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the giftware association


The Giftware Association met up with Louisa Aspinall from The Pop Out Card Company to talk about their past, the present and the future

Can youtell us a bit more about your company?  

The Pop Out Card Company is a greeting card and stationery brand which was founded by Jonathan Aspinall in late 2011.  Having studied a product & furniture design degree at Northumbria university, Jonathan has a creative background and really enjoys taking everyday items and giving them a unique twist.  This can be seen in his namesake product, the pop out card, which is a card and a gift in one.  Each comes with a miniature greeting card and a keepsake model for the recipient to make.

I (Jonathan’s wife, Louisa ????) started working for the company officially in the summer of last year.  However, prior to that, I had spent 5 years playing Santa’s little helper at trade shows and the like.  I’m really enjoying working alongside Jonathan and knew that my bean counting skills and love of all things admin would come in handy one day!  We’re also really proud of the fact that we can now say that the business is family-run.

A Selection of the design from the Pop Out Card Company

  • Louisa and Jonathan

  • Louisa and Jonathan in trade show mode

Who is your audience?

Our audience arepeople who are looking for something a little bit different from everyday greetingcards.

How longhave you been trading and what is the history of the company?

The brand started with the design of just one pop out cardwhich Jonathan’s brother and sister-in-law (who run their own stationery andgiftware brand) took along to a Christmas fair to sell alongside their ownproducts in late 2011.  It went downreally well with their customers which began a coffee-fuelled creative flurryand the creation of many more pop out card designs.  That very first design came in the form of aChristmas dove and we still produce that design all these years on although,its appearance has changed a little over the years. 

What threewords best describe your business and its products?

Quirky, fun and different.

The original Christmas Dove Design

Where doyou find your inspiration?

Jonathan’sinspiration comes from taking everyday items and giving them a unique twist.  We often take suggestions from retail customerstoo as they know their customers and what they like best.

Do you usesocial media to promote your business? How has this landscape changed overthe years within the home and gift industry?

Yes.  When we first started to use social mediaplatforms, we used Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.  We quickly learned that some of theseplatforms lend themselves to promoting our products better than others and are currentlyfocussing on just Facebook and Instagram. 

The social media landscape has changed significantly over the years.  What started out as platforms designed very much for personal use, have now grown into opportunities for business to promote themselves.

Do you doany advertising/PR?

We don’tcurrently do any advertising/PR but it is something that we are definitely interestedin pursuing.

What doyou wish you’d known at the very beginning of starting your business that youknow now?

Jonathan often jokes that he would tell his younger self “don’t do it!”.  In all seriousness, we think knowing your own limitations are key.  When you first start out, you essentially have to be a jack of all trades but making sure you bring the right people onboard to allow you to do what you do best which, in Jonathan’s case is designing, is so important.

Do youfeel the economic climate is improving or is it getting tougher to trade?

Although wehave noticed that some retailers are more cautious when it comes to gift andgreetings buying, on the whole, we have found that the majority of ourstockists have adopted the very British attitude of ‘keep calm, drink tea andcarry on’ which we admire.

What doyou see as being the biggest problem for giftware suppliers in the gift industry?

We think thatthe biggest problem for giftware suppliers within the gift industry is that itis a particularly competitive industry. More topically, the call to action from retailers and direct consumers forgiftware products to be more eco-friendly has presented a challenge.   

If we could help you with one aspect of your business,what would that be?

Advice regarding advertising and also email marketing geared towards consumers would be great.

What are you looking to achieve in 2020?

In 2020, we are looking at our options to expand ourcore product range of greeting cards as well as ideas for new stationery productsaltogether – watch this space!

A big focus for us this year is to make our products more environmentally friendly and we are looking at our options for materials, particularly cellos, in a drive to be more eco-minded.  We do our best to recycle and repair at home and we want to ensure that we are doing the same within the business too.

You can find out more about the Pop Out Card Company at their website here -

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