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.
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!
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
>> 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 😉