What lies ahead…

Yes, I’ve been busy.

I’ve been doing tedious stuff like ordering cards, uploading images to Redbubble and then ordering some products from them to stock my market stall. Market stall? Yes!

I’ll be doing three Christmas markets this year, starting with Montfuron on Dec 1st, followed by one in Celony, Aix-en-Provence on Dec 13th and finishing with the local Reillanne Fête de Noël on Dec 20th.

I will also be selling Christmas cards via four local retailers.

I’m struggling with knowing just how much stock I will need. Ten packs of four cards in each shop seems very low, yet twenty in each seems foolishly optimistic. The French don’t have the same tradition of sending Christmas cards that we would have had in Ireland or the UK twenty years ago, so I should expect to sell fewer French cards.  But there will be mostly French people around at this time of year, apart from hardy expats like myself, so I need to be sure I cater to them. The English-speaking world is sending fewer cards than before, but for expats, card-sending is still something that happens, so I need to be sure there is a good stock of English cards everywhere.


The biggest lesson has been this little chap.

I’ve been promoting my Pack of Dogs Christmas Cards on various social media. People like them, a few people said they’d buy a pack or two, and the owner of one of my models ordered 50 cards. Then one lady (who I don’t know) said “I really like your dogs, but I don’t have a dog. Would you have a robin card?”

Well, part of me was going to reply “Ehhh no, I have frickin’ dog cards.” But the more sensible part of my brain won the day. I might as well try a little robin… what did I have to lose?

I told the lady I’d work on it. A week later, I send her the above photo and I also posted him on Facebook and Instagram.

Within hours, I had orders for 200 cards.

I love my Pack of Dogs Christmas Cards. I think they are cute and quirky. But it seems that people don’t want cute and quirky dogs, they want robins holding mistletoe.

Lesson learned. More robins, less quirky, elf-chewing dogs.

More on the Christmas markets as they unfold.

Wish me luck.


4 thoughts on “What lies ahead…

  1. Being a field biologist, as well as a birder, I can tell you from experience that bird cards SELL. We birders are crazy. We’ll spend a ton of money on optics and trips, but still want our Stuff that Has Birds On It. sell. ESPECIALLY at Christmas. Like the one commenter said, dog cards fit dog people.
    My husband and I do a lot of volunteer work on restoring degraded bird habitat. Every year our organization (not ours personal, the one we work with) has a big ‘public outreach’ do, and one of the things we do to make money is sell cards. (and hats, and T shirts). My husband has donated photographs for them, and the ones with birds always go first and fast. Spiders (which are fascinating, beautiful creatures all on their own)..not so much. Snakes, not at all.
    I like your robin. You caught his ”jiz’…what we birders call a combination of body language and activity..perfectly. (I lived in Germany for almost 7 years, so I know my European birds fairly well.) My backyard hosted a pair of robins that would tease my cat.

    If you would like suggestions for other bird species you probably have around you: the Blue Tit, the Bullfinch, and Eurasian Jay..bet you my lunch they’d sell out fast.

    Liked by 2 people

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