Cards on Call
Sue Liberty is a card-maker in her spare time. We caught her in a gap in that time and asked her about a hobby that has grown into something more. Perhaps she’ll inspire some of you to do your own. You’ll see from what she says that there is plenty of space for variety! If you decide you want her to do some cards for you, her number is at the end of the article.
Rochford Life: Sue, how long have you been making cards?
Sue Liberty: Just over three years now.
RL: How did you get into it?
Sue: A friend has made cards for some time and she knew I was quite interested, so for my birthday three years ago she gave me this box which had the basics in, so off I went.
RL: You sell them now, don’t you?
Sue: I do.
RL: But did you originally just make them for yourself, I presume?
Sue: Yes, I started off very small because I really didn’t know what I was doing, and then I used to do them for the family and the girls at work, and was getting more and more intricate in what I was doing, I suppose; there are so many different techniques that you can use. After I’d being doing them for the girls at work for a while they said, “Why don’t you bring a box in and sell them?” so eventually I took a little box in and it took off from there. So that’s how it started, and then I found I was making more and more and then thought, “I think I ought to get them into a shop somewhere.” I wasn’t quite sure how to go about it and so left it for a little while and then tried one shop and asked them if they were interested but they hadn’t room, so I left it again for a little while, and then I tried a shop in the Square, Cat’s Whiskers, and they took them. So I go in there about once a month and see what they need, come home and make them and deliver them to them.
RL: So roughly speaking, how many do you make a month?
Sue: Altogether, for I’m now also in another shop and in a craft shop in Chelmsford, I suppose on average I’ll make forty or so a month. I do them for birthdays and anniversaries, in fact for anything, for Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Weddings. I’ve even done Wedding invitations when I’ve been asked, and I try never to say no. I’ve just done some Christening cards for one of the girls at work, that’s something I’d never done before. I ask them what they want, they give me a few pointers, I have a play with some ideas, then take them in and see if they like it.
RL: So if someone rang you up and asked you to do them for a special event, then you would do that?
Sue: If I could. If they can give me some sort of idea then I’ll have a think what I can do and what resources I’ve got. For the wedding invitations I came up with several ideas, and the girl went away and played with them and then came back with what she wanted and I made them. Obviously you have to do them in conjunction with the person you are doing them for, but also you’ve got to be comfortable with what you are doing yourself.
RL: Do you think it will ever become your career?
Sue: I have thought about it, but at the moment I enjoy doing it and I think if I was doing it constantly it would become a pressure. As it is now I can do some and then walk away, but coming up with ideas if I was doing it all the time, might become a problem, but never say never! I sold about sixty Christmas cards at work alone this year, I can put titles on, like “Mum and Dad” or personalise them with names.
RL: Is every card unique that you make or do you make them the same sometimes?
Sue: I’ll use the same design with slight variations often.
RL: But you do a lot that are unique.
Sue: I can do. Sometimes people like them with photos on, for example a wedding anniversary that is a special one. They’ll get hold of the wedding photo so I’ll mount that on the card and embellish it, and put dates on, things like that.
RL: How much do you charge at the moment for a personalised one like that?
Sue: It depends on the size, what I put on there, the technique, and how long it’s taken me; a medium size one is probably about three pounds or three fifty.
RL: Thank you very much.
Sue Liberty: Mob. 0790 957 4196