s lives. “It’s also a privilege to work with our wonderful team of staff, many of whom have been with us for years and have helped the company to grow. It feels incredible to have a business that now contributes to paying several mortgages rather than just our own."

    See what's new from Blue Eyed Sun

    See more photos of our new premises

    How to get started with Digital Marketing

  • Greetings Today Magazine - May 2013 - Jeremy's Corner

    Greetings Today Magazine May 2013

    Welcome to the first of my monthly columns for Greetings Today magazine where I will be talking about issues affecting retailers, publishers and businesses in the greeting card trade. The next few months will have a distinctly digital flavour as I take you through the nitty gritty of how to make social media, the internet and digital marketing work for your business.

    Last month I spoke on Social Media Strategy at a seminar organized by the Greeting Card Association (@GCAUK) and held at at Birkbeck in London. It was well attended with delegates including many well known greeting card businesses @The_Art_Group, @Woodmansterne, @Paperlinkcards, @LensIdeas and @Gemma_Int. Soula Zavacopoulos from @TheLondonStudio spoke on her experience using Twitter and James Mace told us about the success @TheArtFile were having on Facebook. Here are some of the key points from the day:

    The first thing to be aware of is that social media is relatively young, but not used exclusively by the young. The following are some examples of social media tools and when they were launched: LinkedIn (2003), Facebook (2004), YouTube (2005), Twitter (2006), Pinterest (2009), Instagram (2010), Google+ (2011). Facebook is used by 1 in every 7 people in the world they spend 15hrs a month on it. It’s used by people across all ages, creeds and colours. 57% are female, 43% are male. Incredibly, one of every five web page views online is on Facebook. Twitter has over 30 million users in the UK and the following age groups 25-34, 35-44 and 45-54 each make up around 20% of tweeters so it’s not just our youth that are babbling on about what they had for their lunch. In fact many of top politicians, journalists and business people have twitter accounts and they are increasingly valuable tools for them.

    So what does this all mean for you and your business? Well, there is one of the largest social gatherings in history going on right now and if you are not involved you could be missing out. It’s not enough for us to have a website for our business anymore, our customers are spending more and more time online and they want to interact with us using tools they are familiar with. More and more people are choosing Facebook messaging over email. We recently took our first order via Facebook instead of email! When we look for new restaurants to go to, we are asking our friends online rather than just searching Google ourselves. Even search engine optimization is being influenced by these tools, so if you want to show up on Google searches you can’t ignore them.

    Social media is really about engaging with your customers in the digital age. For example, do you remember a shop keeper whose store you have always enjoyed going to? Let’s call him Bob. Bob’s probably friendly, chatty and always willing to help you get what you need. He takes care of his shop, his stock, his staff and his customers without you ever feeling like you’ve been sold to. Bob’s personality is a large part of your enjoyment of your retail experience of that shop. In effect he is a living embodiment of his brand and his brand has personality. Well, social media is the transferal of this into an online presence.

    How do you make the most of using social media? Let’s talk about Bob for a moment again. He is a great guy to invite to parties as he’s interesting and fun. He never spends any time button holing people and trying to sell them anything or coax them down to his shop. He’s helpful and considerate, he is also good at putting you in touch with people who can help you with your needs. “Bad back? Give my friend Anne a call, she’s a great chiropractor,” Bob will say. Bob is in it for the good of the community and not just out for himself. This is how to best practice using social media. Be helpful, be fun, be interesting and spend more time on others than on yourself.

    One of the things I find most useful using social media tools is that it’s like being able to go to a social gathering at any time that suits you and instantly find like minded people who are interacting about subjects that you are interested in. Social etiquette still applies. You wouldn’t interrupt a conversation to sell something and one should always be polite. You can find yourself engaging with some interesting people, learning new things, developing new ideas and finding new opportunities. With our wedding business @IvyEllen I have been able to grow our network of business contacts ten times faster than if I had attended hundreds of networking events in person

    Social media is also really useful for market testing your wares and getting customer feedback. This engagement can help grow sales. Even bad feedback is useful. It’s important that customers let Bob know when something goes wrong so he can sort it out for them and keep their loyal custom. Good customer feedback is reassuring and can help you focus on what to do to get and keep happy customers.

    The seminar was incredibly useful for everyone who came and I am sure the @GCAUK will be doing more in the future so do follow them on Twitter. If you are still not convinced by the importance of social media in our lives, I overheard the word Facebook over a dozen times in different conversations on tubes and trains as I headed home from London that day. And the importance for businesses? I also overheard a girl on her mobile phone on the train home saying that she had just been on Facebook and seen an offer on a new chocolate at @Tesco so she was heading down there to try it out. I’m not making this up, these tools really can drive customers to your door.

