Moo.com Mini Cards

Moo!

In the spirit of bigging up things that I think are really rather ace, I thought I’d do a little bit of a post on Moo.com, the home of beautiful business cards.

A few months ago, I decided to turn to Twitter for a bit of advice on business cards and where to buy them. I always like to get opinions from people, because there are SO MANY PLACES that offer business cards, at a million different price points. Being an aesthetically-driven girl, I knew that I was willing to pay a bit more to get some really decent cards. The kind of things I do – writing, designing, creating – need to be represented by a good, creative card.

I garnered opinions, and most people mentioned Moo. A few said Vista Print, mentioning it was cheaper, but I’m a bit of a snob and I’ve handled these cards before and am really not keen on them. They’re fine if you’re a certain type of business, but if you’re in the creative industries or really want to make an impression with your cards, use Moo. The options are endless with Moo – you have double sided cards, either business or mini cards, and with the business cards you can have either square edges or rounded. You can also opt for ‘green’ paper, which is more environmentally sound but still good quality. They have a range of other products, but I’m just going to talk about the ones I’ve tested myself.

Anyway, I sort of knew what I wanted, and that I was going to try out the mini cards, but then I heard on the grapevine that if you signed up for Klout.com, you could get a free pack of 100 mini cards. I’d never used Klout before, but it basically measures your influence across social media. I signed up and it spouted out a score of 44, which was apparently enough for me to get my cards. I breezed through to the site, uploaded my designs (you can choose up to 100, ideal for photographers and designers), cropped and zoomed them till they were the right size, then completed the backs. It’s all very easy and user-friendly.

I decided to just do the whole thing as a test run, seeing as I was getting the cards for free, so I picked a selection of my own illustrations as well as some photos of my jewellery, just to test whether they’d print up well. I’m generally very happy with the quality of the prints, although the photos are a little darker than I’d like, but I think that’s an issue from my end.

Price-wise, I got 100 mini cards for £3.90 (just paying for shipping). I then had an email from ‘Little Moo’, saying my cards had only been laminated on one side, so they’d send me the first lot, but then another 100 free of charge. I’d opted for the standard delivery, and my first lot turned up within about three days, well before the date they’d stated. I also purchased 100 business cards, including shipping, at about £16. All in all, I am a happy bunny.

Moo.com is a fun, quirky site that will appeal to you if you appreciate the creative side of life, and want a really good quality business card that can be a talking point. I’ve come over all Patrick Bateman about mine (no murdering yet, though.)

If I had to criticise anything, I would say that a couple of times I’ve had a message ping up on the screen saying ‘Sorry, something went wrong! Please contact our customer service team!’ It’s usually when I’ve been just about to place my order, or finalise it. It’s a little frustrating and quite worrying, but hasn’t actually caused any problems – I never lost the cards I was working on or anything. And then the printing error – even though I think all my cards are totally usable, and I’m very excited about getting another 100, what if they weren’t ok? And you’d ordered your cards specially for an urgent function? But those are my only two issues, and obviously the printing error is a blip and not something that happens everytime, and they have handled it extremely well.

Anyway, because you are my readers, and you are bathed in yummy honey-coloured sunlight, I have a discount code for you! Simply click this link, and you can get 10% off your order with Moo.com: http://www.moo.com/share/q78mz6

Go on, treat yourself. Specially with the Mini Cards, because I feel a bit like Business Barbie holding them!

Executive love,

Amelia xx

Small Business

Happy Monday, dear readers. I promised you a break from the incessant talking about Tracy Anderson, frozen treats, and calories. (Although, if you wanted to know, today I did half an hour of Tracy’s cardio, and I nearly died, but I still love her, and I also made some frozen yogurt, and…oh. Ok.)

No, today, I am going to talk about something a bit different. Ah yes. The small business. I never thought that a year on from working in a call centre, and 6 months after working as an ad agency drone, I’d be doing what I’m doing: designing and making my own jewellery, and building my own website to sell from online. The ideas just slowly clicked into place – my course in fashion design at Central St Martins, my love of all things techie, my obsessive love of fashion, my strong convictions about how to promote yourself as a company, my strict aesthetic tastes….Combine that with the fact that I can NEVER find the jewellery I want to wear, and you’ve got it. Bingo.

