What’s Hot in Austin & Co in Malvern?

“So glad we have a date to work towards,” exclaimed Sean Austin, owner of Austin & Co in Malvern, who is working towards throwing open some different doors on April 12, as the design-led card and stationery shop, which celebrates its 10th anniversary next month too, is relocating into a famous location in the attractive spa town in Worcestershire. 

Above: Sean Austin is looking forward to celebrating Austin & Co’s 10th anniversary in a new location.
Above: Sean Austin is looking forward to celebrating Austin & Co’s 10th anniversary in a new location.

Brays department store was a stalwart of Malvern’s High Street. Having traded for over 100 years, it closed early in 2020 because the owner retired. It has now been converted into four retail units on the ground floor of which we’ll be one,” said Sean enthusiastically, having set to on a contemporary refurbishment of the shop complete with showstopper lighting, custom-built fixtures and dramatic interior design.

Above: The new store fit out is going great guns.
Above: The new store fit out is going great guns.

“The last 10 months have certainly been a rollercoaster,” sums up Sean. “There have been the lows of closing the shop, but then the rush when we opened again. I have to admit the first lockdown was scary – we had no idea of the future, no inkling of government financial support. I didn’t even have a website as I always set myself out to be an indie bricks ‘n mortar shop. Online went completely against my way of working,” admits Sean. But he says that “after wallowing in self-pity for the first couple of weeks of lockdown, I gave in and built a website” – and from a standing start it’s now up to offering 3,700 different designs on the site. “The website has saved me, and I only sell cards. True it’s nowhere near a shop turnover, but then my outgoings have been nowhere near a shop expenditure. It has done enough to pay the basic of bills like VAT, rent and a wage! And the good thing is it is now built so even when we are open in our new shop, I’ll have the website too.”

Above: April will be a big month for Austin & Co.
Above: April will be a big month for Austin & Co.

Here, Sean shares some of the top sellers for Austin & Co…

Everyday

Words of Wisdom from Dandelion Stationery

“A stalwart that constantly evolves, is current. People come to the till with a handful.”

Above: Dandelion Stationery’s cards continue to sell incredibly well for Sean.
Above: Dandelion Stationery’s cards continue to sell incredibly well for Sean.

Thinking of You

Mini Greeting Cards from Lagom Designs

“They are literally paper hugs with a fold in them.”

Relations and Occasions

Pandora from Megan Claire

“Understated elegance. Sheer class.”

Humour

Puns from Sarah Edmonds Illustration

“The sales prove that the humour we learnt in the playground never deserts us.”

Above: A pun-filled design from Sarah Edmonds Illustration.
Above: A pun-filled design from Sarah Edmonds Illustration.

Children’s

Kids’ Jamboree from Paper Salad

“Customers buy these cards over and over.”

Art

Sally Muir from ArtPress

“ArtPress never disappoints – the Sally Muir range of dog portraits are particular popular.”

Above: A Sally Muir design from ArtPress.
Above: A Sally Muir design from ArtPress.

Adult Ages

Fab Neon from Earlybird Designs

“I hope when I’m 80, someone will send me a card with a big fat neon 80 on it and the word ‘Awesome’ on the front!”

Giftwrap

Rollwrap from The Art File

“Perfect if you need a roll of wrap that covers a number of occasions and customer tastes.”

Gifts

Dog treats and toys from Green & Wilds

“After cards, we do sell stationery, but what sets us apart is our dog offer.”

Top: The adorable image on Austin & Co’s website – don’t miss Sean’s dog getting in on the act!

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