Just a Card

The JUST A CARD campaign aims to encourage people to buy from Designer/Makers and Independent Galleries and Shops by reinforcing the message that all purchases, however small, even ‘just a card’ are so vital to the prosperity and survival of small businesses.

The campaign came about when Artist & Designer Sarah Hamilton saw the quote “If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought ‘just a card’ we’d still be open” by store keepers who’d recently closed their gallery. This prompted a call to action! Designer/Makers and independent shops and galleries need a voice. People seldom realise the considerable costs involved in exhibiting at design shows or keeping a shop open. Stand fees, power, materials, wages etc need to be met before even a penny of profit can be realised. Running a shop is often a labour of love. Without dedication and passion, and crucially sales, it would be another boarded up eyesore.

One gallery owner, Hannah Stoney at Yellowstone AB – a popular and flourishing gallery, reported that when she’d remarked to a customer she was saving considerably due to the new carrier bag charge change they replied ‘Oh I didn’t realise you paid for these’! Why should they of course? However without this being pointed out nor will they recognise the impact their purchasing power will make. As a direct response to our campaign many people have reported they often feel embarrassed to make a small purchase as they felt this may appear miserly. Something they’d never feel in a large chain store. Since hearing of our campaign they’ve changed their opinion.

“The Just A Card campaign is one very close to my heart. Luckily, Yellowstone Art Boutique has supportive, understanding customers who make both big and small purchases from us, to keep our independent store thriving. But it saddens me to see so many local small shops around us, closing down. I urge customers to NEVER feel embarrassed that you can’t buy a big framed picture. Just a card can go a long way.” Hannah Stoney


These shops are at the heart of a diverse local economy – they showcase creativity and keep many a Designer/Maker in business and often champion their artists for years. They generate tourist traffic and make our towns and villages interesting places we want to visit and enjoy.

With the fantastic support of The Design Trust and Mollie Makes magazine the campaign goes from strength to strength. Patricia van den Akker (Director – The Design Trust) and Lara Watson ( Ex Editor – Mollie Makes) are true champions of creativity and recognised the simple, yet powerful, message the campaign aims to spread.

“Supporting local businesses is crucial if we want to keep our High Streets alive and buzzing with independent, exciting and creative shops. Don’t just talk about it – do something about it – shop local and make a real difference.” Patricia van den Akker

“A small purchase can make a huge difference if we all get involved. At Mollie Makes we are all about working together to support our creative community – it keeps us mindful of our buying choices, as well as spreading the joy of beautiful handmade designs.” Lara Watson


1. Adding our logo to your blogs, websites etc

2. Following @justacard1 on TWITTER. Retweeting & spreading the word.

3. Downloading posters and postcards from our website and put them up in your event or shop.

And finally – by all means compliment people, it makes the world a far sunnier place, but if you can, PLEASE, buy just a card!

(Text taken from http://www.justacard.org/our-aim/)



Sarah Hamilton

I’m Sarah H, an Artist & Designer making colourful, contemporary prints, cards and homewares in my Mid-Century home/studio in sunny South London. I exhibit and sell my artwork in many independent shops and galleries, and have stocked, or designed collections for retailers including Heals, The Conran Shop, Designers Guild & Paperchase.

I set up the ‘Just A Card’ campaign as I feel extremely privileged to be making a living as an Artist, and am grateful to each and every customer and shop/gallery who’ve supported me.

I’m always thrilled when people take the time to chat to me about my designs.  Anyone who knows me will agree I do enjoy a good chinwag! Sometimes people say ‘I adore your prints but, I’m so sorry, at the moment I can only afford to buy a card’. It’s so sad when people apologise for making a small purchase. Please don’t ever apologise – it’s incredibly kind. As anyone who runs a creative business appreciates, it’s very rewarding but takes hard work, passion and commitment. The rewards are not about amassing enough to fund a beach house in Bermuda – it’s simply about keeping going from one day to the next so we can do what we love. Our campaign is about spreading this message. Artists, Designers, Makers, independent shops and galleries appreciate all support and, when people are kind enough to make any purchase, however small, it really can mean make or break to a small business.

