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Introduction to the Cotswold Poster Co blog

In early 2018 I set up a side project that I titled Malmesbury Card Company to make and sell greetings cards of the town of Malmesbury, in particular in the style of vintage travel posters. It came from my own need for greetings cards to send to people after we had moved there, in a style that celebrated the town.

It was very much a side project for a while, initially just as an online store and something I posted about on Instagram once a week.

In mid-2019 I rebranded it (and relaunched it) as Cotswold Poster Co. In about three months the Instagram following went from about 150 to 700, and sales increased massively too. It has been entirely self-funded and at the end of 2019 became profitable.

I have learned a lot from the process of creating a local design/craft brand by keeping it small, iterating, and changing direction when needed. I had no idea where it would go when I started and a lot of my initial assumptions were wrong but I’ve evolved it into something that seems to work.

I will be writing up my learnings here as an irregular series of blog posts, in the hope that they will be of use to anyone who wants to turn a designy/crafty side project or an idea into something more. Also to explain some of the background work that goes into this kind of business and how there’s no such thing as instant success!

For context, the two year process has fallen into the following time brackets:
  • 0-6 months – the idea and early development [side project]
  • 6-18 months – creating initial products and selling, evolving the concept [side project]
  • 18-24 months – relaunch and growth [part to full time]
I’m aiming to write about a few different areas in the coming posts:
  • The concept and brand
  • Product development and dealing with physical products – product size
  • Minimal-effort marketing
  • Doing market stalls and working with shops
  • The finances and spending
I don’t want to claim that this is particularly cutting edge knowledge, simply that I’ve learned some things and if you’ve got a similar idea, you might get some value from them too.

Cheers!

Matt

Founder/designer


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