Flamingo Paperie has taken flight!

Sorry I’ve been a little quiet over here, but as you can appreciate when a new company is set up, things don’t always happen overnight!  The directors and senior ‘partners’ (as all us baby flamingoes are now called) have been working round the clock packing up all the lovely new Designs so they are ready for us to order and sell.

I haven’t yet put my order in as I have quite a bit of Christmas stock to sell through before I have space for new designs, but the plan is to have them for November.  If you would like to pre-order you can view the flippy book here.

This has to be one of my favourite new products available.  I really can’t wait to see if it’s as lovely ‘in the flesh’.

I have a full calendar of events from November right up to Christmas, if you prefer to shop in person.  I will be sharing details through my Facebook page so please like it to be kept up to date.

Cari xx
If you want to check out the main Flamingo website (a work in progress still) you can follow the link.

Flamingo Paperie website

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Foodies love Phoenix

Yesterday was a long day for team Cari’s Cards.  I decided to give a local food festival a whirl, which meant a 7am start to load the car and set up shop.  I know a few of the regular traders in the food side and had heard it was a popular event, but the weather forecast in the run up was hit and miss and my gazebo isn’t great at keeping the rain outside!

Luckily the showers mostly stayed at bay, and we had a fantastic time.  Lots of people milling around, street entertainers, music and cookery demonstrations.  Lots and lots of food stalls!  Anything and everything you could want to try, with most selling out just after lunchtime!

It will hopefully become a regular booking for us, I certainly hope to be back in 2018.

If you want to see where else we are going to be this year, please visit my events page.

Cari xx

Stocking up for Fathers Day

Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet.  I’ve been concentrating on getting my Open University course completed, but now I’m getting back to work and the next big card buying occasion is Fathers Day on the 18th of June.


As you can see, we may have the odd card suitable for celebrating the dad in your life.  The best bit is all our cards are blank inside, so not only can you channel your inner poet, you can buy a few designs and save the ones you don’t use for birthdays, anniversaries or just to keep in touch.

Cards can be ordered online through my website as usual, just make a note of the code and type it into the search box.  Alternatively get in touch with the code and description and let me arrange everything for you.
We will be celebrating Fathers Day in Leyburn, at the Food and Drink Festival.  If you are local you can visit us in Thornborough Hall.

Cari xx

That brightened up my day!

So, you know how you slip right back into the routine after a nice couple of weeks off from the school run, work, life etc?

No, me neither.

It hasn’t been easy to get motivated again, and although I did door drop some brochures the other day (with motivational support from tweenager) I am building up to it slowly.

Then I heard a whisper.

Which became a roar!

THE NEW SUPPLEMENT HAS LANDED!

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I know, you are all beside yourselves with excitement, just like I am!

So now I have a bit of a dilemma.  I’m desperate to get my mitts on the new release to get them posted out to you all, but paying a delivery charge just for them seems a little excessive, no matter how keen I am.  I need to get out and get collecting orders again.

This weekend you can find me at the Tour de Yorkshire (no, I’m not cycling!)  I’m attending a regular craft fair in Masham and as the Tour goes through there, the town is putting on all sorts of fun for families.  We went to watch the Tour go through Thirsk last year and it was amazing, such a fab atmosphere so please do pop along to one of the stages if you can!

Getting ready for the Tour De Yorkshire!

So, the supplements will be ordered on Saturday unless I can get an order together before then.  Can you help?  Have you been meaning to buy some lovely cards, wrap or some of our toys and activities for the kids?  Yes, I know this is me not being motivated again, but I am still dropping baskets and fab bags with customers to get my order in sooner, so it’s not just you getting reminded!

In other news, if you are one of my Butterfly Club VIP’s you will be invited to my home launch for the new range in May.  If you aren’t (why not?) then you will need to be on my brochure mailing list to get a copy, or you can wait until my website updates (probably on 2nd May).  I’ve got an offer on for everyone who joins my VIP club before the 8th May, take a look at my facebook or Instagram for details.

So, I’m hoping your motivation after the holidays is better than mine.  Please do share what you did over Easter, I need to see lots of fun and sunshine enjoyment please now the weather has turned a bit bleak again. (Hailstones in April?????)

Cari xx

 

Stock taking

Today I thought I would do a little housekeeping.  No, not getting the hoover out, I mean some business housekeeping.  You see, we have a new product launch in May and I still have some of the March supplements to find new homes for.  So I started counting them.  Then my basket of cards was staring at me, so I thought ‘why not sort that out and tidy it ready for stock take?’

The next thing I know I am knee deep in my lovely Phoenix Trading stock, sorting, ordering and counting ready for finalising my year end.  So many cards which are no longer available to order so they have gone into my ‘last chance to buy’ basket.  Then there is the basket to go into school next week which needs sorting.

I also have plans for two fab bags to go out with friends over the Easter break, but they will wait for a few days (I ran out of time!)

poppies notebookOne thing that did cross my mind, while I was sorting and recording, was how lovely my poppy notebooks are, and how many I seem to have bought, well, just because….

This led to my April competition

Please go and enter, it will save me from having all that gorgeousness sitting there, tempting me to start writing in it.

Cari xx

Five reasons why card buying is stressful (and how to beat them)

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Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and new babies, not to mention moving house, retirement, engagement and bereavement.  There are numerous occasions when cards are used to let people know you are thinking about them, and for some this involves a lot of stress.

1. What theme to choose?
Humorous?  Quirky?  Emotive?  The variety of cards available gives endless choice, but which card fits best?

2. Wording.
Not enough words, too many or not quite the right sentiment.

3. Not enough time.
Rushing to buy a retirement card in your lunch hour?  Add into that points one and two and you are heading for a meltdown.

