Hi, I’m Janna, creator and do-er-all of a tiny publishing company: DECKLED EDGE LTD!
I’m a Mother, a business owner, an artist and an avid horse rider. Here at D.E headquarters, I produce greetings cards and paper goods specialising in equine and animal art.
Why I took the path of a publisher?
I went from artist, ski bum, to horse rider, art director, to Mum of 2.
Once my kiddies began school, I wanted to combine all of my skills/talents/creativity, so I decided to start producing greetings cards using my own art. I began the company. “It can’t be that hard”, I recall thinking…. how wrong I was!!
I knew no-one or anything at all about the industry. But having two children with no family support, I knew I had to work from home so I could still be there for the kiddies.
At the start my children were the main focus for subject matter; dinosaurs, unicorns and ponies were a focus, expanding now to horses and animals.
I sell direct to Trade, and launched the company at my first trade event called BCTF (British Craft Trade Fair), in April of 2015, then followed with PG Live (Progressive Greetings Live) in June, and H&G (Home&Gift Harrogate) in July, to see how I fitted in the market place, and what I needed to change and learn about the industry.
I repeated these shows in 2016. By 2017 I changed tactics and felt I had enough experience and perfected my product to exhibit at a bigger show; Spring Fair at the NEC.
I do all of the show set-ups, manning the stand, pack-downs, marketing, admin, sales, and of course design and product management myself. It’s a lot of endless hard work.
Exhibiting is a great way to meet your customer face 2 face. It’s a good learning curve too. There are times where you have to cope with your work not being of interest to all buyers, and the times when no-one comes onto your stand and bee-lines to others like bees to honey. The competition is fierce, but there is enough room for everyone who produces something different.
If we were all the same, then the buyers wouldn’t buy!
I knew I needed a website, and in the past had ‘silly’ quotes way out of my price range. At a Trade Show, I was fortunate to hear of Paul and Collette at Aura Creative Media through a fellow exhibitor. It was their knowledge and personal approach which won me over. I had zero time free to even contemplate designing my own website. So was really happy with their help.
Stages of a biz
Running a small biz on your own I can compare to having children;…. it grows in stages, its a HUGE amount of endless ‘to-do-lists’, it’s ever-changing plus very rewarding. It seems to grow from; Baby, Toddler, Child, to Teen, Young Adult, and Adult to mature Adult etc. I would say Deckled Edge is currently at the Child stage. All businesses are at various stages, so you can never really compare yourself to another who is at a very different level to yourself.
What did I do this week?
– Popped in to visit my printer and drop off catalogues to add to orders and hand sign art prints
– Placed print orders
– Chased a late payer and invoiced customers
– Began plans for a new collection to begin illustrating soon
– Posted on social media
– Sorted through receipts etc for Vat return
– Paid bills
– Submitted insurance cover for rate deduction on Trade Events for 2019
– Wrote this blurb
– Packed up stock
– Ordered replenishment stock for product stickers
– Received stock replenishment order of gift wrap. Some had gone missing so chasing this atm
– Renewed GCA membership
– Motherly household duties
– Always make time to go horse riding, and weekly PT session otherwise I’m always sitting down at the computer or in the car!
Thx for reading!