Say hello to ...
Helena and Tracy from Cappuccino Cards
Tell us a little about yourself and your company?
We founded Cappuccino Cards in October 2012 with a very simple premise. We believe every card that is sent could be a charity card, not just the cards that you send at Christmas. We are Helena Golunska and Tracy Oakley – two friends who met about ten years ago. We previously worked together at Belle and Boo and then decided to take the big step into building a website and working for ourselves.
Describe your typical working day ...
At the moment we still work at home so take it in turns whose kitchen table to sit at! Our days are a lovely mixture of finding new artists, taking photographs for the website, updating and publicising our website and talking to and working with the charities we support. In between all this, we always try and rustle up something delicious for lunch – food is another passion we share. And of course, as our business name suggests, we also do some brainstorming in any café which serves good coffee!
What is the best thing about your job?
Helena - At the moment it is the diversity and challenge every day brings. Because we are such a new company, we are constantly changing, growing and learning new skills!
Tracy - I really enjoy the creative control we have over how the website looks, which comes with being your own boss and the thrill of a big order that we know will make a difference to the charity chosen by the customer.
Who are your customers?
We have two strands of customers at the moment – those who love beautiful cards and those who support a particular charity or the idea of charity cards. Most of our artists are up and coming and so it is fantastic to promote such a talented bunch! The charities that we work with do the most amazing work. Most of them are small and so although we are not sending them massive amounts of money (yet!) we are assured that everything we do makes a difference.
Your products …
What is your favourite product in the shop?
Helena - Now that is very tricky and I think we would have different ideas on this one but mine is ‘Peacock and the Orchid’ by Lindsay McDonagh. The colours are so vibrant and it feels like a gorgeous tiny piece of art.
Tracy - My current favourite is this brightly colourful number from Bishopston Letterpress – 'ONE'. I love the fact it’s perfect for either a boy or girl – a really gorgeous first birthdady card.
What are the most popular products you're currently stocking?
These cards in the garden series from Gemimalou are very popular at the moment – they are such bold images and beautiful colours. This is the lavender card.
Another of the artists that we stock is Susie Brooks. She is a well known artist and we were so thrilled when she agreed to sell her cards on our site. All her cards are very popular but especially this one; Utterly Butterly.
What products are you introducing for 2013?
We, of course, will be adding different cards to the site throughout the year but we are also introducing prints to the site. We have a few of these on already but will increase the selection. Prints seemed a natural extension to our beautiful cards and will include a 10% donation to charity in the price. We are also keen to start stocking tea-towels. Many of our artists produce their art on a variety of formats and tea-towels are very popular!
What plans do have for your business in 2013?
Our main plan is to increase our customer base and to sell more and more cards. We would love to get a space that we could work away from home but I think that may be a plan for 2014.
Your inspiration …
What inspires your product selection?
Fortunately we have a similar eye when it comes to picking a design or designers. We are always trying to find new designers as it gives them an opportunity to showcase their work and it means that we get a unique collection of cards on our site.
Who are your favourite card and gift designers?
Helena - That is a tricky one! We love the designs by Jane Ormes, we haven’t managed to get her cards on the site as she is tied into a distributor but her cards are exactly the type of thing we love. I have also been looking at YOKE designs recently – his bright and bold designs are right up my street!!
Tracy - I love Simon Tozer’s work and Lisa Jones Studio – who we would LOVE to have on the site.
Quick questions ...
What is your favourite book?
Helena - Impossible to choose – I'm a readaholic and couldn’t possibly pick one!
Tracy - I too read voraciously – so will go with my most recent favourite which is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
What is your favourite film?
Helena - The film I have seen most often is An Officer and a Gentleman but that was when I was MUCH younger!
Tracy - I will always have a very soft spot for The Sound Music!
What is your favourite album / band or song? All 3 if you want!
Tracy - Favourite album is currently Lana Del Ray’s Born To Die, band is The Arctic Monkeys, song is Crazy in Love by Beyonce – guaranteed to get both me and Helena on the dancefloor!
What is your favourite card or gift brand?
Tracy - Orla Kiely
What is your favourite website or blog?
Tracy - Rockett St George
What can't you live without?
Helena - Sunshine! (although we are having to learn to at the moment!)
What is your guilty pleasure?
Helena - Not particularly guilty about it but love red wine!!