Ginger Betty began about five years ago and now sends product all across the UK and as far afield as Australia and the US. Owner Tracey Colliston talks to us about her journey
Ginger Betty started around five years ago, when my husband Pete and I decided to combine our creative skills and begin our own greeting card company. I’d been illustrating for various greeting card companies for many years and Pete’s background is in design, advertising and marketing. The time was right to begin working together and doing what we’re best at!
At the same time that we were trying to think of a name for our new venture, our daughter Amy was leaving home for university. As a young girl, Amy loved to watch me sketching and illustrating cute animals, birds and imaginary little worlds, while she held her small rag doll with ginger hair, which she named ‘Ginger Betty’. She used to take Betty everywhere with her, so this name seemed like a perfect fit, and Ginger Betty was born.
We began with a small range of Owl’s Nest cards, which customers found endearing straight away. The range has grown and the offering has expanded into a much larger card collection, keepsake cards, plaques and gift wrap. Owl’s Nest won the best cute range at The Henries in 2021, and the License This competition, gaining recognition throughout the greeting card and licensing industries.
Across the world
Ginger Betty now supplies more than 500 independent retailers in the UK, distributes in Europe and Australia, licenses in the US and has recently begun to supply The National Trust. Recently we have moved to fulfilment, which allows us to be more creative and do what we love.
I paint the designs in watercolour and find using paints physically really helps to capture feelings and expression in the illustrations. The board we print on is very similar to the watercolour paper used, so it feels authentic.
Our style is distinctive in that it’s cute with a modern edge, bridging a gap that appeals to both the traditional and the more contemporary retailer, and both young and old, making it really versatile. We aim to convey feelings in a gentle manner; not too ‘gushy’ but just the right level to create an emotion that connects with people. The delicate illustrations and thoughtful words make a lovely combination; it’s more than just a card, you’re buying into a feeling.
Our keepsake cards feature more words and are a lovely little card to keep in a purse or wallet as a reminder. The captions are relevant, and offer a bit of support, encouragement, or a virtual hug!
We are adding to this range in the coming weeks, with various caption requests from customers.
Words and More
With the success of the keepsake cards, we moved on to adding more words to our standard cards, and launched the Words and More range. These have proved popular and again will be added to, to increase the offering.
In contrast, our Little Windows collection is a blank contemporary range, which allows the customer to choose their own emotion. These have four different coloured envelopes and add a point of difference to our ranges. We also have ‘Sunshine on Leaf’, a photographic, felted range of 12 designs.
Our bestselling range continues to be Owl’s Nest, which we are constantly adding to! The more open captions in the range feature our signature debossed leaf, and the relations captions have a wooden leaf attached to add a point of value. Our current baby designs do particularly well, which has led us on to design a new concept – Baby Betty – a new collection that we’re so excited to launch at PG Live this year. The range will feature baby Owl’s Nest images, have delicate debossing and will cover various formats and captions.
Please come and take a look, we will be exhibiting at PG Live, London on June 6-7, stand 424, and at Harrogate Home and Gift, July 16 -19, stand D68, DP1.