    Follow Blue Eyed Sun on Twitter
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    Click here to read more Business Tips and Insights for retailers

    Click here to find out more about Greetings Today Magazine

  • Progressive Greetings magazine feature Blue Eyed Sun in February Issue

    Progressive Greetings Article on Blue Eyed Sun

    Progressive Greetings magazine just featured Blue Eyed Sun in their latest issue. Read a transcript of the article below:

    Every Autumn for the last seven years, Jeremy Corner, managing director of handmade card publisher, Blue Eyed Sun has sacrificed several days to impart his business nous to a room full of would-be competitors at the Ladder Club seminars, enlightening these fledgling publishers as to how to progress up the greeting card industry 'ladder'. Now, as evidenced by the launch this month of an extensive range of licensed giftware from Widdop Bingham based on Blue Eyed Sun's card ranges, a recent top award for its Ivy Ellen wedding stationery business and a growing international distribution - all on the back of the company's best trading year ever, Jeremy is most definitely practicing what he preaches.

    The hundreds of people that have attended the Ladder Club seminars over the years (the majority of whom being artists, illustrators, designers or photographers, either in the early throes of starting a greeting card publishing business or seriously considering it) will all remember scribbling down copious notes based on the talk given by Jeremy Corner, managing director of Blue Eyed Sun. Jeremy's delivery has become more polished over the years, and new aspects are added to keep it fresh and relevant, but the core elements remain unchanged because they still make a lot of sense. And not just to new start up card businesses, to even those that have been going for 12 years, such as Blue Eyed Sun.

    In his talk Jeremy highlights the 'different hats' you need to 'wear' to manage a card company; he explains about trying to get out of the 'valley of death' as quickly as possible (the financial step backwards a business takes when they first employ a member of staff); he uses a great diagram of a boat to illustrate the importance of management (the rudder), a strong customer database (the mast), sales and marketing (the sails), solid production (the hull) and a keel (cash flow) to stay afloat and make headway in the greeting card seas. It's all good stuff. And he also then slows things down with an exercise fanfared as 'Looking back from perfect'.

    This is when Jeremy prompts attendees to imagine themselves and their business a year hence. He clarifies that this vision has to be realistic and achievable, thereby minimising the notions of sitting on a beach all year drinking champagne with £millions stacking up in the bank from the sale of greeting cards. Whilst some in the audience initially feel a little uncomfortable playing this imaginary game, Jeremy stresses its importance - "If you don't know what you want from our business and where you want to be, how do you know how to get there?" It is a question that Jeremy has asked not just of Ladder Club graduates but also of himself and his wife/business partner Jo over the last few years. And this month sees more of these answers coming home to roost on the Blue Eyed Sun mast.

    The most visible of will be given the pride of place on major gift company Widdop Bingham's stand at Spring Fair international. This will mark the official trade show debut of two gift ranges based on Blue Eyed Sun's best selling Vintage and Jingles card ranges. Through a licensing agreement between the two companies, Widdop Bingham has worked with Jeremy and Jo to develop photo albums, picture frames, jewellery boxes, gift boxes, hip flasks, cushions, pens, mugs, chocolate bars, coasters and key rings, all of which have a discernible Blue Eyed Sun imprint, even including embellishments which tie-in with the handmade appeal of the greeting card designs upon which they are based.

    Blue Eyed Sun is not the first greeting card company to have spotted the potential of licensing as far as a way of expanding its brand's reach without going too far outside of its comfort zone, but it is a significant stage in this Brighton-based company. We dipped our toe into licensing prior to this, but only in a small way. For us, it was important to make sure that we were going into business with the right company. I already knew Andrew Illingworth [Widdop Bingham's sales director] as both of us are involved with the Giftware Association and I was always aware of how Widdop Bingham is a great fourth generation family business that is still eager to evolve. I felt an immediate bond of trust, which is so important in collaborations such as these," Jeremy explained. "The development of these gift ranges makes sense for both of us, Widdop Bingham and our respective and shared customers," he added.

    For Blue Eyed Sun the licensing relationship with Widdop Bingham further enhances the profile of the Jingles and Vintage card ranges, as well as feeding investment back into the business through the royalty payments which follow on the back of the sales. For Widdop Bingham, the Blue Eyed Sun brand and tried and tested designs on which the gift products are based add extra 'personality' to its gifts offering. And for the retailers stocking the ranges it provides the opportunity to offer complementary card and gift selections. (And as the range was short listed for the Gift of the Year awards, it has got off to a good start.)

