Check out the Cardtorial Catalog here!
February was a whirlwind of a month. We were busy fulfilling our store orders from NYIGF and sending out Valentine’s Day orders from our website. Valentine’s Day orders had been piling up even before I left for New York. It proved to be a constant game of catch-up but what a wonderful wonderful Cardtorial holiday!
Oh. Feburary was also my official last day of work! I can now say I’m a full-time maker of wood cards.
We were madly working over the holidays to prep for our biggest event to date. Our first trade show!
So…what exactly is a trade show? It’s an event for businesses to sell their products to other businesses. Buyers from stores large (think Target/Bloomingdales) to small (neighborhood boutiques) attend trade shows to get their shop on and place orders. This show, the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) is quite large and a spot on the floor is $$$$. We needed to put our best foot forward.
Think of the trade show as a kind of a mini pop-up shop. You’re provided with nothing, not even the walls! We had to figure out a way to design, build, and ship a small, cute store to a convention center in New York.
After months of planning and lots of late nights we set off for New York to meet some wonderful new stores!
Below is the evolution of our booth:
Crate filled with walls / furniture
Slow (and messy!) emptying of crate / assembly of booth
Luckily…help was on its way!!
(Lifesavers, Bryan and Matt, pictured below).
And after a hard day full of manual labor….voilà!!!
A lot of people will warn you that trade shows aren’t necessarily about making money right off the bat. It’s not unheard of to make a significant investment and (like many business ventures) not come close to recouping your costs. I did my best to temper expectations. We had both busy and less exciting times in our booth but in the end, it was well worth the investment in time and money. It was far from easy but I can step into the next one with so much more confidence!
More tangibly…we can also now proudly say we’re carried in 30 stores across the nation (and Canada)! Some stores to note include the gift shops at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (MCA) and Museum of Arts and Design (MAD Museum) in Manhattan.
We’ll be posting a full list of all our brick and mortar stores on our website in the coming month.
A special shout out to our friends who made it out to Javits (in the freezing cold weather) to show their support! I was SO thrilled to see you there!!
The Holidays!! A fun and stressful time of year. We were on the road for retail shows such as UniqueLA and Renegade Craft. Cardtorial usually has either a table or shared booth at these events and we sell our cards directly to consumers (like you). It’s always fun to chat with shoppers and (of course) have rockin’ sale days but it definitely requires long periods of having your game face on. It’s always so good to see a friendly face; if you’re ever in the area when a show is going on, please please stop by and say “hello!” I post these events on facebook (on which we’re trying to amass likes), twitter, and the blog follow on these channels to stay posted on the latest news and happenings!
Hello all! It took a bit longer than expected (and is far from perfect) but the website is now ready for your orders!
How to place your kickstarter orders!
(1) Place your orders by the end of the month (so your code doesn’t expire)!
(2) Go to the website and select your cards (and / or easels). You’ll be able to choose the customization option and enter in your message directly on the product page (this is what took me a while to figure out)
(3) Check out
- Abbreviated version: Your coupon code is your email address and corresponds to your reward level!
- Long version: For further details, read step by step below:
- Payment: Please note, you will end up paying nothing if you select according to your reward level. You can refer back to kickstarter (My backer history https://www.kickstarter.com/profile/transactions) if you can’t remember your pledge / selected reward
- Discount code: On the payment page below product summary, you will see the “Discounts” section. Each backer has a unique coupon code. Your coupon code is your email address and corresponds to your reward level!
- Please note, for those of you who pledged more than your reward level (for add-ons such as easels / INTL shipping / customization) your individual coupon code will cover those extras
- Shipping Method: Choose Kickstarter Prepaid Shipping – your shipping will be on the house!
(4) Wait for your beautiful kickstarter package to arrive!
Reward Levels & Expected Ship Dates!
- 1-4 cards: Original Delivery Date Oct 2012. Revised Delivery Date Nov. 2012. Note! If you need your card earlier, simply enter your order in immediately and write your special need date in the comments box upon checkout.
