Wot a Mug Collaboration Between Newbie Publisher And Cherry Orchard Is Runaway Success

Wot a Mug founder Rebecca Exton-Russell with one of her designs.
Wot a Mug founder Rebecca Exton-Russell with one of her designs.

This time last year Rebecca Exton-Russell was preparing to launch her little company, Wot a Mug at Harrogate Home and Gift, anchored around her hand-painted humorous mug range. A year on and through a collaboration with Cherry Orchard, the Wot a Mug card range was of the top launches at PG Live, with retailers fighting over stocking the brand in their stores.

“It’s certainly hit the floor running that’s for sure – I can’t remember a range that we’ve launched where customers are asking for exclusivity!” admits Jackie Collins, managing director of Cherry Orchard. “It’s been extremely successful and enabled us to gain new customers who we wouldn’t have with our mainly traditional portfolio.”

Cherry Orchard managing director, Jackie Collins (centre) is delighted by the response to the publisher’s new addition. Pictured here at last year’s Retas awards with retailers Claire Leyton and Helen Colley from Hallmark Widnes.
Cherry Orchard managing director, Jackie Collins (centre) is delighted by the response to the publisher’s new addition. Pictured here at last year’s Retas awards with retailers Claire Leyton and Helen Colley from Hallmark Widnes.

Proving that it great opportunities can lie under your noses if you choose to be open to them, when Jackie and Fi Douglass-Gibson (Cherry Orchard’s sales director) went walkabout off their own stand at Spring Fair they happened to spot Wot a Mug, who was exhibiting only a few aisles away and ended up stopping to chat to Rebecca, founder of the company who had just launched some of her coffee mug designs onto cards, launching them at the February show.

The Wot a Mug logo that now adorns the backs of the Cherry Orchard cards as well as the original mugs.
The Wot a Mug logo that now adorns the backs of the Cherry Orchard cards as well as the original mugs.

“The mugs are quite time consuming so I thought of other items I could bring in ready-made, to bulk up the orders, but also to take the hand printing load down,” says Rebecca. “I came up with greeting cards. So I booked into the greeting section of NEC and things went crazy! I was approached by Jackie and Fi from Cherry Orchard asking me if I was interested in licensing my cards. It was a tough decision as the cards were only two days old!” recalls Rebecca.

Striking monotone graphics and humorous observations anchor the brand.
Striking monotone graphics and humorous observations anchor the brand.

Five months on and after numerous chats with Jackie and Fi the Wot a Mug card range (comprising 80 designs) launched at PG Live the response to which has already exceeded expectations of both parties.

“We are so excited to what the future will hold,” added Rebecca.

Top: Some of the 80 designs that form the Wot a Mug card range from Cherry Orchard which hot the spot for female to female sends.

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