'If everyone who'd complimented my beautiful gallery had bought
JUST A CARD we'd still be open'
For over a year now I've had work on display and for sale at Artologie in the West Sussex village of Cuckfield. In this time I have become friends with the owner, celebrated sales of my work that came out of the clear blue (I wasn't involved till it was over), and learned second-hand something about running an independent high street shop in an online era.
Add those experiences to the hours of time and pockets of money I have spent organising, running, and participating in my own market stalls, exhibitions, and open house events over the last 20 years - often with no sales at all to show for it - and you'll begin to understand my passion for the "Just a Card" campaign, or as it you will see it most often referenced in my Social Media posts and shares ...
I make pictures because making pictures makes me happy, but selling is a whole different kettle of fish. Don't get me wrong! I seriously love the after-sale joy of wrapping an order and sending it off, but asking people straight out to buy my work ... that pushes me way beyond my comfort zone. And if you think differently, that just goes to prove how very adept I am at changing the subject.
Which is why I love the Just a Card campaign. It sums up exactly how little it takes from each of us to make a group impact in supporting and sustaining an artist, maker, or independent shop dear to our heart. It also gives us all an achievable and actionable target which reminds us that every purchase we make (no matter how small) makes a difference to the artists, makers, and shop keepers we know.
So, every time you see the hashtag, a sticker, or the pin pictured below ... or even if you don't see them but remember this post and the bird and leaf logo, remember that you don't need to buy a lot to make someone's day: Just a Card.
Of course, if you can afford more and depending on the situation, you may also buy Just a Print, Just a Mug, Just a Pillow, Just a Scarf, and/or Just a Random-Small-Something-Handmade-By-Someone-You-Know. And if the work in front of you isn't to your taste ... recommend them to someone you think will love their work and ask the maker who they would recommend for what you're looking for.
The thing I've noticed about everyone involved in the Just A Card campaign is this - we love it when you buy from us AND we also love it when you buy from other independent shops and/or independent makers. We are a very cooperative bunch and without the support network we provide for each other, our work would be less than it is and your shopping options poorer. So remember, the eco-system MATTERS!
For more about the Just A Card campaign in their own words and to find badges, stickers, and other merchandise in support of the Just A Card campaign please visit their website at justacard.org and follow them on Instagram and Twitter.
So, now you know why I am such a passionate a supporter of the campaign, please stop into Artologie if you're local and, for those further a field, browse my website while you're here. Even if, especially if, you're only looking for just a card ...
It is #JustACard #IndieWeek after all and I can't wait to wrap your order and send it off.
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And of course, going into your local independent shops and buying from your favourite indie makers (even if they aren't me or mine) is another fabulous way to celebrate the week and kick off your gift buying season with indie style! 😊