Seedling Cards & Gifts.

I first heard about Seedling Cards after my Mum was telling me about a 2013 calender with seeds that she had seen on NOTH, which would be perfect for my Grandparents for Christmas. By the time I got around to go and buy this calender unfortunately but not surprisingly it was sold out. So I decided to see if it was available on the Seedling Cards website, it wasn't but I instantly fell in love with what they had to offer. Seedling Cards was dreamt up by Sarah-Jayne, a designer/illustrator from Cartmel in Cumbria, her work is beautifully inspired by nature and the British Countryside. She has managed to create a unique and simple idea of teaming seeds with greeting cards to tea-cups. I love this idea, I've always wanted to grow my own plants/food and discovering Seedling Cards has really inspired me, so I can't wait to purchase this! So if you love art, nature and gardening, please have a look there's something for everyone, from amateur to seasoned pro. I contacted Sarah-Jayne to see if I could ask her a few questions about Seedling Cards, and she kindly said yes.

What sparked the idea for Seedling Cards and how did it all come together?

The original idea for the Seedling Card brand came about some years ago whilst I was still studying for my illustration degree at Lincoln University. We had been set a challenge to come up with an innovative greeting card concept and it was in reaction to this that the first seeds of the idea were sown. I came up with the concept of a greeting card range that would give something back to the environment as well as creating a lasting memory for the recipient. I felt that including packets of seeds within each card was the perfect solution and the idea grew from there. 
Seedling Cards is beautifully inspired by nature, and I love the idea of teaming seeds with cards and gifts. Was this the path you always wanted to go down with your designs/illustrations?

I have always been inspired by nature and the colours, textures and patterns that can be found all around us and my illustrative style has always reflected this. So when the idea came to me of teaming greeting cards with seeds it felt like a very organic development. 
Beginning a creative business may be scary at times; did you find that there were many over obstacles to overcome?

There are constantly obstacles and I have found that as soon as you overcome one then another one will present itself but that is the challenge which you constantly face. I feel it can also be a challenge that can be extremely rewarding. I find it important to constantly set myself goals and I try to remind myself that the creative part of the business should not be seen as a hindrance but rather an advantage. I feel it is the creative input that makes seedlings different. As a consumer I appreciate this in other design-led company's and I hope this is reflected in our products too.

Describe Seedling Cards in three words.

Creating Lasting Memories.

What are your favourite things about nature?

I am very lucky to live in Cartmel in South Cumbria which is surrounded by natural beauty. One of my favorite things to do is to walk our dog through the woodland that borders our home and take in the sights and sounds. I love observing the native wildlife as well as the flora and fauna. It is not uncommon to come across deer and other wild life and I will often collect flowers and other items of interest and take them home to sketch later. 
Seedling Cards aim to source local/recycled materials, as a company how important is the environment to you?
I have found that it can be extremely challenging to produce ethical and environmentally friendly products. We try to source materials locally and hand assemble most of our products ourselves. I think it is important to care for our environment and this has been an integral driving force behind our company from the start. I think it helps to begin a company this way as it becomes natural to your thinking. I have heard it can be very tricky to overhaul an existing company in order to make it more eco-friendly.
Who is your biggest inspiration, and have they impacted on your work/designs in any way?
I am massively inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement and the theories and designs of William Morris. I try to think of products as being either beautiful or functional and if I can combine the two then they become the ideal.

What is the best advice you have ever been given? /What advice can you offer to those wanting to work in a creative field/start their own business? I was once told that you should do what you are good at, and with that in mind, when it comes to business do not be afraid to ask for help on the things that you feel not so confident about and make sure that most of your time is going into the part of the business that you enjoy and most importantly the bit you are good at. I have always been in the mindset that if you have an idea then you should just go for it and don't be too afraid to try something out. 

Thank you Sarah-Jayne, you can buy Seedling Cards from NOTH and from their main website.

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