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Puzzling - Noah’s Ark card that Anna bought in John Lewis

wasn’t until she started getting requests for New Baby or Happy Birthday that she began to add captions.

When they moved from London they originally rented space at a business centre, but then bought a former Victorian print factory which Justin renovated himself in three months, then later the house next door which is currently the offi ces and studio.

The company has gone from strength to strength, now employing more than 25 staff and. after printing and fi nishing, all the cutting, creasing, hand-fi nishing and packing of cards is done on site. “We’ve just bought a third premises in the next road,” said Rachel, “because we’ve run out of room for storage. “We’re going to move in to a bigger studio which will be lovely to have more room – designers are very messy when they work, we spread out to fi ll the available space!” Anna’s absolutely thrilled at her new job especially since she has seen the company grow over the years: ”I used to live opposite Rachel when I was a student so I knew she was there and I used to see her cards in the local shops.

“Then years later I went into John Lewis to buy a card for a friend’s son and noticed Rachel Ellen’s novel Jigsaw range of cards. I bought the Noah’s Ark design because I liked it and my friend’s son is called Noah. I was so pleased that Rachel had made it and It’s still one of my favourite designs in our current range.

“My favourite design in Peaches And Dreams is probably the dog design as it was quite a challenge because I hate dogs and ironically Rachel’s two are always running round the studios – I’m almost phobic about them!!! When I started work there Justin said ‘you don’t mind dogs do you?’ I couldn’t exactly say no!”

Rachel added: “Out of all the cards I’ve designed recently I probably like this fairy card best, it has been a top seller but beyond that I like her because

Doggy delight - Anna’s favourite card from her new designs

she has a simple appeal. It’s part of our die-cut Tiddlywinks range that won best Cute range in the Henries Awards last year.” “Sometimes it’s the ones you do quickly and easily that work the best rather than the ones that you work on for ages and rub out and change.”

Rachel and Anna in the studio with Ian and Alex

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