A Look Behind the Scenes of Mrs L Cards

mrs L cards website

An ‘Inspiring Indies’ Interview with Mrs L Cards.

For this week’s ‘Inspiring Independents’ Interview we chatted to Carol Lewcock, founder of Mrs L Cards. Carol shared the inspiration behind her company and an insight into the creative community.

What inspired you to start Mrs L Cards? When did you begin?

mrs L cards initially began as a hobby. I am a trained graphic designer and wanted to do something slightly different to what I was doing in the 9-5 job. I wanted to produce something that pleased me rather than a client. I designed about 4 cards using the repetition of an image in different colours. I knew of Etsy from purchasing there myself and could see that I could showcase these designs with little initial outlay. I remember vividly listing the cards on a saturday and the following day 1 of the 4 had been bought by a girl in the US. I literally screamed with excitement. mrs L cards was born.

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

I think a possible difference is that there is a massive amount of passion behind my business. mrs L cards is my baby and each product is a part of me. I think I may be a bit of a perfectionist and this translates within mrs L cards. I want every item that leaves my studio to be perfect. I want every customer to feel like they have dealt with a real human being if they have queries and I want them to also realise that their custom is extremely important, because it is.

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

My role is that of professional juggler! Ultimately I am the designer but I am also an administrator, business planner, stock buyer,customer services etc. By far the best thing about running my business is that I am in control (most of the time) and I am doing it for me. I am the driving force. I remember hearing a quote

“When you work for someone else you are working on their dream, when you work for yourself you are working on your own dream”.

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

Yes, I have freelancers that help me, thankfully! My sister helps me 3 days a week with the day to day running, pretty much anything I throw at her she can do.
I have a freelance designer who I call upon when its gets super busy and my girl Friday who helps with all the background preparation to make order turnaround
quicker and easier.

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 at Mrs L Cards?

I do agree yes. I believe small indies have to work harder to get seen. In order to do this we have to up our game and produce something that stands out from the crowd and something that is great quality with a corresponding price point. Personally I am always looking to develop products/lines where I can see gaps in the market. From a quality point of view I try always to use local companies or companies within the UK for supplies and services.

The North-East seems to have played an important role in the development of your business. Do you think there is strong support in the area for indie businesses like yours?

I think there is a tendency to believe that all creative talent is in London however I find there are pockets of unique creative people all across the UK. The North East is my home so it is where I feel safe and ultimately happy. I was lucky enough to win a North East based business award (Best Home Based Business) in 2013 and I think it is wonderful that these kinds of awards exist. They showcase and acknowledge great achievements for both women and for growing businesses.

You currently specialise in greeting cards and prints? What inspires you about this area of design? Do you plan to continue in this area or do you have plans to extend your collection?

The thing that I love about greetings cards is that they are a simple, relatively cheap way to show you care. In this world of screens and technology it is so lovely to see that something so “old school” can still mean so much. In fact I think given the modern world it seems to man more than ever before. I have plans to extend my current card ranges and also plans of how to develop these ranges into other products. However I think cards will always be at the heart of my company. My main aim of this year is to start offering my cards to trade customers.

Your products often feature bright colour palettes. What attracts you to using bold colours in your designs?

I adore colour, to me it brings happiness so I think I use such colours in the hope they give happiness to others. Colour brightens up any day!

Your collection shows great attention to detail and quality. What can you tell us about the craftsmanship involved?

As previously mentioned I am a trained graphic designer so typography and the good use of it is important to me. Good layout and an understanding of typography is what makes the difference between a graphic designer and someone who simply knows how to use a computer. Where my typography prints and cards are concerned this is paramount.

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

Feedback from previous customers shows me that many of my products offer something that they haven’t seen before. I think this is particularly true where my button range of cards and prints are concerned. The personalised birthday and anniversary cards and prints take the recipient on a trip down memory lane and I have had lots of lovely comments about these. To provoke a happy emotional response from customers is simply wonderful. It makes me very happy.

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

I think the main reason to support indies is to support the economy, the country and the future. Independents such as myself employ the services of other people and other business within the UK. Lots of indies are ethical thinkers and do their very best to buy/source locally or within the UK. There are so many creative people out there with so much to offer it would be such a shame not to be 100% behind them.

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

Newton and the Apple, Gemma (the owner)  has such a great USP of using inspiration from nature and science to develop some amazing products. I think the diversity of products Newton and the Applie offer is brilliant.

Thank You Carol!

You’ve read the interview, now check out the indie! Visit the Mrs L Cards website.

Posted by Charlotte 8:00 29/06/15
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