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Norra Cards in 2020 – Recap

A challenging year

2020 has been a confusing and challenging year. Period. Nevertheless, I really hope that the past 12 months also brought many highlights, new discoveries and beautiful moments to all of you.

nature forest trees fog

For me, the past year offered many highs – graduating from a second Master’s program, getting engaged and buying a house in Sweden. Unavoidably it also offered some lows – saying goodbye to friends moving back to their home countries, trying to keep up with self-isolation, the difficulties of getting employed, missing my family and friends in the Netherlands.

Luckily, one project has kept me happily busy during the last months of 2020 – Norra Cards!

Norra Cards – how it started

The idea for Norra Cards started in September, while my boyfriend and I were travelling through the beautiful landscapes of Northern Sweden. Passing so many (!) trees leads to reflection, I guess. During this trip I decided to take the plunge and start my own business, combining my passions for sustainability, painting postcards and getting out into nature. What better way to combine these passions than to create sustainable postcards inspired by Nordic nature?

On our way from one hiking destination to another I already started contacting potential suppliers. I also brainstormed with my boyfriend about potential names for the business and I thought about the designs to create. Pretty soon I determined that the first collection should also include Christmas cards. Just because that would be a great way to kick-off this project!

But wait – this also meant that I had to develop the idea, start a business and have a ready-to-sell product within…… two months after I arrived back from my hiking trip.

Well, challenge accepted!
shallow focus photo of paint brushes

Keep rolling on…

And from then I embarked on a rollercoaster, dear friends.

  • From contacting the first store without having one design finished…..
  • …..to ordering the first batch of cards on Veezel© paper without seeing a sample beforehand.
  • From creating a webshop from scratch, one day before it is supposed to open…..
  • …..to being temporarily sold out when most people are interested in buying them.
  • From feeling extremely excited and energized…..
  • …..to feeling insecure about the product I designed and developed.

But I made it!

Looking back I feel very satisfied, proud and happy that I decided to hop on this rollercoaster even though it felt like quite an impossible planning at the time. The Christmas cards have been selling better than I could imagine and the feedback I received so far has been heart-warming as well. I am really really looking forward to creating new designs (in fact, I almost finished one already!) and improving and expanding Norra Cards.

I love the cards. Although they are on grass paper it is super easy to see what you’ve written. The drawing of the animal is amazingly filigree and the overall card is of high quality.

– Customer feedback

Thank you

>> A BIG THANKS << to all of you who have supported me and who sent the Norra Cards Christmas collection to their family, friends and colleagues. That really means a lot. I also want to thank Drukkerij Holland BV for their great cooperation and for creating such a beautiful paper product.

For now, I wish everyone a bright, inspiring 2021! And don’t forget to send a sustainable postcard to your beloved ones, every now and then 😉

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Collection

Sustainable greeting cards | Hållbara hälsningskort

On this page you will find all Norra Cards that are available or coming up. All cards come with a matching envelope. If you see anything you like, you can place your order via the webshop. If you want to stay updated on new designs, sign up for the newsletter!

Regular collection | Hälsningskort

Individual cards: 30 SEK | €3

Buy 8 cards for 210 SEK | €21

“Take care – Butterfly”

This beautiful butterfly is called “Large blue”. If you wish to deliver some support in the mailbox of someone you care about, this would be the ideal card to send.

Congratulations – Fox

This fox is so proud of what it has achieved…

That makes this card perfect for sending your congratulations and let people know you’re proud of them!

Happy Birthday – Lynx

It’s incredibly hard to spot a lynx in the wild. This is why the animal is sometimes called “Phantom of the Forest”.

Why not celebrate someone’s birthday with this unique design?

Happy Birthday – Puffin”

Fun fact about puffins: the birds are sometimes called “clowns of the ocean” or “sea parrots”. With their colourful facial markings and beak they do kind of look like little clowns!

You can send this funny puffin to celebrate the birthday of your friend, cousin or colleague.

“Hello little one! – Hedgehog”

When I was younger, we found a baby hedgehog in our garden, with no mother in sight. As the little one felt threatened by us, it curled up into a ball. We decided to wrap it in a blanket and we took it to a hedgehog shelter. The shelter took care of the baby until it was ready to live on its own.

Hello Baby! – Rabbit ”

When I go for a bike ride through Malmö it sometimes feels like wild rabbit paradise: these jumpy animals are everywhere! It is such a lovely scene, especially when the baby rabbits start to show up (mostly during the early winter months).

