Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Valentine's Cards at Paperchase.

Well, it's been a busy few weeks, keeping on top of Christmas orders and preparing designs and products for the seasons ahead. It has to be the busiest time of my work calendar.

Next week, 3 huge parcels are leaving Fay's Studio HQ and making their way to Paperchase for the busy Valentine's season. I have hand-finished almost 3,000 cards for Paperchase stores, which has been a fairly long process, but I've really enjoyed it. Eventually it would be a good idea to outsource hand-finishers to free up more time for me to be in the studio designing, however I am a self-confessed control freak when it comes to my products, each one has to be just right to pass my standards, well, you wouldn't expect anything else. I cannot wait to visit Paperchase stores and see them sitting together on the shelves, the butterflies I get seeing my creations in store is the best feeling, I am lucky to have such wonderful customers!

Here I am just a short way through the hundreds of cards I had to hand-finish with wobbly eyes.

8 designs from my Henries Award nominated 'Sweet Tooth' card range will be available in Paperchase stores from January.

If you would like to place a trade order for these, please get in touch for further price/product information ( or you can buy them singularly from my Not on the High Street shop.

Fay x

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Daily Mail Feature

Today I am really proud to have an article in the Daily Mail about my greeting card company, it is an honest overview of how my business started. The Prince's Trust set up an interview with the newspaper and a photographer was sent to get some snaps of me and my products.

The photographer was fun to work with and took some lovely shots of me at work and he also had some inspired ideas of how to capture me with my products which he later sent me copies to share.

Working in my Studio.
Thank you to Sarah Harris, who conducted the interview and showed a real interest in where I was before the Prince's Trust supported me to where I am now. The article also highlights the Prince's Trust's 'Tomorrow's Store' now open in London which is doing really well, and you may have also noted the revelation that next year I will have some of my products debuting at selected Tesco stores (I'll tell you more on that news soon).

It's always a pleasure to talk about my business to others, and especially young entrepreneurs thinking of approaching the Trust for help. I can't emphasise enough that drive and passion are the most important elements to succeed. To this day I still have ups and downs in the business, striving to balance work and rest. My main advice when running your own business is to remember why you started, there are different reasons for everyone, but sometimes reflecting on all that you have achieved is the best medicine.

Surrounded by some of the products I have published over the years.

Good luck to you if you are starting out in business!

Fay x

Monday, 21 October 2013

Prince's Trust 'Tomorrow's Store'

Here are some quick photos from my visit to the new Prince's Trust 'Tomorrow's Store'.

After the success of many Prince's Trust pop-up shops the Trust decided to open their first store last month, and already I have heard the news that the store is doing really well, which is fantastic!

The store, full of designer products by Prince's Trust supported entrepreneurs is on Eldon Street, London just a short walk from Liverpool St or Moorgate tube station. I hope the store continues to do really well, as proceeds are going back into the charity to help run the programmes offered by the Trust. See here for more information about the Tomorrow campaign and the Prince's Trust.

Some of the cards you can purchase in store.
Here is my story, on how the Prince's Trust Business Enterprise programme helped me to launch my business four years ago after a long spell of unemployment.

The Henries 2013!

It's been so busy lately, I haven't even had the time to share the amazing industry awards night with you, The Henries 2013!

The ceremony took place at the Lancaster London hotel, Mum and I dressed up for the occasion where my Valentine's greeting card range 'Sweet Tooth' was nominated in the Best Spring Season's category. I was delighted to receive the news of my nomination back in August so the wait was really exciting.

Mum and I arriving at the Calypso themed awards. 
The cards in each category were displayed at the pre-dinner drinks.

Me standing by my 'Lava' card in the Best Spring range category (bottom middle)

Anna from 'Rosanna Rossi' and my Mum admiring the nominated ranges.
Hundreds of nominees and sponsors enjoyed the dinner and awards hosted by comedian Tom Stade.

Sadly, I didn't come away with a trophy, that said, I wasn't expecting to against the competition, however just to be nominated was a triumph for my cards and a real boost of recognition for my small publishing company out of the hundreds of designers and publishers and over 14000 cards entered.

My nominated card range 'Sweet Tooth'.

Celebrating with friends!

A huge congratulations to all of this year's winners, well deserved, and I hope to see you all again next year with something new from Fay's Studio.

All that remains now is to hand-finish all of the cards that have been ordered for Valentine's 2014!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Prince's Trust Tomorrow Store

As you may know, I launched my business a few years ago with support from The Prince's Trust through their Business Enterprise programme. As part of their on going campaign 'Tomorrow' I have been involved with raising money for the charity in a number of ways. Last year I worked with Kelly Hoppen MBE and together we created a product which raised nearly £20,000 for the charity.

Yesterday Prince Charles opened a new 'Tomorrow' store, the first high street shop run by the Prince's Trust where profits will go directly back to the charity. The store is merchandised with design-led products created by businesses that were supported by the Trust, and my greeting cards are just some of the things the shop has to offer.