- All other cards / rewards: On Time (as long as backers enter in orders by Oct. 31)
- For customization, please allow an additional two weeks for processing
I’m hoping to ship cards just as soon as I can, getting your order in asap will help me to make sure they get to you well in time for the holiday season! Wahoo!
Please keep in mind, I’m working away and doing my very best to bring these cards to you on time. To the extent anything doesn’t work seamlessly for you, please feel free to let me know and I’ll do my best to fix it just as soon as I can!
Some other Cardtorial updates!
(1) Cardtorial Photo Shoot! On Monday, I’ll be working with Sarah Deragon from Portraits to the People to style my cards and get some more photos for the website. Sarah has a soft spot for crafts (shooting events like the Renegade Craft Fair) and I’m really excited for what we’ll be able to come up with together!
(2) 2013 Trade Show Circuit. I’m currently part of a series prepping stationers for trade shows. Essentially trade shows are where buyers meet sellers. Everybody from small boutiques to giant retailers (e.g., Anthropologie) go to these shows and it’s the gateway to wholesale. These shows are not for the faint of heart. Many of the best sections are juried and come with a hefty price tag to participate. Regardless, it’s something I’m gearing up for in the (not so far off) future.
(example of a particularly lovely trade show booth below)
(3) Most importantly…the laser!!!
Am I going to get a laser? Thanks to you, most definitely yes!!!
When? Over the course of the next few months.
Why so long? A laser is an important investment. For this business, it’s pretty darn key. I want to make sure I get the right one. Beyond that, it’s a piece of heavy duty industrial machinery. My main struggle is finding an appropriate location that I can see myself, the laser, and the business in long-term. The work I do requires the appropriate ventilation systems, which don’t necessarily work in many locations.
I want to make sure I don’t rush this process and lock myself into something that doesn’t work simply because I was in a hurry. Also, once I order the laser, it won’t arrive instantaneously. Ordering, shipping, space renovation and installation I expect will be quite the ordeal. In any case, I’ll keep everybody posted on my hunt for our new headquarters and machine.
It’s been dormant on the blog for a little bit simply because we’ve been pouring all our updates into our kickstarter campaign!
Here’s the latest on the campaign (also known as, Update #4).
(1) We did it! 322 backers and $12,500+ raised!
Our kickstarter campaign is officially closed and we’re more than fully funded. Wahoo! It’ll take a couple weeks for pledges to actually go through (they’re held in escrow by Amazon and will be processed shortly).
(2) Thank you!
I’ve said it before. And i’ll say it again. Thank you — it means a lot to me to have you as early supporters. Without you, this venture would not be happening (and I’m so thankful that it is)!
(3) Now what?
- Website! This week, I will prepare the website for you! That means, unwiring it from the kickstarter campaign to allow you to select your cards freely.
- Debut the Holiday Collection! Many of you had made requests for holiday cards as part of your packages. Well, they’ve been designed, some of them have been previewed on our instagram and facebook pages and very soon, they will be going up on the website! I’ve also included a handful at the bottom of our update.
- Order your Cards! I will e-mail each of you with a unique coupon code. You can use your coupon code to “shop” in the online store, choose your cards (and extras if applicable), and enter in shipping information. Coupon codes will be distributed within the next week or two.
(4) and Finally…
the fun begins! I’m beginning to work on cards and will continue to do so as (a) the website is being revamped and (b) I’m waiting for your orders to come in. I’ve temporarily rented time on a fellow techshopper’s laser until I’ve selected and installed my very own. I didn’t want the couple months it takes to purchase/install to delay cards getting into your (and your loved ones’) hands.
I’ll continue to keep you posted on the project via these updates. If you would like more frequent updates, please feel free to follow us on the blog and on facebook, where we’ll be posting much more frequently. Please feel free to reach out with any of your questions or comments. I love feedback!
More minor updates:
Cardtorial was featured in Daily Candy yesterday! You can check out the article here!
We were also featured in Urban Air Market’s promo video from our show last month. I’ve included some of the snapshots below.
and…some holiday card previews! I’ve also included an admittedly poor snapshot of some cards on the mini easels so you can get a sense for how mini these easels are.