She designs He prints
Not knowing whether something will work out can seem like too big a risk to try something new, but not for Alison and Brian, the owners of newly established greeting card company She Designs, He Prints.
The couple’s greeting card business was set up during COVID-19 to replace the commercial printing business they lost when businesses closed and events stopped.
“Ink on paper became virtually obsolete as soon as the virus hit. Overnight we lost 90% of our commercial business,” Alison said.
It was then that she got the idea to leverage her ‘doodling habit’ to create something they both felt passionate about.
With a print house employing 5 staff, they had the tools to launch their greeting card business at their disposal.
“It has been a very steep learning curve, getting our heads around social media, building our brand, selling online and managing daily distribution, but it’s been hugely rewarding,” Alison says.
Their cards have a hometown feel, with captions like ‘mind yourself,’ ‘it’ll be grand’ and ‘you’re deadly.’ Although she says they launched with no idea where it was going, the reaction to their cards was instantly positive. “In a very competitive market we took that positivity and ran with it,” she says.
Demand for her products grew beyond her expectations during lockdown, with independent businesses contacting them for inclusion in hamper packs and in their own online offerings. She took it as a huge endorsement of the quality of her products and says she feels so grateful for the support.
“During the pandemic, everyone seemed to embrace old school methods. We wrote letters and cards, bought stamps and posted them…we had so many great feedback emails saying how much our cards made people smile.”
The company’s growing popularity led to a collaboration with an Irish textile printing company to create illustrated tea towels, including their Dublin Phrases tea towel, which she says is a popular gift from home to family and friends living abroad. They’re now developing a range of mugs, totes and notebooks.
She Designs, He Prints greeting cards are currently stocked in 11 places as well as being available to buy on their own website.
The couple hopes to keep the synergy of the two sides of their business feeding each other as we gradually emerge from COVID.
“Supporting local is our business,” says Alison. As an Irish print and design company, they rely solely on local businesses to keep them going and in return, she says, they support them 100%.
“We have always relied on support from other small independent businesses and build relationships that last by supporting each other,” she says.
Their brand is about keeping it local and sustainable and they use Irish materials, suppliers and outlets.
During lockdown, the team printed support materials for hospitals and pharmacies but she says the best thing they were involved in was a support scheme run by nurses and volunteers called ‘Made with Love.’
“Nurses and volunteers crocheted pairs of hearts, one given to the family and one given to the patient in hospital, each with a card illustrated and designed by us,” she says.
To see more from She Designs, He Prints visit their website here.
Champion Green is supported by KilkennyShop and Visa Ireland, in association with SFA Ireland, Retail Excellence Ireland and Chambers Ireland.