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“Just a Card”: Three little words, trying to change livelihoods

Words are powerful little things.

The JUST A CARD campaign is here to remind us all that every single tiny purchase is vital to helping our small businesses survive.

Notice that word. Survive. Not flourish. Not thrive. Purchases help businesses to do both of those things, too, but it’s more desperate than that in a lot of cases. Small businesses struggle, especially in their early years.

The name ‘JUST A CARD’ comes 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 like words, small purchases can have a big impact when you add them together.


It’s SO common for customers to stop by a small creative business – at a shop, stall, gallery, webpage or social media page – and rave about their work. But then they leave without buying anything.

Perhaps they feel that buying ‘just a card’ in an artist’s studio will be seen as penny-pinching. In reality it would be welcomed. Small business owners understand better than anyone that you can’t always afford to splash out even if you’d like to!

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 I think there’s another side to those three words, too.

I don’t’ think the person on the receiving end of your card (or gift) will see it as ‘just a card’, either.

It shows them that you care. You’ve spent the time to choose it, you’ve spent the money to buy it, you’ve thought what to write with it and you’ve made the effort to give it to them. That’s way more than just a card.

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

You might say ‘it’s nothing really, it’s just a little something’. But the thought that’s gone into it, the effort that’s gone into buying it… that’s precious.

Next time you see a small business you’re impressed by, buy a card or ‘a little something’. It will mean the world to the owner and to the person you give it to.

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 writing. But I do love the world of small, creative businesses that are working so hard to survive and flourish 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 and your business, it’s important to me. Take a look at what I do.

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