“Fika? – Squirrel”

At times I wonder if I’m taking the Swedish fika tradition a little too much to heart. But it is so nice to catch up with someone over a good cup of coffee and a treat! With whom do you want to go on a (digital) coffee date soon?

Note: this card is available in a “Fika?” and “Coffee date?” version

I love to be with you – Owls ”

Despite their serious appearance, these tawny owls really love to be together. And sometimes you just want to let that one person know you love him or her to be around.

That’s exactly what this card is made for!

“Hej! – Dog”

This is Ala, a Norwegian sled dog. You can send her happy, playful face on a card to basically anyone for whatever reason. Or just because you feel like saying “Hi”.

Note: this card is available in a “Hej!” and “Hi there!” version

Long distance hug – Owls ”

In these crazy times, when you cannot meet up with other people as much as you like to, a long distance hug can be a good alternative. It’s definitely not the same, but at least it is a nice try.

Just grab your pen and send a paper hug to that friend who is having a hard time or that great colleague that you haven’t seen in a while.

Note: this card is available in a “Long distance hug” and “Kram pÃ¥ distans” version

Previous collections

Christmas collection 2020 | Julkort |

“Curious Goat”

This Icelandic goat clearly couldn’t wait until Christmas eve.

When I asked a friend, “what would be you favourite animal in the Nordics?” She replied with “a goat”. At first I figured it was quite a remarkable choice, but goats are actually pretty funny animals! That’s why I decided to create this design.

“Christmoose”

Moose are such majestic animals. Did you know that their shoulder height can reach well over 2 metres / 6,5 feet? No wonder that this animal is also called “King of the Northern Forest”.

“Foxy Christmas”

This fox is ready to jump into Christmas!

Once in a while, we hear the weirdest noise at night. At first we didn’t know what it was, until we discovered that it is a little fox, visiting our garden. Maybe he or she is trying to impress our cat?

“Fluffy Penguin”

Don’t worry, I do know that penguins are rarely seen in the Nordic countries. But they are so fluffy, fit the Christmas theme very well, and are the favourite animals of a very good friend.

Reason enough to include this design in the Christmas collection!

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From roadside grass to…. Norra card!

Norra cards are sustainable greeting cards printed on Veezel©. Veezel© is paper made from recycled wood fibre and grass fibre through a sustainable and circular process. Curious how that works? Continue reading!

The paper industry has a resource intensive nature. This is why it is important to find more sustainable ways of producing paper. And that is exactly why in 2018, two Dutch companies (“Drukkerij Holland” and “Decaprint”) joined forces. The companies shared the ambition to develop an environment-friendly alternative for paper products. By the end of 2019 Veezel© is a fact!

I stumbled across this paper product when I was searching for a sustainable paper alternative to create sustainable greeting cards. For me, Veezel© stood out because the developers also focus on local sourcing and circular solutions in their strategy to create a sustainable product. In a circular economy, resources are continually used and nothing goes to waste.

The environmental benefits of Veezel© are:

  • Natural waste (the grass on the roadsides) becomes a new resource.
  • Roadside grass absorbs CO2. When this grass would end up in a compost pile, it would release the CO2 with its decay. When the grass is used to produce paper instead, the grass holds on to the CO2.
  • In Veezel©, only a small proportion of virgin paper is needed. Veezel© is mainly made out of recycled paper and roadside grass.
  • The paper is locally produced and processed. The roadside grass and recycled paper come from the Netherlands. The small amount of virgin grass comes from Belgium, its neighbouring country. The paper mill is in the same area as where the roadside grass is mowed. This saves a lot of transport (and CO2 emissions) in the production process!

But sustainable paper from roadside grass, how?!

  • Roadside grass provides an excellent habitat for bees and other insects, as it often includes a variety of flowers. The roadside grass is mowed every Spring and Autumn in the Netherlands. The grass is dried, made into hay bales and prepared for transport.

  • The grass is transported to the paper mill. There it is chopped into grass fibre until it has the right size.

  • The grass fibre is added to the (recycled) paper pulp. The combination goes through a large filter and is made into paper.

  • The quality of the paper is assessed. If the quality meets the standards, the last stages of the process are finalized. The end result? Giant sheets of sustainable paper!

Read more about Veezel© paper on this website (only in Dutch).

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Looking for something specific?

Every now and then I make tailored A6 or A5 cards. Of Nordic animals or cute pets. If you can’t find what you are looking for in the current collection of Norra Cards, feel free to contact me. I love to discuss with you what you are searching for. Maybe I can help you with creating exactly what you want.