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meet the newbies Snapping up business

WITH more than 300 vintage cameras in his collection, London-based designer- photographer Antony Nobilo’s insurance company helped him discover a new business by accident.

“I was photographing my collection for insurance purposes,” he said, ”and realised the images were actually really beautiful, so I produced fi ne art prints.

“The prints sold out and I took them to New

York when I was on a job there shooting, the fi rst gallery I went to snapped them up and from there I realised there was potential in this.” Antony, whose day job sees him specialising in fashion and portraiture photography, began producing the images as cards and in the 10 months since starting he already has The Conran Shop as a customer.

One fine day

A LACK of local views led retailer Ian Thomas to go out with his camera one fi ne day and he suddenly found he had a greetings card business on the go. Now, as well as running Absolute Cards

in Wells, Somerset, he’s also a publisher under the name Rambling Mansion. With the initial response to

the fi rst 97 designs proving very encouraging, and repeat orders refl ecting the sales Ian’s achieved in his own store, he now has many more undergoing trial and is about to expand in to a range of classic art birthday and occasion cards. “We found ourselves local views but no local suppliers,” Ian said, “so I went out with my camera on a fi ne day, took several hundred pics from which we had a few usable images. Then off to the printer we went with them. “The sales were such that I decided to trawl

through my old pics. Found a selection, printed them and found they sold through too. “At this point the excitement set in and

I realised I really enjoyed the process of producing a card which other people liked enough to buy!

“The beauty of being the

retailer was that I could overhear people’s comments, without them knowing I’d produced the cards, and so learn from that

and also see if the designs were saleable. “On a personal basis, I’m always looking for something funny, so producing humorous cards seem the next logical thing. “The idea of being a publisher certainly

wasn’t in my mind in the early stages and maybe it was the encouragement from some of the agents and reps who I buy from that fi nally nudged me into going ahead – well, that and the fact that the sales of some of the designs have been outstanding!” T: 01749 678060

The stylish black and white 150x203mm

cards come cello-wrapped with a white envelope and there are now 30 in the Beautiful Memories range, with the latest designs featuring the Yashica T4, Minolta Hi Matic-E, Contax T2, Yashica Electro M5, Olympus Trip 35 and Leica Minilux cameras.

Antony added: “The cameras sadly sit in

boxes around the house – when I own my own house I’ll display them for everyone to enjoy!” T: 07962 638370

Drawing a new career AFTER one too many bad poetry essays,

London-based designer Katherine Alice Lawson bade farewell to the blackboard and drew on a lifetime of painting and drawing for friends and family to start her company Alice Atwell in September. “I liked all the academic stuff,” said the former teacher, “but I wanted a change – the early starts and stress were starting to outweigh the six-week summer holiday. I like being my own master (or mistress) rather than following someone else’s timetable!”

Alice Atwell launches to trade

at Top Drawer January 2014 with Katherine’s two ranges of cards mixing the classic with the quirky and contemporary. The Peeps are a range of sunny, adorable illustrations with funny and cheerful messages in Katherine’s distinctive hand-drawn font, while her beautiful pen and watercolour range captures the English country garden in full bloom. T: 07816 132716

FLEXISHEET – Windles Group launch the Flexisheet whereby you can

print litho without fi lling a sheet. With only a fi ve-day turnaround time we offer a solution to emergency out-of-stock designs, and give you the opportunity to enjoy litho unit costs on producing your best-selling greetings cards where re-order quantities are way ahead of others in the range. MOVEMBER – headed by Mark Jones, a team of chaps at Windles Group endured being ridiculed and being irritated by growth of facial hair raising £750 for the Movember charity. TOP DRAWER & SPRING FAIR – The Windles sales team will be present at both exhibitions. We’d love to hear about ideas for greetings card production in 2014 so we can make sure we have the tools to help. 17

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