    But while Blue Eyed Sun will indeed be extending its rays into Hall 5, the main gift hall at Spring Fair, activity on the company's greeting card front has been hotting up too, on the new products, distribution and marketing fronts. "We want to remain doing what we love - producing 'gorgeous handmade cards for design-led shops,' says Jeremy, as if reminding himself of the company signoff. "We are unlikely to double the number of card designs we offer," says Jeremy, referring to the 300 strong annual portfolio of new designs that divides roughly into 140 everyday cards, 100 Spring Seasons and 60 for Christmas (the vast majority of which are still designed by Jo Corner, who founded the business). But operating at the fashion-influenced end of the card trade, Blue Eyed Sun has a need to continually refresh its product portfolio with new ranges, of which Gorgeous is the latest.

    So it stands to reason that a way to grow the business was to extend distribution of its ranges and increase sales with existing customers. Jeremy cites the website and the company's involvement in social networking as having helped on all counts. "We relaunched our Blue Eyed Sun trade website at the start of last year and now 10% of our trade orders come through this route, while Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook have resulted in some interesting business conversations that may never have come about had it not been for our involvement in social media," admits Jeremy. On the domestic front, the company has doubled the number of spinners in UK stores, while the last year has seen it grow sales overseas through distributors in Germany, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand.

    So, in his 'looking back from perfect' real life exercise, Jeremy must currently be enjoying the view. "It is not a case of looking out of the window and seeing now weeds in the garden - far from it. Trade is tough, but there are always ways that you can improve your company, for the business' sake, your customers and yourself." Jeremy can always take up business lecturing if he gets bored of cards!

    Jeremy is a keynote speaker at this year's Giftware Association members' day on Thursday 23rd May in Birmingham where he will be discussing the looking back from perfect exercise.

    Jeremy is also speaking on Social Media with the Greeting Card Association on Tuesday 16th April at the Birbeck College in London.

    Click here to subscribe to Progressive Greetings Magazine.

    To find out more about Widdop Bingham's new Blue Eyed Sun licensed gifts please click here.

    To stock Blue Eyed Sun card ranges in your shop click here. If you'd like to see them in your local shop please tell them and point them in the direction of or you can recommend a shop to us by clicking here. You can also visit our stockists page to find a store near you that may be selling them.

  • Vintage range is on fire in Progressive Greetings What's Hot

    Blue Eyed Sun feature in Progressive Greetings What's Hot Section October 2012

    Blue Eyed Sun's handmade Vintage greeting card range was recommended three out of four retailers in this month's Progressive Greetings; equalling a record for the specialist trade publication.

    Thanks so much to all of our lovely customers for their kind words. Here's what they had to say:

    "The Vintage designs are bang-on trend for the 'Shabby Chic' trend and the craftsmanship and quality make the card feel very special" - Jane Revell of Scribes, Sturminster Newton, Devon.

    "Vintage are very touchy feely designs. Customers can't believe the card images aren't actually sewn on the board" - Deborah Sturton of Card-Ology, Bedford.

    "We have trouble keeping Vintage in stock" - Jackie Miller, Dragonfly, Cheam, London.

    Vintage are the best selling embroidered range from Blue Eyed Sun that has been nominated for three Henries Awards to date. The range is available in Everyday, Valentines Day and Mother's Day. In January Widdop Bingham is launching a small selection of Vintage gifts inspired by the range including photo albums and frames.

    Progressive Greetings is the global market leader in bringing you the news from the greeting card industry. It has had it's finger on the pulse of the greeting card market for over 20 years and is the official journal of the UK Greeting Card Association.

    Click here to order Blue Eyed Sun's Vintage designs for your shop.

    Click here to subscribe to Progressive Greetings Magazine.

  • Gift Focus Magazine feature Blue Eyed Sun

    Gift Focus magazine have written some lovely editorial coverage on Blue Eyed Sun in their latest issue. Not only did the editor write about our new handmade Christmas card ranges, but she also kindly featured our new everyday Blossom card collection in her write up for the Home & Gift trade show which we are exhibiting at this week.

    Gift Focus magazine is the UK’s leading bi-monthly publication for the giftware industry, distributed to independent retailers, high street multiples, department stores, garden centres, heritage outlets and all other gift stockists. Each issue contains detailed information on influential trade shows and reviews hundreds of new or innovative products, enabling retailers to make informed and profitable buying decisions.

    Free copies of Gift Focus magazine are handed out at the trade show in Harrogate. Look out for our full page advert featuring our new Blossom cards and remember to come and see us in Hall H - Stand H90 if you are visiting.

    To find out more about Home and Gift click here.

    To order Blue Eyed Sun's new Blossom range for your shop click here.

    To subscribe to Gift Focus Magazine for free click here.

