GCA Podcast – Karen Wilson and Claire Williams, Paper Salad

Jun 3, 2024 | Podcasts and Webinars

GCA podcasts – capturing greeting card history to inspire the industry of the future

The Greeting Card Association’s podcast series, Talking Cards with Industry Leaders, is a look at key greeting card designers, publishers and individuals whose passion, drive and talent has influenced and shaped the history of our industry.

It is hoped that listening to those who have made a major contribution to our industry talk about their journey, and advice they’d give their younger self, will help and inspire the next generation of our wonderful industry.

Skylight Media

Skylight design and run the Paper Salad website and are kindly sponsoring this Podcast. Supporting the greeting cards sector since 2008, Skylight Media are specialists in integrated Shopify e-commerce for Trade & Consumer, providing beautiful and unique website styles that work with clients’ branding and product structures, whilst reducing administrative burden, increasing cost-efficiency and allowing for future flexibility and scaling


Paper Salad and Skylight Media have been partners since 2014.

We build and support their online sales channel and have witnessed their incredible growth.

I wish Claire, Karen and the team the greatest success in the future

Simon Pryce, Skylight

GCA Meets – Karen Wilson and Claire Williams co-founders of Paper Salad

Paper Salad co-founders and owners, Karen Wilson and Claire Williams, tell GCA’s CEO Amanda Fergusson their fascinating, and at times hair-raising, story!

Karen and Claire share their journey into the greeting card industry from their meeting at Stockport college. Discussing the decision to set up their own business, the challenges of securing finance, selling their first 32,000 cards and building up the brand into the success story that Paper Salad is today.

They both speak about the importance of believing in your product and building close relationships with their suppliers. Also accessing and utilising the broad range of business advice available, particularly from the GCA and Ladder Club.

Karen now serves on the GCA Council . Elected Vice President in 2022 she has been instrumental in launching the GCA Locals and speaks passionately about the help and support offered by the GCA.


  • 2000 – Karen and Claire Graduate from Stockport college with a Surface Pattern and Textile HND
  • 2003 – King Charles, then Prince of Wales, visits Karen and Claire in their tiny studio
  • 2004  – Attended the Ladder Club in Westcliff on Sea
  • 2005 – Official launch of Paper Salad with its first trade at Harrogate Home and Gift
  • 2006 – Paper Salad’s first ever Spring Fair at the NEC.
  • 2007 – Company moves to larger premises
  • 2009 – Relocated to current address with even larger premises
  • 2010 – Karen and Claire purchased Apple Macs and had training in Photoshop
  • 2010 – Paper Salad join forces with Glick
  • 2010 – Dispatch first (enormous) order to Paperchase
  • 2011 – Glick giftwrap won Paper Salad’s first Henries award
  • 2015 – Paper Salad celebrate 10 years in business with a trip to visit Australian distributor
  • 2015 – Won first of many Henries award with children’s range, Dungarees
  • 2017 – Karen’s son,  Jack, joins Paper Salad as trainee manager. He is now Operations Director.
  • 2020 – Collaborate with Emotional Rescue on Humour ranges.
  • 2020 – Won first Louie’s award (the US equivalent of the Henries)
  • 2021 – Won Stockport Business Awards Business of the Year (£1-5m Turnover)
  • 2022 – Take on additional office, studio and warehouse space to accommodate huge growth
  • 2023 – Collaborate with GBCC to create a range of stationery and crackers.
  • 2023 – Karen becomes Vice President of the GCA
  • 2024 – Dispatching around 10 million cards worldwide per year direct from own warehouse

Paper Salad

Paper Salad is known for bold bright neon and textured greeting cards. Established in 2005 the brand is now known across the UK and overseas.

In 2024 Paper Salad is a UK leading greeting card brand, and extends across several other product categories, often due to licensing, from gift wrap and bags through to fabric and clothes!

The many awards won by the Paper Salad team include 18 Henries (UK greeting card awards) and 7 Louis awards in the US, where their brand is also well known.

Further Information

Visit the Paper Salad website to see more cards and to order!

Click this link for more podcasts and webinars

See our Meet the Member series for more insight into GCA members’ businesses.

Listen to the Podcast

Available on SpotifyAmazon Music and other platforms. Just search for “Talking Cards with Industry Leaders“.

To read background on the podcasts and see the beautiful cards our leaders publish search Podcasts on the GCA website.

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