Cake and Crayons

Aug 25, 2022 | Meet The Member

We spoke to Helen Bea of Cake and Crayons, one of our newest members. Her business is just 1 year old!

What is the name of your company?

Cake and Crayons

Where is your business based?

Sheffield, South Yorkshire

When was the company first set up?

October 2021

Who set up the company and why?

I started this business in 2021, a year after the birth of my second daughter, who came right at the start of the first UK lockdown in the Covid pandemic. It was a strange and challenging time for our family, as it was for many. I used drawing to carve out little moments of calm for myself, but also to document the lives of my children. We were reading a lot of story books and I wanted to try and capture their lives in this close, magical, strange time. The drawings kept coming and I started to make cards for friends, then neighbours, then the local community. I made cards that represented all children. My own daughter who wears an eye patch, my friend’s daughter who has a leg splint, another with curly hair, straight, glasses… the diversity of children makes me feel so happy. I want to celebrate their differences and their uniqueness.

Working around the kids isn’t easy but I truly believe that I can show them how girls in business can make positive, real change. And that following your dreams is worth while.

What is the Unique Selling Point of your business? What makes your products particularly special?

I put a lot of energy and passion into my designs; it is my ambition to create a card company that champions diversity, especially in the children’s greetings card sector, and that offers fun, vibrant illustrative cards.

I believe if you see yourself represented in the world around you through books, movies, art and even in greetings cards, then you feel connected and accepted. It’s so important – especially for children – to see themselves in the world around them, with all their wonderful uniqueness and differences. Because I am constantly drawing and love to explore new ideas, my cards are growing in range too and I’m excited to be making designs that represent disability, gender roles, race, culture and family set ups.

I also want to run a business that champions sustainability and fights for environmentally sustainable methods of production. The future should be built by businesses that put the planet and people before profit, and I intend to be one of them!

Tell us about one of your best-selling greeting cards?

One of my best selling cards actually started out as a Mother’s Day card and was then adapted to become a Happy Birthday Mum card. It shows a multiracial family, Mum and son, and is something that actually came out of a number of drawings I did of children and their parents/carers in the local park. Representing diversity in family set ups is really important to me, and it’s exciting to see that this card has found its way into many people’s homes!

How do you sell your products?

My business is only just one year old and I have so far sold cards online and wholesale. Recently I was selected by Moonpig to have a range of cards on their website, so you can now find some of my best selling children’s cards there too!

What do you like most about the industry?

My favourite thing about this industry is the people in it! From the moment I began making cards and stocking them in local shops I came across so many helpful and friendly people. And since joining the GCA I have felt part of a supportive community of makers and industry experts who are happy to help me on my journey. I really haven’t worked in an industry like this before – so full of passion for their products and genuine care for the consumer. It is motivating and inspiring and as someone who works from home having this support network is invaluable.

Is there anything else that you would like to add/highlight?

If you’re starting out in this industry I just want to highlight the value in throwing yourself at every opportunity. For me, my business started when I entered a card design into the GCA/Sainsbury’s Black History Month competition and was selected to have my design sold across a range of their stores. Ever since then I’ve been applying myself to any opportunity I can and I recently found out that I have made it to the finals of the Henries!
I had to re-read the email a few times before I could believe it! I am just so excited to see my range Bright in the Diversity and Inclusion category – it really does mean the world to me.

I think that the next year is going to be hard for many and I keenly see it in my community here in Sheffield. I am taking time right now to remember my goals and my purpose. I just want to add that this industry, which is about sharing gifts and celebrating people, is so needed right now. And I am excited to see how we can collectively make a difference through this coming winter – to spread joy, to enrich communities and to celebrate diversity. So when times are tough, which they are for many right now, remember your value and your worth.

For more details visit the Cake and Crayons website. You can also find contact details for Cake and Crayons in our Member’s Directory.

Are you a member of the GCA? Would you like to be featured in a Meet The Member Article? If so, get in touch!

This post is categorised as: