A thortful Success Story

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As one of thortful’s biggest success stories over the last 6 months, Kasia has had quite the journey with us! From a few odd sales here and there to one of our top selling creators for Valentine’s this year, she’s grown her thortful sales and become almost an overnight success. But how did she do it? Below, she shares her story and gives you some of her top tips for raking in those royalties!

My journey with thortful started off as an experiment, and I must admit I didn’t have any particular idea what I was doing at the beginning! I simply created my profile, uploaded a few designs with funny little monsters and that was about it! I didn’t really worry about making my cards suitable for any specific occasions, or about drawing them in any particular style. If I’m honest, looking at it now, I think that my approach was a bit soulless and mechanical. Without giving the whole process much thought, I just took the path of least resistance, and as a result, saw very few sales.

It all changed in December last year. As huge movie geeks, my friends and I often spend time discussing films, TV series, and documentaries. During one of these conversations an idea came to my mind: what about drawing something I’m really, truly, passionate about?

This was how my Star Wars themed card series came to life! The whole creation process was great fun. It seemed so natural and easy to draw my favourite movie characters, to make them speak their funny language and to play with their unique features.

Kasia xmas card for blog

 

I quickly found that tapping into particular trends is a key step that will take you further on your way to becoming a successful thortful designer. Finding a new trend and predicting the next big thing is never a simple task, but keeping your finger on the pulse will make it easier.

Read popular design magazines, sign up to art newsletters, follow famous art bloggers, pay attention to the issues your friends and colleagues are buzzing about, observe which are the most popular topics on social media. What are people interested in? What is getting them talking and capturing the collective imagination? These are the questions that you should be asking. Paying attention on what’s going on around you will give you a broader picture of what people want and what trends are hot!

I also decided that this time round my cards should target specific, card-sending occasions, and as Christmas was coming up I took this as my inspiration. Playing a bit with the characters, I adapted them specifically around this theme, and managed to secure a good few more sales than usual!

This just goes to show that when designing your cards, it’s important to remember what occasion they are for. Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, a Wedding Anniversary or Birthday, creating your designs to target specific events will always help you to produce a more customer-orientated product, and as a result it will drive more sales.

Kasia Valentine's card for blog

 

As my Christmas collection did well, I decided to stick with the movie theme. I extended my collection of characters but this time they were equipped with Cupid’s arrows and heart-melting declarations of love, just in time for Valentine’s Day. The whole collection was an instant hit! 

I soon learned that once you’ve established a design which is popular, you can always create new versions to fit other occasions by changing captions or references, which will give you more opportunities to sell your cards. And if you need some ideas of different events and occasions? Just head to the thortful website!

Once you find your niche, remember your bestsellers and grow your collection around them. Making what you know consumers want yields far more sales than making whatever you feel like and hoping there’s a market for it! It is much smarter to find where your passions and skills intersect with what customers seek.

I discovered that humour was key for me, too. I use it all the time in my cards: it is basically at the centre of every design I do, and the simpler the joke the better. By making my cards funny, I found that I was giving customers more reason to choose my designs, and my sales reflected this.

If it fits with your design then why not try implementing some humour in your cards? From a humorous caption to a clever pun, anything you can do to give a little laugh can help your designs stand out. It will make them feel good, and most importantly it will really help customers to remember your cards: a perfect recipe for a success!

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It’s been quite a journey we’ve been on together with thortful for the last few months, and I couldn’t ask for a better team to work with. They’ve watched me grow and been very supportive along the way, patiently replying to all my questions, and solving any arising issues at the speed of light! They’ve advised me on my designs, suggested ideas that worked really well and have been even kind enough to let me takeover their Instagram account for a weekend! You can be sure when starting your thortful profile that you’ve got a whole brilliant team behind you, who will always be there for you to answer any questions you might have.

It took some time for me to realise which ways to take and which paths to avoid in order to succeed, but today I get lots of joy of being able to do what I love and to share it with others. Hopefully my story will inspire you to pursue your own thortful adventure! 

