As stats reveal that online retail has increased by up to 95% in some sectors since the pandemic hit, online greetings card marketplace thortful.com has provided a lifeline to numerous self-employed creatives, many of whom lost their main revenue streams when lockdown measures came in.
Founded by serial entrepreneur Andy Pearce, the marketplace provides a platform for independent creatives to sell their designs from all over the globe. thortful pay their creators an industry-leading royalty rate each time one of their card designs are sold, as well as handling all production and customer queries, providing a quick and easy service for both customers and sellers.
The thortful app offers a wide selection of unique cards you won’t find on the high street, ready to go in your pocket, enabling users to schedule card deliveries, add their own handwritten messages and much more.
The company was started four years ago after Pearce, a tech entrepreneur spotted an opportunity in the card sector. He explains,
“I wanted to buy cards online and send them, but I didn’t want to have to upload photos, so started thinking about how to make the experience different. It would be something like Not on the High Street or Etsy providing a channel for creators to sell their designs with a better royalty than a conventional retailer. We could take all the print production, customer ownership and hassle from them.”
So how did Andy handle the pandemic within his own organisation?
“My planning for how we’d survive a global pandemic started early: I’d already had hand sanitiser in the office for weeks prior to all this, I later banned external people coming into the office but when Italy went into complete lockdown on Monday 9th March I knew the UK wouldn’t be far behind so I worked with the senior management team to make sure staff had the equipment they needed to set up the basics of a home office, this was the new normal the entire company was working from home.
“As well as managing our head office, it became increasingly clear that our creative community was going to be hard hit by the current crisis. They were reporting that due to online shops closing down, and other revenue streams drying up due to weddings and events being cancelled they as small businesses themselves were going to struggle.”
thortful, has been described as a lifeline by the company’s independent team of creatives. One creator said:
“My main business is graphic design and props for weddings. In light of corona it looks like many weddings will not go ahead and overnight my source of income has practically disappeared.
This has coincided with my most successful month ever on thortful. The platform you are all providing is so important and is no doubt going to be a saviour for many creators going forward during this uncertain time.
“Thank you so much for being my lifeline.”