It is a daunting prospect to branch out and start your own business but things must be a little easier when you have your best friend by your side.
Which is why Preston girls, Suzanne McGarry and Emma Baines have decided to try and make their mark on the card-making world.
Suzanne, 23, from Lostock Hall and Emma, 24, from Leyland were struck by inspiration while working on their own gifting ideas.
Emma says, “I’ve always made cards for people for birthdays and other occasions which were very much picture based and Suzanne has always written poems for occasions.”
Picking up where her friend left off, which they often do, Suzanne continues, “When our friend moved away I was writing a poem for her and I text Emma saying, ‘I think we’re missing a trick here, you’re off making her a card, I’m making her a poem - let’s join forces. So we did.”
The pair, who grew up in Preston and attended All Hallows and Newman College, set up ‘SuzyG & Little B’ and began to make their cards in September.
Four weeks later their quirky designs were such a hit local businesses began to sell them.
And with Christmas being just around the corner, their range of festive funnies have been selling like hot cakes.
Emma, who works full-time as a graphic designer, says, “We have sold close to 300 Christmas cards and with those sales people are beginning to see the rest of the range but I think Christmas is at the front of everyone’s minds at the minute.
“People who buy from us will tell their family, who will tell their friends, so a lot of our sales come from word of mouth.”
Suzanne continues, “A girl contacted me on Twitter saying she’d just seen our cards and how could she get hold of more so social networking is really good for causing a bit of hype too.”
Like any fledgling business, the girls have had some setbacks with some negative feedback about missing the Christmas card deadline but where some people may throw the towel in, the girls have each other to lean on.
Suzanne, who works at a maths teacher at their old high school, All Hallows, says, “I think because we’re in it together when we do have setbacks we’re alright and we perk each other up and encourage each other.”
The girls are each other’s biggest fans and though the cards have to fit in around their full-time jobs, they couldn’t think of a better way to earn a few extra pennies.
Suzanne says, “Emma has the harder job because once the cards have been printed she’ll glitter them all by hand.
“She’ll send me photos of the spare bedroom at her house and it will just be a mound of cards with the caption ‘100 glittered’.”
Emma continues,“But equally Suzanne has been doing all the marketing and promotion and trying to get in contact with suppliers and getting the cards out there so it’s all equalled out.”
Ambitions and aspirations are high for Suzanne and Emma but for now they’re happy to promote their local roots and support their new found local business network.
Emma says, “Ideally a national chain such as Paperchase or Hallmark would be a great stepping stone to really make a difference but at the same time it’s great to show that we are just two Preston girls who have their stock in local shops and we’re supporting local businesses.”
Suzanne adds, “It’s caused a bit of a buzz around our family and friends too because everyone is behind us and we’re from Preston so they want to hopefully be part of our success story.”
The SuzyG & Little B card range can be found at:
• Coppers Tea Room, Leyland
• No.77 Creative Hair, Leyland
• Peppermint Cottage, Leyland
The girls can also be contacted via their email address: firstname.lastname@example.org and their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/suzyglittleb