Today the Daily Telegraph and The Times have featured the opening of the 'Tomorrow' store which took place at 9 Eldon Street, London.

I will be supplying the store on and on going basis so it's really exciting to be involved and to be able to offer lots of seasonal products all year round. Do pop in to the store and support the designers/makers who have all been supported by the Prince's Trust.

Thursday, 22 August 2013


In just a couple of months time, the night's will have drawn in again and Halloween will be on our doorsteps with a trick or treat.

In the UK Halloween is becoming more popular, a good excuse to dress up, have fun, and enjoy some games. It is actually one of my favourite occasions and is a fantastic subject for greeting cards. The look and feel of this season is like no other.

So, here is my first range of card designs for the occasion, needless to say I had a lot of fun inventing these characters.

HW01 - Pumpkin

HW02 - Toffee Apple

HW03 - Bobbing Apples

HW04 - Skeletons

HW05 - Monster and Bride

HW06 - Marshmallows

HW07 - Witches Brew

HW08 - Trick or Treat
These designs are available to license in the UK and internationally. Please contact my agency Advocate Art if you would like to license these designs for greeting cards or other products. Here is an example of how these designs can be transformed to greeting cards.

Spooky Scribbles

Here is my cute bat mummy character designed for the Party Invitations UK Ltd Spooky Scribbles competition.

Adapted from my loveable Halloween characters, I hope this illustration will charm the judges. Link to the competition here, and why not enter your own character designs for the chance to win.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Father's Day 2014

Working in advance as I always do, I have just received the samples of my new Father's Day cards for 2014. This is my first range of cards for this special occasion, so I hope they are well received.

For this range, I was inspired by 50's illustration, especially the cartoon characters of that era with their unusual proportions, and so from this starting point I began sketching and deciding which captions to add to my drawings. I have called the range 'Debonair' as it captures the essence of the 50's gentleman.

DB01 - Chocks Away

DB02 - Coolest

DB03 - Dapper

DB04 - Top Man

DB05 - Old Chap

DB06 - Masterchef

DB07 - Brilliant

DB08 - Champion

DB09 - Great

The set of 9 cards measure 105 x 148mm and are wrapped individually with a heavyweight ivory envelope. They are left blank inside.

The Debonair range.
For more product and price information about this range, please contact Fay at e:

Fay's Studio and the new BBC 'Dragon'.

Here I was last year, with the new BBC Dragon Kelly Hoppen, being interviewed by MSN about the Prince's Trust Tomorrow Campaign. Together we raised almost £20,000 for the Prince's Trust charity by selling our products together live on QVC.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Henries Finalist 2013!

Lucky me, I returned from a lovely summer break to discover that on Monday 5th August the Henries Finalists were revealed and my 'Sweet Tooth' Valentine's Day range was voted as a finalist along with 5 other publishers in the Best Spring Seasons category. I couldn't believe it!

If you don't know the Henries, these are the prestigious annual awards for the greetings card industry. Henries takes it's name from Sir Henry Cole who introduced the first ever commercially produced Christmas card more than 160 years ago.

Since I began my card company in 2009 I have entered my card ranges into the Henries, it's a must if you are serious about greetings cards and with the categories being judged by a line up of the head buyers from John Lewis, WHSmith, Scribbler, Fenwick, Jarrold, Paperchase, National Trust, Tesco, Asda, Joy, Waterstones, Funky Pigeon (the list goes on), you'd be silly not to.

In fact three years ago, almost to the day, the buyers at Paperchase first contacted me upon discovering my new cards at the day of judging.

So, here I am just a few years on, looking back on all the hard work I have put into new card ranges, and I am over the moon to have been nominated for this award. It's a category with very tough competition from previous winners and other great card companies, but I'm just happy to be in the top six, out of the 230 publishers that sent in ranges this year. It's such an accolade for the business and the products, as the judging is decided on quality of design, quality of print, production and manufacture, appropriateness for the market sector at which it is aimed and value for money.

The black tie event takes place on October 10th in London, so I cannot wait, just need to get a nice frock sorted out now.

Fingers crossed!

Fay x

Thursday, 20 June 2013

'Vintage' - for Birthdays

Oh my poor blog, for sometime it has gone without a mention. Who knew that relocating could take up so much time, and settling in to a new county leaves things up in the air for a long while.

I noticed I haven't even shared my new 'Vintage' range with you. Sixteen hand illustrated 14.5cm square cards for men and women which have already been selling well. I think the themes are a little different from the norm, from clocks, sky diving, baking, skiing etc they cater for many interests and cover many age groups. They are a lovely choice for the summer months with their light colour palette and fresh heritage green envelopes.

If you would like further information, samples or to place an order, contact me at or call 07817 412086. I look forward to hearing from you.
Fay x