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  • Writer's pictureArrthi

Dungeons and Dragons

Last month I set upon my quest – speed dating dragons! Not as romantic as it sounds, it’s actually an amazing business opportunity for greeting card publishers…

On the day of my quest, I woke up very early and it was serene, as it should be at 3:30 am! But it was short-lived by the bickering Oystercatchers outside…it’s that time of year and their speed dating has begun (definitely romantic, EW!).

I started to wonder while consuming my early breakfast, what these dragons might be like? Word is they are very friendly but are they really? See, I am one of the new kids on the block so I have no idea what this event will be like. There would be eighteen dragons and you’ll get to face three of them. The dragons get to pick their feast! Eee! Are these dragons fire-spewing giants laying on their mountain of wonderfully crafted paper loots? Or are they dragons sitting menacingly in serious business swivel chairs waiting to rip out those numbers and facts?! I was getting very nervous…in case you couldn’t tell.

It was time to get suited and saddle up my noble steed (not to be vain, but it’s my dazzling horse necklace). Double checked I had everything (especially the food supply) and courageously walked out the door into the freezing cold.

Arriving early at the train station reminded me of the relief I get from working from home! However I started to see the brighter side of the commute. As the sun was rising, deer were grazing and I was very excited to have my second breakfast while on the move! Whilst pondering how the dragon’s speed dating was going to fair, I was feeling nervous and then – on a slope by the trees, a silhouette of a long-eared figure was facing my way majestically. I knew I’ll be okay. It was a sign of comfort, but that is another story to tell.

I arrived at my final destination – The Business Design Centre and was greeted by the friendliest Gatekeeper I have ever met! Directed through somewhat of a maze to the briefing session.

REAL legends entered. Celebrity status illustrators and business tycoons of the greeting card industry were all gathered in the same room. Instead of knights in shining armour - attendants were suited and booted in a wonderfully eclectic mix of outfits, from the sharpest suits to the most eye-catching pink attire. When I saw these veterans and newbies, I was hopeful but still nervous, let me digress…

A few years ago I hit a brick wall where I just couldn’t get my work to be seen or heard. My emails were ignored but immediately answered when my husband David stepped in. Coming out of lockdown I didn’t fare well either and I was at breaking point. I thrive to be the best at what I do and the best to my ability. So, when people see my husband they assume he is the one who designs the work and will only prioritise talking to him! It crushed me. Don’t get me wrong, my Hubby is also creative and good at what he does. But he is no designer, and only works on technical stuff! So it may come as a shock to people to find that I struggle as I don’t show my emotions like that. But if you really know me, I ain’t a quitter! Introducing myself in person and explaining my work to like-minded people at this event felt great.

Clutching an array of wonderful cards, everyone braced themselves to finally face the dragons. And then ‘ring, ring!’ the timekeeper rang the bell. A group of them swiftly moved in. I was holding a selection of my characterful cards and was over the moon to have been quickly picked. The dragons are from big renowned retailers and mighty independent retailers. Fuelled with adrenaline, I successfully pitched my work, forging several new relationships. But, before I knew it the timekeeper was shaking that bell, and it was all over!

My group | Holding samples | Event organiser

Dragons and Publishers.

Coming back home, with knowledge of how to keep my career moving forward and meeting new acquaintances was truly bliss. The quest for success continues! The next stop for my greeting card journey is the big launch in June at my first tradeshow - PGLive!

Thanks for reading, until next time, y’all!

PS - So you can find my stand at PGLive in June, please bookmark my details:

…and finally, I will be writing a few personal blogs in the near future. If you enjoyed reading this blog you may enjoy ‘Time to meet Rameni’!

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