Following on from its recent SupportBlackDesigners (SBD) campaign, Scribbler is significantly broadening its greeting card selection from black-owned publishers and designers, both online and instore. It is also ensuring that this diversity is reflected in its Christmas product selection as well as in its seasonal marketing.
“We want to make seeing diversity on cards just part of the norm rather than the anomaly,” stated Aisling Crosland, head of design at Scribbler at the start of the summer, with the ensuing period having witnessed the retail group significantly up its game on this front.
The retailer was “really pleased” with how its SBD campaign went. “We had some major successes, with one of the designers featuring in our top 20 on the whole site (this is including the hundreds of own brand cards we sell) and we had some wonderful surprises with smaller brand-new designers, such as Street Greets, performing really well. We obviously love their cards, which is why we brought them in, but for customers to take to them straight away shows a positive shift in customer buying habits now they are being presented with a more diverse range.”
All profits from its SupportBlackDesigners (SBD) campaign (promoting several black owned publishers), which ran in August were donated to the Damilola Taylor Trust, but Scribbler also increased the royalty rate for all of the designers involved as a thank you for taking part in the campaign. It was also, as Aisling says: “to show our appreciation to them for guiding us and for all the help they’ve given to us as we try and include more diversity in our ranges.”
Aisling highlights how one of the big bonuses has been “seeing more black-owned businesses and designers start to reach out to us through our submissions’ email after we released our Face Behind The Cards with KitsCH Noir. This makes adding diversity to our ranges so much easier to navigate as we can talk to new designers coming in and straight away see what designs we think will go down well with our customer base.”
Aisling stresses how it is still important for the designs Scribbler takes on to be commercial. “We don’t want to bring designers on as a token, we actually want them to sell and do well so we try and select designs/designers we are confident in.”
As a result of discussions with the participating designers, Scribbler is to keep the SBD section of its website going “so customers can easily find these designs should they wish to support the designers,” explains Aisling with the designs also featuring across Scribbler’s main categories. Scribbler is slowly starting to expand diversity across other areas on its site, such as on children’s cards it is currently trialling some incredible designs from Karmuka.
Scribbler has also been actively looking to increase the diversity by working with additional publishers who have design styles that suit its customers – and this is not just confined to online.
The retailer has recently introduced Pearl Ivy’s range into its stores, dedicating a whole row of its cards in Scribbler’s biggest stores, as well as having designs feature in its other stores.
“We can’t wait to see how customers react to the range, the cards are not only gorgeous with bright colours and style but the subject of them is also incredibly commercial so we are pretty confident pushing her designs out to stores.”
Aisling revealed how Scribbler is looking forward to bringing more black designers and diverse ranges into its stores in 2021, especially now that its print on demand (POD) model is up and running. “This should really give us the flexibility we’ve been chasing to be able to stock lots of new designers without the added worry of holding massive stock levels in a warehouse, which is a bonus not only for the current climate with local lockdowns and so on, but also for the environment with just printing what we need and massively reducing waste,” says Aisling.
The retailer has also mooted it is looking beyond cards. “Although early days we are hoping to bring these designers and diversity onto more of our stationery and packaging products,” says Aisling.
Top: A Christmas design from Pearl Ivy.