Paper Cactus: Help keep my small business alive!

by Paper Cactus Prints in Torrington, England, United Kingdom

Paper Cactus: Help keep my small business alive!

£1,027

raised in 139 days

25

supporters

I'd love some support through the COVID-19 pandemic to raise enough funds so I can continue to keep my small business going!

by Paper Cactus Prints in Torrington, England, United Kingdom

Hello!

Hi, I’m Sam a Devon-based designer, and owner of Paper Cactus Prints, a stationery business aiming to connect people with handcrafted, luxury wedding stationery and more!

Man on a mission

My main aim is to offer beautiful handmade stationery, catering for the DIY bride and groom with 'off the shelf' semi-custom designs as well as my bespoke wedding design service. I've spent many years working alongside luxury brands, which is where a ton of my inspiration comes from! I want my designs to look effortless, timeless and luxurious, sometimes with a quirky edge!

There's a lot of the same aesthetic in the online wedding invitation market right now and I want to jump in with extra oomph using original design and my own illustrations!

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A little bit more about me!

Since graduating with an advertising degree back in 2012 I have worked in several different roles, starting as a marketing intern for a luxury jewellery website, to becoming a senior designer which is where I found my true passion for design!

In May 2019 I took the plunge and went freelance full-time. Over that year I worked on many projects including; UX and web design, visual identity, branding, content creation, art direction, bespoke illustration, print work of all kinds, image retouching as well as visual merchandising and website management!

But...I found myself itching to create and do something that was mine, which I could pour my passion into, a real desire to grow and establish something, although I wasn't sure what!

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Friends getting hitched!

Being of an age where most of my friends are getting married (hello 30!) I stumbled into designing my fair share of wedding stationery. While I initially started doing this for friends, when word got out, I began designing fully bespoke wedding suites for clients! From invites and table plans, to save the dates and bridesmaid cards. Suffice to say I really enjoyed the whole process and so Paper Cactus Prints was born!

After a few months of planning, product testing and designing, I launched my first collection on Etsy at the beginning of this year (bad timing!) you can check it out here > MY STORE

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Where am I now?

It's been a learning curve, and I've loved developing this brand and tapping into the 'DIY Bride' lifestyle - Instagram and Pinterest are a haven for 'brides to be' planning their perfect wedding and it's been great networking with them and bringing their ideas to life!

I equally love that my stationery is something which is ultimately going to be quite special for someone!

I'm seeing regular sales online and I’m super humbled to have reached the 50 sale milestone in this short time, which also includes my greetings cards which I would also love to develop further! But for now, I'm firmly focusing on wedding stationery and looking catch the wave of 2021 brides and grooms!

I also have 6 couples booked in for bespoke wedding design off the back of this which is really exciting!

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Why am I Crowdfunding?

Initially, I was funding all the associated costs through my freelance design income and working crazy hours (well that was the plan anyway!) Unfortunately, I've been impacted quite a bit by COVID-19 and 90% of my client base have understandably paused work indefinitely, most of my clients being on furlough or out of work themselves.

Unfortunately, I hadn't been freelance long enough to secure funding from the government self-employed scheme either.

Without help, I'm unable to cover production costs of new products, fulfil sample orders or order new stock which is why I need your help to raise enough funds so I can continue to expand in the coming months.

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How will I spend the money?

Any support will be so gratefully received. My main cost at the moment comes from printing and product testing as well as ordering and sending samples. I never launch with a product until it's been printed professionally and I love it myself! In my opinion, the design is half of what makes stationery while the tangible qualities such as a hammered textured card or a beautiful envelope liner make up the rest.

I have also had a number of companies and clients get in touch for samples and bespoke request for wedding photoshoots. I want to make sure I am always able to fulfil these potential opportunities and capitalise on social media shoutouts and potential collaborations and orders from their clients or suppliers!

  • New vellum wedding collection: £300
  • Adding new designs to my semi-custom suites: £500
  • Adding 'on the day' stationery to my offerings: £200 
  • Advertising for Etsy and social media: £400
  • More samples print runs for my existing designs: £350

Vellum Collection

Vellum printing is fairly new to the game of wedding stationery! With a translucent finish, it's ideal when paired with additional paper layers and it comes out on top in term of search traffic! I've had a lot of messages and request about this on my Instagram!