Now, I’m not kidding myself. We’re in a double dip recession, apparently (‘sounds yums’ as Giles Wemmbley Hogg says), the luxury market is holding firm but it’s the small retailers who get hit, the people who make and sell their own things, etc etc. Ebay has become a complete buyers market. Everything is disaster. Doom, gloom, sob. I’m keeping expectations low – I don’t for one moment think I’ll be able to make enough to live on, and equally, I wouldn’t want this to be the only thing I do.

But setting apart the thorny issue of money, the things I have learnt in the past couple of months have been infinitely more valuable than what I learnt in any job so far. I didn’t realise how much I’d have to learn. I sat, furrowed of brow and square eyed, working out how to install WordPress onto my domain name. I learnt technical terms I’d never come across before. With the help of Youtube, I worked hard at learning how to build a website that looked the way I wanted, as opposed to using the disastrous Website Builder that came with my domain name. I had a specific idea of what I wanted, and I wasn’t going to stop until I got there.

It’s been infinitely more hard than I expected. I’ve worked for 16 hours straight, not moving from my computer screen. My head is full of ideas and thoughts, and I’ve long since sacrificed a good night of sleep for my overactive imagination. I’ve had to be everything, designer, maker of the jewellery, stylist, photographer, website builder, PR girl, and all before the website has even launched! Despite the fact that I no longer go into an office to work, I’ve worked more than double the hours of my former, exhausting Account Exec role. I work most of the weekend, and when I come offline I still work on things on my phone. Or sketch a design. Or start planning my next collection. Or work some costs out.

And this is for THE TINIEST BUSINESS IN THE WORLD! I have so much respect for anyone who does this, because it is TOUGH. I’ve started reading all those articles on young people who’ve started up a company, on a scale much bigger than me, and it’s very inspiring. And there are loads of you out there! I know, because I follow a lot of you on Twitter!

Despite the hard work, I’ve kept powering on because ultimately, I get the final say in everything. I haven’t ever had this kind of freedom in my working life. Should that header be Century Gothic? I say yes. I’ll change it. Don’t like the copy on one page? No worries, I’ll change it. I choose the way everything looks, feels, reads. Yes, I’m a complete control freak. But it’s intoxicating. I love doing it. I want to keep doing it. I can be as creative or ‘out there’ as I like, and there’s no one standing over me to reign me in (hopefully, this is a good thing!)

Every day in the UK, I hear bad news about unemployment figures for young people. This is the time to try something different. I don’t want to get into a full time office job and be all fidgety because I didn’t do what I wanted when I had the chance. I’ve learned more new skills doing this than I know what to do with, and it’s helped me understand which sides of a business I’m better at, and which I need help with. I’ve had fantastic support from friends, not least of all my wonderful friend Mikey who waded in when I was about to break the internet, and saved the day.

So, for all of you entrepreneurs out there, I think you’re ace. Let me know what you do, and how you’ve found it.

 

 

Upper East Side

For the past couple of months, I’ve been busily working on getting a jewellery line together, which I’ll eventually be selling via my own website, www.uppereast.co.uk (up and running very soon, I absolutely promise). For now, here’s a little teaser for my first collection. It’s not finished at the moment, a complete and utter work in progress, but I put together a little video just to tease it. Take a look!

Shine on, you crazy diamond

I’ve had this urge to create things pushing away at me for ages, and this week I finally got completely inspired. I’m designing and creating my own jewellery range, which I’ll be selling online, hopefully by the end of the month. I’ve got a name, but I’m keeping it under wraps for now. Being a complete and utter magpie, I can’t wait to get knee deep in Swarovski crystals, gold charms and feathers. I’ve got a couple of collections I’m working on, but for now, here are some sneaky preview drawings I did. As you can see, I’m already using one as my background…