Archive: May 2016

A Look Behind the Scenes of Perkins & Morley Cards and Gifts

Get a Sneak Peek at What Makes Perkins & Morley Cards and Gifts Special.

For our latest ‘Inspiring Independents’ interview we wanted to share what makes Perkins & Morley cards and gifts special. We caught up with Jill Perkins, one half of the fantastic design duo Perkins & Morley to get an exclusive peek behind the scenes of this fab indie.

Perkins & Morley has a built a cool range of design-led greetings cards and gifts that include character, colour, fun, facts and lots more. A world away from their mass produced rivals, Perkins & Morley pride themselves on unique products and amazing customer service.

So without further ado let’s take a closer look at this inspiring indie business and find out more about Perkins & Morley cards and gifts.

What inspired you to start Perkins & Morley? When did you begin?

We were living in the U.K, but working in the U.S. which involved lots of travelling, so we were looking for some way of making a living here. We both love sending greeting cards so six years ago we started designing and publishing a few ranges to test the market and it took off from there.

What can you tell us about your indie business? What sets you apart from your corporate contemporaries?

We try to give really fantastic service. We’re small enough that we can attend to everything ourselves so if there are problems we understand and can immediately put them right. Sometimes customers like dealing with the artists and the owners of the business.

We are also able to do bespoke cards and gifts which some of our customers find very useful.

What’s your role in the business? What’s your favourite things about running an indie business?

I’m a partner in the business with Jan and we both do the designing which we love. We also both really enjoy exhibiting at trade shows. Jan runs P & M and I spend time visiting customers and finding new ones. I like the fact that every day is different and that we can try new ideas very easily.

Are there other people in your business? What can you tell us about the rest of the team?

We’re very small in terms of people – other than me & Jan – everything else is outsourced. We use an excellent VA (virtual assistant) and have a great team of accountants. We work with a great printing company who we have used since we started and they are always coming up with new ideas for products. We work very closely with the company who makes our coasters, clocks & key rings – we are always coming up with new ideas together. We are also enjoying working with a textile screen printing company who are also very keen to work together to come up with new ideas. That is the beauty of working with small companies in the UK – we all help each other.

Here at Piccadilly Lane, we believe that independents offer an amazing combination of unique design and high quality. Do you agree? How do you ensure this happens with Perkins & Morley cards and gifts?

Well as we are the designers we make sure we offer unique cards and gifts. We’ve been designing together for years and are used to providing goods that will sell. Everything is made in Britain which makes it easier to keep an eye on quality. We use some amazing British manufacturers.

You recently exhibited at some of the industry’s Spring shows. Can you tell us about those? What was the reaction to your designs?

We always get a good reaction at the shows. Existing customers know that much of what we exhibit is new each season, and new customers often say that we have unusual designs. We work very hard to keep them fresh.

Many of your cards and gifts feature the animal world. What inspires you about this area of design? Do you plan to continue in this area or can we expect to see other themes in the future?

We both love animals. One of the first conversations we had when we met in college was about the various animals we have owned and the ridiculous names we gave them! The woodland theme is still going strong and so are our general animal themes. We’ve been talking of what we’ll do next. Watch this space!

One of your most popular collections is the ‘Collective Noun’ range. What can you tell us about what inspired these designs and the reaction you’ve had to the collection?

The collective noun idea came out of the blue and we knew we’d hit on a winner. People love to debate on their authenticity. We don’t ever make them up and some of them have been known since Chaucer’s time. Coupled with Jan’s brilliant art work they go from strength to strength.

Perkins & Morley cards and gifts use high quality materials from carefully selected sources. What can you tell us about the craftsmanship involved in creating the range?

The coasters clocks and key rings are made by hand in a small family workshop in Worcester, and they care as much about quality as we do. Our mugs come from deepest Cornwall and another family business who check each mug themselves to ensure that the quality is top notch.

Our tea towels are made in North Yorkshire – they hand screen print and sew the edges giving a very high quality finish.

Our cards are printed in the UK using recycled card with a recycled paper envelope – it is very important to us that we are as eco friendly as possible.

Why should people shop with you? What makes you different?

Our design and our attention to detail. We see our customers as all important and try to make them feel that way.

We LOVE independents and think more people should be supporting them. Why do you think people should shop with independent businesses like yours?

If people want unusual gifts and cards they need to support independents like us. We respond to customer’s needs and make sure we don’t flood an area with our goods. This keeps our products fresh and interesting.

Last but not least, what’s your favourite independent business and why?

Ours of course!!!

Thank you Jill! 

Now you’ve read the interview why not take a peek at the Perkins & Morley cards and gifts collection featured here in the directory.

Posted by Charlotte 8:00 31/05/16
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