What is Just A Card?
It’s an amazing campaign supporting small creative businesses (like me)! It’s all about encouraging people to shop small and to support independent businesses, both online and on the high street, by making small purchases such as just a card, just a pen, just a notebook (you get the idea). Every single sale helps and makes a real difference to that independent business not just financially, but emotionally too.
It all started when Sarah Hamilton an artist and designer (and founder of just a card) saw a quote by a gallery owner who’d recently closed down ‘’If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought ‘just a card’ we’d still be open’’. This prompted her to take action for all creatives!
Sarah Hamilton and the rest of the Just A Card team are celebrating JAC’S third Birthday this week and have created a week-long Instagram challenge. I’m now on day 2 and the prompt is…
‘What our message means to you’
The Just A Card campaign has come at a perfect time for me personally, as it helps to explain to friends, family, customers (and to anyone else who’ll listen) just how important every single sale is, big or small!
Basically, I developed my hobby into a business out of a necessity, not out of a desire to ‘be my own boss’. I have an invisible illness called Chiari Malformation Syringomyelia (a brain condition) which likes to flare up without warning and can make simple tasks quite difficult. So, working for myself is perfect, I get to do a job I enjoy and that works around my health problems.
For the last year I’ve had financial support from Universal Credits, under the agreement I have to be making full time minimum wage (20hrs in my case) in a year’s time or I have to look for a ‘real’ job. Now it’s nearly been a year and I’m definitely not earning minimum wage. Realistically that was never going to happen, very few businesses make minimum wage in the first year and even fewer (if any) creative businesses do. That being said it doesn’t mean I'm never going to make money or that I should give up trying after just a year (Universal Credits think a little differently though).
Obviously, I have no intentions of giving up my little business. 1) because I don’t feel as though I’ve given it a good enough chance to work and 2) because my health problems make me unemployable.
So, from next month I won’t have the extra pennies coming in from Universal credits, although this is a little daunting it just makes me more determined to make it work and the Just A Card campaign has given me a little boost just at the right time, so thank you Sarah Hamilton and the rest of the Just A Card team!!
Remember to follow the Just A Card hashtag on Instagram, there’s so many amazing and inspiring creatives to be found and also please help to spread the ‘Just A Card’ word!
Thank you for reading,