My idea is to have a number of original illustrated layers for a couple to choose from as well as bespoke prints, with the vellum invite and print held together with a metal eyelet! See below for prototypes!

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Where do I want to be?

First and foremost I will be spending some time adding to my semi-custom collections online, as well as continuing my bespoke wedding design service. 

I currently have 6 couples booked in for bespoke design for end-of-year and 2021 weddings, I would like to see this doubled by the end of September 2020, gaining new clients from social media exposure, my online store as well as collaborations within the wedding industry!

By January 2021 and beyond I would love to have the online presence socially and launch Paper Cactus on my own e-commerce website. I have vast experience with Shopify and would look to host my store on that platform, with the option of 'off the shelf' wedding stationery as well as a fully bespoke service.

I also plan to take part in my first wedding fair next year locally in Devon and have had some exciting conversations with fellow event organisers and people within the industry about this!

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Testimonials:

Cannot recommend Sam enough. He is absolutely amazing at his job and takes pride in everything he does. From start to finish he made our wedding stationery easy to organise and stress-free. Nothing is too big for Sam and whatever you throw at him he comes back with great ideas and designs. Thank you again Sam. Absolute legend  Beth Fishwick

Sam produced some absolutely fantastic bespoke Wedding invitations. Sam made the process so easy and was always happy to adjust the design and give his expert opinion. We can't thank Sam enough, he did such a great job. Ian jones

First messaged Sam when I saw his ‘free change of date’ cards advertised for anyone who has postponed due to Coronavirus. He took my existing wedding stationery (save the date and invites) and got a new design drawn up and sent over really quick. It was so amazing and exactly in the style, we wanted we decided to get them printed. The quality of them is incredible and we can’t wait to post them to our guests! I can’t recommend this company enough for their talent and fantastic customer service. Thanks, Sam - Etsy Customer

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The rewards

By making a pledge you will be directly funding for the continued growth of Paper Cactus Prints, So I'd love to offer you the chance of your own bespoke stationery designs, branding work and other design bits! For non-stationary related pledges, it's probably easier to check out examples of my work HERE but I'll also post some examples below!

Otherwise, you can simply make a donation for any amount and know that you're playing a key part in helping me expand!

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Lastly, please help me to spread the word by sharing on your social media channels and giving me a follow! You can find Paper Cactus on Facebook  Instagram and Pinterest!

For me to reach my target would mean the absolute world, thanks for your support and pledges!

All the best,  Sam

Questions

For tangible rewards which countries do you ship to? I can deliver globally, but can't guarantee delivery dates outside of the UK. But these guidelines are a good indication of expected delivery dates

  • United Kingdom - 1-3 business days
  • United States of America - 7- 10 business days
  • Europe - 3-7 business days

If you are unsure drop me an email at papercactusprints@gmail.com

Can I pledge on more than one reward? Definitely - you can pledge on as many rewards as you like! 

I like the sound of some of your graphics rewards, what do you need from me? Great! If you pledge on a graphics-based reward such as a logo or web design I'll just need a brief from you and I'll take it from there!

Remember I'll have your contact details, so if there's something more I need from you I'll be in touch!

I like the sound of some bespoke wedding stationery! What do you need to get going? Brilliant! If you pledge on some bespoke wedding stationery I'll be in touch shortly after. Something floral and rustic? Maybe minimal typography is your thing! Having a festival-themed wedding? Or perhaps you've seen something in my store, but you'd like it in a different colour! Either way, we'll be working together to create a design that's personal and perfect for you and your wedding!

Why don't the bespoke stationery pledges include printing? Put simply, I can't fully predict how much a print job will be. It depends on quantity, which stock suits the design, down to which envelopes you'd prefer!

But, I will more than happily get any design work you pledge on printed at cost price, for whenever you need it printed!

How can I pay you for printing? If I've designed your wedding stationery, it only makes sense that I facilitate the printing at cost price! Once you're happy with the designed stationery and ready to print I'll simply price up and send you a Paypal link! Once paid I'll put your order through which will be with you within 2 working days!

What if I need something quicker than expected delivery? I have set most timings to the beginning of July as default, but if you have something which is time-sensitive please don't hesitate to get in touch and I'll make it happen!

Please feel free to email me at papercactusprints@gmail.com if I've not covered something you'd like to know! Equally, if you want to chat anything stationery or have any advice, I'd love to hear from you!

Let's make 'Paper Cactus: Help keep my small business alive!' happen

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