Happy end of April everybody! April is my birthday month and this year we had the most perfect sunshine to celebrate. It was mostly full of eating and walking which are two of my favourite things to do and I’m heading into my 30th year around the sun with big hopes and plans for life and for the business.
More importantly though, April is Earth Month. Each year when Earth Month arrives, it is both an opportunity to stop and take some time to be in awe of all the life on our planet, all the wildernesses that coexist and the tiniest details that have taken millions of years to reach their current point in evolution. But it is also to reflect on what more we must do to restore and preserve it.
One of our company values is to give back more than we take. With this in mind, we passionately believe that small businesses are the lifeblood of our society and economy and the future of sustainable consumerism. Small businesses have big ideas and the agility and drive to see them through whilst committing to ethical and small batch production, sourcing only sustainable materials, creating meaningful employment and offering the highest quality service.
We work almost exclusively with small, local businesses as our supplier, manufacturing and fulfilment partners and are proud to stock our cards in independent shops across the country, who are pillars of their local communities.
In addition to our commitment to sustainable practises within our own production process, we have partnerships with two extraordinary organisations whose work is directly restoring habitats and saving lives.
Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
A charity very close to my heart... The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust operates a multi-faceted approach to conservation, but they are best known for their 'Orphans' Project', the first and most successful elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world.
I was lucky enough to visit the elephant orphanage in Nairobi whilst I was still at uni and it was my inspiration to start painting animals for the very first time. For my Final Major Project of my degree I wrote and illustrated a picture book about an orphan elephant called Tibbo, and many years later, elephants are still my favourite animal to observe and paint and are some of our bestselling designs.
We donate 1% of our annual turnover to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to help support their mission to conserve, preserve and protect wildlife and habitats in Kenya.
Eden Reforestation Projects
Eden are a not-for-profit organisation whose primary goal is to lift people out of extreme poverty, whilst reducing the negative effects of deforestation, and in doing so, Eden have also become a model for environmental restoration and land management.
For every order submitted through our website, Eden plant one tree and with our wholesale customers, one tree is planted for every 12 cards sold. At the end of March we had planted 192,061 trees which equates to 1920 days of work for villagers in some of the poorest parts of the world. I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed that our April figure might start with a 2!
We celebrated Earth Day over on Instagram by doing a huge original illustration giveaway! Seven original illustrations in total, one animal for each continent of the world - the sleeping fox and baby elephant illustration were the clear winners as most people’s favourites.
April was also the month we saw our indie stockists open their doors after many months of being closed. The last year certainly seems to have cemented in people’s minds the importance of supporting small businesses and shopping with local companies and we hope our customers will have a brilliant summer of sales as a result.
In the studio, I’ve been working on a variety of projects… we’ll be launching new cards and prints in July, so I’ve been developing those. All the design work for our distributor Christmas orders happens in April for me, and this involves translating our designs into three new languages and is a bit of a brain boggling task - but I can’t wait to see all the proofs of the final designs. I’ve had some special wedding invitations to create for friends too and finally got around to a home diy tile project - watch the full video for that here!