I’ve been running the campaign for over two years now, with the support of The Design Trust & Mollie Makes. I’m thrilled to now be joined by a great team. Together, and with your continued support, we will ensure our message spreads far and wide to keep our towns & cities culturally vibrant and diverse!

sarahhamiltonprints.com Twitter: @SarahHamiltonPS


Kaylene Alder

Ahoy. I’m Kaylene. I am a reformed Canadian living and working in the wilds of South London.

I do freelance illustration and screen printing. I also teach small Hackney children about the messy wonders of art.

I love to draw and print quirky and beautiful things that amuse me. Hopefully, they will amuse you too.  Recent inspirations include ships, songs, Brixton, the sea, leaves and collections.

I’m excited to be helping with the ‘Just a Card’ campaign because I’m passionate about supporting independent businesses and keeping the world quirky!

kaylenealder.com Twitter: @kpictures


Sarah Cowan

I’m Sarah C, a freelance graphic designer and typographer living and working in the Scottish Borders. I specialise in the design of text-rich printed materials for individuals and small businesses all over the UK. I also have a vintage printing press, which allows me to combine typography with letterpress printing – my two favourite things.

I’m delighted to be part of the Just a Card campaign team because as well as designing and printing materials for lots of independent designer/makers, I also sell my own range of greeting cards and that makes this fabulous campaign feel doubly important to me.

lettica.co.uk Twitter: @letticadesign


Justine Ellis

I’m Justine, a printmaker and designer specialising in original, hand screen printed, art and homewares.

After graduating in sculpture and working as a gallery based workshop artist, I taught teenagers with special educational needs before finding my home within the inky world of screenprinting.

My designs have a bold, textural quality reminiscent of mid century textiles and ceramics. Each print, design or pattern begins life as a drawing or paper cut collage before being transferred into print. When I am not armed with a squeegee, you’ll find me teaching adults to screen print.

‘Just a Card’ is a great way of helping to spread the word about the brilliant independent galleries, shops, artists and designers out there.

justineellis.co.uk Twitter: @justinthewoods


Michael Fram

I’m Michael, and I opened The Leaping Hare Gallery & Framers in Easingwold, North Yorkshire, along with my wife, Sarah, when we wanted a change of direction from Primary Teaching. The gallery combines our love of originality with enormous admiration for the talent of the artists and makers with whom we have the pleasure of working.

We believe that every person who walks through our door is a potential customer and that no-one should ever apologise for buying ‘just a card.’  Even the small sales keep independent shops open, artists employed and our British High Streets and market towns flourishing.   The ‘Just a Card’ campaign fits so very beautifully with our ethos and our way of doing business.

theleapingharegallery.com Twitter: @LeapHareGallery


Kate Marsden

I’m Kate, a textile designer and blogger under the name Made By Mrs M. I design patterns for fabric, inspired by mid-century and brutalist architecture, and apply these to products as well as the fabrics themselves, which I sell to stitchers, quilters and crafters.

I’ve been a supporter of the Just A Card campaign since the outset. Partly because of my first hand knowledge of how incredibly important every little sale is to designer makers; but also because I love to see our high streets filled with beautiful, fascinating independent shops, and want to help to keep them open!

madebymrsm.co.uk Twitter @madebymrsm


Polly Ord

Hi! I’m Polly, an artist who has recently moved back to Newcastle from London. I also work full time at an organic skincare company (so give me a shout if you struggle with eczema!) I grew up on my family’s farm near Alnwick, Northumberland, so most of my acrylic paintings are inspired by the beautiful Northumbrian coastline around home.

I’m so excited to be part of the ‘Just a card’ army! I know a huge amount of independent artists, designers and galleries, so I really appreciate how important every sale is, and how much nicer unique products are to receive!

pollyord.com Twitter: @pollyord


Victoria Wright

My name is Victoria, aka Little Paper Vee, a South London based illustrator and paper artist.

I love all things colourful, handmade and fun and nothing makes me happier than cutting up little bits of paper with my favourite pair of scissors.

I also love shopping with independent sellers and buying unique, handmade objects made by the extremely talented individuals in my community. That’s why I am so thrilled about being part of the Just a Card campaign – to support small business and encourage creative endeavour, one sale at a time!

littlepapervee.com Twitter: @littlepapervee