Tuesday, February 12, 2008

How to set up a greeting card business Part 3

You’re almost done, at least for the layout, printing and packaging part of you’re new greeting card venture.

Once I get a shipment of printed cards back from the printer, I inventory them and put them away in their proper archival storage container until needed. This storage is easier than you might think because the cards are delivered to me “flat” or un-folded. Each card is “scored” down the middle of it providing a perfect guide on which to fold the card in half from.

In the beginning of my “greeting card career” it was easy to store the cards. I initially only printed 60 designs and all of the cards stored neatly on one self in my studio. Now that I have almost 300 different card designs, the process is a bit more difficult, but I can still store them in one area of my studio. With the addition of my new distributor I might be faced with a larger storage problem than I ever had before. That will be a good problem to have to deal with.

After each art festival I do, I take an inventory of both my cards and prints. That count gives me an idea of what I need to print and frame along with which greeting cards I need to assemble. I say assemble because that’s basically what happens. I pull the desired amount of cards of each deign I need from storage and place them on a workbench in the studio. I then “fold” the cards down the scored line I talked about and put all of the folded cards aside. Because the majority of the cards I sell are 5” x 7” I use an A-7 Arrow White card from Heinrich Envelope Company. The color white not only goes with every thing but also is the cheapest, under .02 each.

I place the folded cards on the bench next to the envelopes and one by one, insert an envelope into the center of the folded card and set aside.

To give my card line a touch of class I package the card and envelope into a clear plastic bag (#B75) that I purchase from ClearBags.

The extra .06 I spend on each one of the clear bags is well worth it. Not only does it keep the card and envelope together it keeps them both clean and free from dirty finger prints that would inevitably get all over the cards when my customer browse through them in my spin rack. I’ve witnessed many other artists run for cover to try and save their greeting cards when an unexpected rainstorm hits. The clear bags protect the cards from getting wet.

Now you have my secrets. Well not exactly secrets but the tips I’ve laid out over the past 3 articles will save you a good amount of time researching out my sources, plus, if you follow these steps you’ll be able to safely add a great deal of extra sales income to your already existing art business. I did, you can too.

How much extra of course will depend on how many shows you do each year and if you seek out a greeting card distributor to wholesale your cards for you. I charge $3.00 each for my cards which is a very fair price for the end user plus it gives you enough room to sell to stores at half of that so that they can mark up (keystone) the cards to your suggested retail price.

Are you willing to take the chance?


Kay Murphy's Studio said...

Hi Dennis, thanks for your in-put, very helpful. Check out Photographers Edge for display racks for cards, they work well on my Pro Panels. Kay

Dennis Brady said...

Thanks for your input Kay. In case you didn't read a more current post about my greeting cards, here's the link-