“Just a Card”: The story of three little words hoping to change livelihoods

Words are powerful little things – a fact that the JUST A CARD campaign knows well.

The campaign reminds customers that all purchases however small, are vital to the prosperity and survival of small businesses.

It was inspired by a quote from a gallery owner who’d just had to close their doors for the last time, saying “If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought ‘just a card’ we’d still be open”.

JUST A CARD encourages customers to make ‘just’ a little purchase at a small business, shop or stall, (larger purchases are welcome too of course!), reminding them of the power small purchases can have when they add up.

It’s only too common for customers to visit, browse and compliment creative businesses and galleries but leave without buying anything. Perhaps they feel that buying ‘just a card’ in an artist’s studio will be seen as penny-pinching when in reality it would be welcomed. Artists realise as much as anyone that you can’t always afford to splash out even if you’d like to!

And of course, it doesn’t have to be a card. It could just as easily be ‘just a keyring’, ‘just a bookmark’ or ‘just a hairclip’. The essence remains the same.

But to me, there’s another side to those three words.

I don’t’ think there is such a thing as ‘just a card’ to the person on the receiving end.

It shows that someone

  • has thought of you enough to take the time to pick the card
  • cares enough to pay for that card
  • thought about what to write in the card and
  • made the effort to post the card.

(In case you’ve not realised, I’m a huge fan of getting a card!)

It’s the same with gifts. People will say ‘it’s nothing really, it’s just a little something’. But again, it’s the thought that’s gone into it, the effort that’s gone into buying it, that’s precious.

Next time you’re in a small business, buy a card or ‘a little something’. It will mean the world to the owner and the person you give it to. And that’s a lot of happiness to spread with something so simple.

I’m not a ‘maker’ myself – I don’t sell cards or gifts.

My creative side comes out in my business writing services. But I do love the world of small creative businesses that are working so hard to thrive in this country, and I know only too well the feeling of someone not buying from me because they think the job might be ‘too small’. There’s no such thing. If it’s important to you, it’s important to me. Take a look at what I do.

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