Thanks for reading,
May the force be with you !

Kasia

 

 

Find Kasia’s thortful profile here.

 

 

Don’t bin them! 10 inventive ways to upcycle this year’s Christmas cards.

With the end of the festive season upon us, it’s time for the decorations to come down & be packed away for another year. But what do you do with all the Christmas cards that have been lovingly sent to you? Here at thortful we don’t want to see them in a landfill, so we’ve come up with our top ten tips for recycling them:

1. Gift tags – One of the best tricks of the trade: simply cut your old cards into a shape of your choice, grab a hole punch and add some string or ribbon!|

Tags
2. Postcards – Use the card front as a postcard to send to your loved ones next year (just be sure it’s not going back to the same person!)

3. Magnets – Get the kids involved! You can cut your cards into small shapes and use stick-on magnets to create the perfect fridge decorations for next Christmas.

4. Bookmarks – One of the simplest and quickest transformations for your old cards: cut a long strip and punch a hole in one end to add a bookmark tassle. You might want to include a homemade bookmark with any books you give away next Christmas to add a more personal touch to your gift!

5. Coasters – Grab a pair of scissors and some laminate film to create your Christmas coasters. You can even stick two together to give your coasters a double-sided twist!

6. Decorations – Pretty cut-outs, a hole-punch, and some string or ribbon is all you need to make beautiful hanging decorations for the tree next year!

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7. Christmas planner – The front of your Christmas card will make the perfect cover for next year’s planner. All you need is a few sheets of paper, a hole punch, and some ribbon to secure together at the top. Once complete, you’ll be able to fill the pages with your Christmas shopping and to-do lists!

8. Place cards – The perfect way to set the table for next year’s Christmas dinner.

9. Bunting – Cut your cards into triangles and fold each top over a piece of string or ribbon, securing with glue. By hanging this in the house, you’ll be setting the perfect scene for the festive season.

Bunting
10. Wreath – With a little bit of patience and artistic flair, you can create your very own wreath to decorate the interior of your home. After cutting your cards and securing in a circular shape with glue, simply punch a hole and add some ribbon to hang on your doors!

 

 

 

Milestone Greetings For Extra Special Birthday’s

September: a birthday-filled month where the only thing harder than organising your social calendar is thinking of what to write in those greeting cards! We know all-too-well the knee-shaking feeling of trying not to stuff up the message inside that perfect card you found (our handwriting feature on the thortful app takes care of that FYI), so we thought we would put together some handy suggestions of what you can actually write inside those special milestone birthday cards.

1ST BIRTHDAY

Writing a card for a 1st birthday can put you under the spotlight, as it’s entirely possible all of the cards will be kept as a keepsake! For now though, it’s the parents you’re trying to impress (the one-year-old will be thrilled by just the envelope, let’s be honest!).

To the beautiful birthday baby: who knew that one tiny little ball of sweetness (YOU) could light up the lives of so many of us! We are all looking forward to another year of joy as we watch you grow.

I hope you have a ONE-derful birthday! Enjoy it like the special boy/girl that you are.

Happy 1st Birthday! I know that no matter what gift I got you, you’d still be more interested in the wrapping paper than the actual present so.. go crazy!

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10TH BIRTHDAY

Turning ten is a huge milestone for kids – hello double-digits! It’s the year they want to be seen as a ten-ager (that’s just short of a teenager in case you didn’t know!), and not a little kid anymore.

What a milestone, you’ve just finished your very first decade! May your 10th birthday be as special as you are.

We wish that the years to come will mean more success and happiness for you. Enjoy the last part of your childhood, Mr/Miss 10-year-old!

Don’t be in such a hurry to grow up because in dog years, you’re already a senior citizen today! Happy 1-0!

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18TH  BIRTHDAY

The big 18, where the world officially classifies you as an adult and everything (ok, most things) are finally legal.

