Thinking Outside The Letter Box
Mum of three and new self-styled entrepreneur, Josie Hall of Hemel Hempstead, has decided to go it alone in the field of greetings cards.
The idea took fruition after Mrs Hall went to purchase a birthday card for her friend, Tabitha. After a prolonged and exhaustive search, Josie came to the conclusion that women were being unfairly stereotyped and that card manufacturers seemed to think that “women who have birthdays” (Josie’s words) are only interested in getting off their faces on Prosecco, shopping till they drop or obsessing over chocolate.
We met Josie at her home who explained further…
…“Tabitha isn’t into such things and doesn’t even like cats; I had no alternative but to pick a blank card which I knew she would find impersonal, and she can be prone to psychotic episodes. My heart was in my mouth as she opened the card but luckily she had just opened a card from her husband which conveyed to her his deepest sympathies on her loss rather than birthday wishes, so her attention was diverted; the ensuing atmosphere between Tabitha and James gave me the chance to escape. To be honest I was lucky to get out unscathed.”
Josie goes on…
…“I made a promise to myself there and then that come Tabitha’s next birthday I’d be able to present her with a meaningful card which brought together her love of talking about bowel movements and her obsession with Philip Schofield.”
A similar situation occurred which confirmed to Josie there was a significant gap in the market.
“My friend, Helen’s sister-in-law, has a particular interest in the fashion of the 1920’s and adores guinea pigs, but when out shopping for her card we just couldn’t find anything suitable which incorporated both elements. We asked a member of staff at Clinton Cards. They looked at me like I’d taken leave of my senses.”
At this point Josie’s memory appeared to become hazy on subsequent events at the well-known card outlet, but she perked up somewhat when we inquired about the name of the business she hopes will set the world of greetings cards alight.
“I’ve named it, ‘Bespoke greetings cards for women who don’t wish to be stereotyped or fit into a category’; I wanted something catchy and to the point.”
On such companies as Moonpig and Funkypigeon, Josie commented, “any idiot can stick a name on a card, but what can you do if you have a friend who has a particular fondness for Benedict Cumberbatch and beetroot – where can you go? Now I have it covered.”
A representative for Clinton Cards told us…
…“There was an incident in one of our stores where a lady was complaining we didn’t stock birthday cards depicting pets wearing flapper dresses. She then left, forcibly knocking over the Yankee Candle display.”
Josie vehemently denied such a debacle took place and on the advice of her solicitor declined to comment in any way on what she deemed, “the Yankee skanky doodle dandy candle smell like shit whatever they’re called fiasco,” apart from to say, “I accidentally walked into the display as I had become somewhat disorientated due to my frustration and it was in a ridiculous position anyway and was quite frankly an accident waiting to happen.”
At the time of going to print Tabitha’s husband, James is said to be out of ICU and Josie is keen to embark on broadening her range to include a ‘glad you’re not in a critical condition anymore’ line.
Emma Deeley for Pf Magazine