  • Blue Eyed Sun in Sage Solutions Magazine - Summer 2012

    Blue Eyed Sun appear in Sage Solutions Magazine -Summer 2012

    We have been using Sage software for over a decade now and regularly receive their business magazine, Solutions, each edition of which is mailed out to over 180,000 companies using SageCover across the UK. I've always wondered what it would be like to be interviewed in it and this month we were lucky enough to found out. Here's what the article says:

    The Business View 

    Along with a resurgence of interest in British made products, a recent Markit/CIPS survey showed UK manufacturing growing at its fastest rate for almost a year. We asked Jeremy Corner, SageCover customer and co-founder of greeting card publishers Blue Eyed Sun in Hove (alongside his wife Jo), about the changing landscape for products made in Britain.

    Why is there such a growing demand for British-made products?

    Major historical events like the Royal Wedding, the Queens Jubilee and the Olympics have created a real sense of pride in Britain. The recession and increased environmental awareness have also made many of us stop and think about how and where things are made and what that really means. As a result we are currently experiencing a strong demand for well crafted, high-end greeting cards and stationery made from sustainable resources in the UK.

    What inspired you to create Blue Eyed Sun?

    It was started 12 years ago by my wife, Jo. Since she was a child she has loved making things... in fact, her first greetings card designs were made using her childhood hobby kiln! We have both always been inspired by gorgeous paper products and a love of beautiful stationery. After countless requests from consumers for wedding stationery (and our own wedding), we expanded the company and launched our fast growing wedding division: Ivy Ellen.

    What has made your business successful?

    Our capacity to turn our vision for the businesses into reality has made both Ivy Ellen and Blue Eyed Sun successful. Our creativity extends from designing and marketing right through to the systems and structure needed to run the companies well. We also have a fantastic team of 12 staff who all work hard to keep our customers happy.

    To find out more about Sage software click here.

    To visit Ivy Ellen's wedding stationery website click here.

    Remember to follow us on the social media links at the top and bottom of the page.

  • The Trend for Embroidered and Stitched Cards

    Progressive Greetings Article on Stitched Cards

    We were pleased to be included in a lovely article on stitched cards celebrating British Crafts in last month's Progressive Greetings.

    If you didn't get the chance to read it, here's what we said about the popularity of the embroidered look and our new Vintage range of stitched cards:

    "I think there is a subconscious desire to counter the digital annihilation of all material things. Books, CD’s, photos and other items we used to actually be able to touch and feel are predominantly purchased digitally and I think we have a real need to feel handmade objects in our lives. They have so much more soul than computers and gadgets.

    The recession has meant that many of us are spending more time in our homes and we have focused on saving money by recycling, mending and making our own things. Because of this interest in crafts like knitting, stitching and card making, sales of handmade products are booming.

    Selecting the fabrics she wants to work with to create the designs for the Vintage card range Jo, my wife and business partner, hand cuts a variety of shapes and motifs which she then selects from to start building the artwork. They are all laid out on a linen base and then machine stitched on. Parts of the captions are free stitched by machine, which really adds to the handmade feel. After this the designs are scanned and laid up for printing and embossing. When they come back from the printers they are hand finished with jewels to complete the look.

    With such a strong reputation for handmade cards we want to keep producing ranges that have that handmade feel and offer great value to our customers. I think scanning original stitched artworks is a natural progression for us. The designs are nostalgic and fun, but with the contemporary colourful look we bring to much of our work."

    Sewing artwork for cards is a fast growing trend and the Progressive Greetings Magazine article features over a dozen greetings card publishers using the technique including Black Olive, Soul, Pootle, Inkdrops, Belly Button Designs, Lou Mills, Cinnamon Aitch, Stop the Clock Designs, Tanya Palmer, Open Box Designs, Carlton Cards, Design Hog and a new range called Freddie and Freya by CardMIX. The article excluded some of our favourite forerunners, of this current wave of stitched cards, who are also worth a mention: like Vicky King's sewn card ranges for Paper Rose, and seamtresses like Katy KirkhamClaire Sowden and Abigail Mill.

    Click here to order Blue Eyed Sun's Vintage designs for your shop.

    Click here to read more about greeting card trends

    Click here to subscribe to Progressive Greetings Magazine.

  • Key Greetings Card Trends for 2012

    Our predictions on key trends for greetings cards in 2012 were featured in this month's Gift Focus Magazine. Last week Editor, Sarah Reeve, also used some Blue Eyed Sun designs to illustrate her insightful seminar at Spring Fair International on forthcoming gift trends for Christmas 2012. Transcribed below from the magazine, our predictions are...

    "There is going to be a real trend for stitching, crafting, nostalgia, vintage and Britishness. With the Olympics and the Queen's Jubilee we are going to see one of Britain's great strengths this year: Creativity. There's also going to be a real sense of nostalgia so  think we will see a lot of craft based work from artists and designers. Because of the recession a lot of people have been making and repairing their own bits and pieces using traditional skills like knitting and sewing. Because of this we will also see these homemade crafts becoming more popular. This year will be very big for handmade."

    Click here to request more information on all of our stitched Vintage designs.

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