Happy birthday to a wonderful 18-year-old. This is truly a fun time to celebrate life, so enjoy!

Happy Independence Day! Growing up might seem scary until you realise that none of us really know what we’re doing…

Happy first day of legal drinking! Remember, just because it’s legal now doesn’t mean it’s a good idea!

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21ST BIRTHDAY

The age when the real growing up happens. Job hunting, household bills, real responsibilities.. what a milestone.

No matter how old you get, remember this one piece of advice: Have fun! There’s no age in experiencing the joys of life, so make the most of it while you’re young. Happy 21st!

I hope that turning 21 is tons of fun. May you feel inspired and empowered to do great things this year. Happy 21st Birthday!

I remember my 21st… wait, no I don’t. You’ll soon find out why… Enjoy your special day!

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30TH BIRTHDAY

Exiting your 20’s can be an unnerving time for many, but age is a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter!

Wishing you a very warm welcome to your third decade. Happy 30th birthday!

On your 30th Birthday, look back and think about what a long way you have come. We are all so proud of the person you have turned out to be. Happy 30th!

May you be blessed with more style, charm, panache, confidence and personality on your 30th Birthday. After all, 30 is the new 20 these days! Happy 30th Birthday.

The only time you really live fully is from thirty to sixty. The young are slaves to dreams; the old servants of regrets. Only the middle-aged have all their five senses in the keeping of their wits. (Theodore Roosevelt).

You’re not really 30, you’re 18 with 12 years of experience and you’ve never looked better!

Congratulations, from now on you are officially old! But don’t worry – you’re only one third of the way to your 90’s so that’s a bonus! 

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50TH BIRTHDAY

A great milestone to celebrate a great achievement of turning a half-century old.. or young! 

May every unfulfilled dream of yours during the past half century come true. A very happy birthday to you!

I feel blessed to have known you for some of your 50 years. Congratulations on today’s milestone!

Here’s a toast to 50 beautiful years of your life, in which you have spread so much joy and happiness to others. May you live to be a hundred. Happy 50th Birthday!

Unfortunately ageing is the only scientifically known way to live longer. Here’s to 50 more years!

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We hope we’ve sparked some heartfelt ideas to get you started on your card-writing quest, but if you’re still stuck then just stay original, stay warm, and stay witty. Remember, birthdays come around once a year but milestone’s come around just a few times in a lifetime!

10 Inspiring Quotes for Creatives

Lacking creative inspiration this week? Need a little kernel of wisdom to get those creative juices flowing and help with those card designs? Then look no further! We’ve collected some of our favourite creative quotes to keep you feeling fresh and inspired 🙂

10 Inspiring Quotes for Creatives

Have you got any inspiring quotes to share?

We’d love to hear them! Tweet us @thortful.

7 inspirational photographers you should be following on Instagram

A picture can speak a thousand words and evoke so much emotion, so with that in mind, we wanted to celebrate all things photography here at thortful this month.

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Aside from our talented photography creators who capture beautiful moments from behind the lens, Instagram is an exceptional platform to seek photography inspiration.

Search a host of popular hashtags such as, ‘#photography, #photographer, #photooftheday, #photographylovers’ etc. and you’ll discover a treasure trove of imagery waiting to be devoured.

Here’s some of the best photographers we uncovered on Instagram who left us wanting to brush up on our photography skills…

1. Simone Bramante: @brahmino

Simon Bramante

2. Victoria Siemer: @witchoria

Victoria Siemer

3. Sarah Palmer: @heysp

Sarah Palmer

4. Theron Humphrey: @thiswildidea

Theron Humphrey

5. Annonymous: @sejkko

Sejkko

6. Will Burrard-Lucas: @willbl

Will Burrard-Lucas

7. Dirk Bakker: @Macenzo

Dirk Bakker

Check out our photography collection on thortful here.

If you have stunning images you would like to share with the world in the form of a greeting card, we’d love to see them in our catalogue. Size them perfectly using our downloadable template and guides and upload away!