4. Too many to get.
Very similar to point four.  Why do all the family birthdays all fall in the same three months?

5. Quality.
You’ve rushed out in the spare five minutes you have before the school run to buy a card for Bertie’s birthday party (short notice) and the local shop only has cards that look like a four year old made it.  In fact, your four year old could have made one much better, and it probably would mean more too, but you simply don’t have time.

So, you arrive at Bertie’s birthday party, hot and flustered with a hastily wrapped present, flimsy card and child, only to see four other cards identical to yours.

Well they do say it’s the thought that counts.

Did you know that Phoenix Trading cards are all printed on quality board, are designed by individual artists (so you won’t find them in the shops) and if you sign up for my subscription service you need never be without a card again?

No more dashing out in your lunch break.

No more struggling to find the right design or wording (all our cards are blank inside).

Hurrah! and huzzah! I hear you cry.
Ok, maybe just me then!

10 cards delivered to your door every two months.  You can give ideas of the type you would like, and you can stop whenever you want.

Sign up before the end of March 2017 and I will include an extra card for free!

Click on the subscribe button to go to PayPal.

PayPal – The safer, easier way to pay online!

Cards are chosen and ordered by me on your behalf.  They will be packed and sent to you by Phoenix Trading.  Please visit my Facebook page or www.cariscards.co.uk if you want to get in touch.

My favourite day, delivery day!

Phoenix Trading greetings cards
March product release for Phoenix Trading

Do you love getting parcels as much as I do?  It’s a bit like a birthday, which in the past has led to me buying things I absolutely neeeeeed off Amazon or eBay ( but that’s a whole other story!)

Phoenix Trading has cured me of that addiction.  Instead I now get all excited when I put your orders in, knowing that in a matter of days a box full of gorgeous stationery and greetings cards will be arriving.  I’ll be able to lovingly match the cards up with envelopes, wrap them in cello and sort them for all of you.

You may have seen my excited videos on my Facebook page showing off the products when they arrive.  I get most excited when it is my first glimpse of the new product release, which happened just this week.  I like to think you get just as excited when your order arrives, as the brochure images never really tell the full story, no matter how well presented they are.

I have to wait now before new stock will arrive at my door.  No order ready to put through just yet, and no new product release until May.

I’m off to console myself with chocolate and organza ribbon loveliness (this could get messy!)

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Relationship Marketing (what does it mean?)

Phoenix Trading, like many other direct selling businesses, is a network marketing business.  This means the business owner relies, initially, on their network of family, friends and acquaintances to get them going.  This is great as they know and trust you already, so when you say you will get products to them for a specific day, they know you well enough to trust you.

So what happens when you exhaust that network?

When I started my business I was advised to make a list of all the people I came into contact with.  I mistakenly thought that this wasn’t necessary, after all, everyone buys cards and so my family and friends would keep my business going.  I quickly realised that a lot of my family and friends had very good reasons why my products didn’t fit with them.  They weren’t my Super Customers, in fact, they were only really buying because of the relationship we had.

I needed to take a step back and start building that list.

Those people I knew all had different connections.  They were on PTA’s, local church committees, were volunteers for local groups.  They knew people in similar positions, and some of these were my Super Customers.  This is where Relationship Marketing seemed to be a more accurate term for how I could build my business.

The only connection I had with these people was a mutual friend or two.  So I had to go about getting to know them, building a trusting relationship with them.  Then these people started to help me by referring my business to their friends.

These businesses are built by being true, honest and reliable.  Relationships are formed, and as these grow stronger so will your business.  It isn’t an overnight success story, so don’t rush it, get to know the people around you and if what you do is not a good fit for them, then ask if they can help find the people who are.

You will find customers at retail events too, but your relationship marketing is the thing that will keep your business strong.  I am lucky to now consider a lot of my customers as friends, I hope you do too.

Don’t be silly, it’s a hobby not a business!

Hands up if you have ever had this said to you.

Ok, so probably not in those words, but if you  are one of the millions of people who are running their business alongside a full or part time job, then it is highly likely someone close to you will have either said this or is thinking it right now.

I know I’ve had to overcome the feeling that I’m not being taken seriously.

How can I possibly be a small business owner if I’m fitting it in around another ‘normal’ job, the family, school duties, and, you know, ‘stuff’?

Small business owners come in all shapes and sizes, and not all of us can afford to jack in the nine to five completely and just go for it.  We have homes to run, a family to feed, mortgages/rent and other commitments.  Jumping in feet first is scary enough without putting the family finances on the line.

Its not even like you can save up before you plunge into self employment.  The cost of living is rising faster than wages are, which is probably one of the motivating forces behind you taking this decision in the first place.  So how else are you supposed to follow your grand plan?

So the next time you have that idea pop into your head (or worse still, hear it from someone else), give yourself a good talking to, put your blinkers on and keep being awesome.  Better to go for it now than to live with regrets.

Launching my VIP club

In a recent team sharing session, one of my upline had a suggestion that I thought would really work for my customers.  Every year, in August, we have the chance to order a pack of the Christmas range (yes, I did say August!) and while it sells well at the events I attend in the run up to Christmas I have always felt that I could be rewarding my loyal year round customers in some way at this time of year.

So The Butterfly Club was born.  I did some sums, set some order levels and have worked out an amazing club for my Phoenix friends to join, where they will be able to hear all our news, get special offers exclusive to members and also put what they spend throughout the year towards a saving off their Christmas order.

 

I’m still working on the content and design, but in the meantime you can sign up to be a member of The Butterfly Club here.

I love my customers, and I’m hoping as the club evolves over the next few weeks they will love it as much as I do.

Love, Cari x