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Start up stories: Blue Eyed Sun

Posted in: How to start a business, Sage Business Experts
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Free guide to starting a businessAs part of our Business Potential campaign we spoke to Jeremy Corner from Blue Eyed Sun to hear more about what inspired him to start up in business.

Located in Brighton and Hove, Blue Eyed Sun is a greetings card business with a wedding division called Ivy Ellen that specialises in Wedding Stationery for couples looking for something special.

Blue Eyed Sun publishes gorgeous greetings cards and sells to design-led retailers around the world. Customers include Harrods, Paperchase, John Lewis, Cards Galore and Liberty of London. You might also recognise him from our Solutions magazine, exclusively for our SageCover members.

Blue Eyed Sun

What does your business do?

With both our businesses we provide beautiful designs for customers who want something special to show their loved ones how much they care.

Jeremy CornerWhen was your business established?

2000 and Ivy Ellen was started in 2009

How many people work with you?

13

Do you have a physical shop or office, or do you run your company from home?

We have a 4,000 square foot workshop we bought a few years ago.

Do you sell or provide goods over the internet?

Yes, you can buy our wedding stationery at www.IvyEllenWeddingInvitations.co.uk

Our trade only business for retailers has a website at www.blueeyedsun.co.uk

Is your business run on a full or part-time basis?

My wife and I work part time. I work 3 days, she works 2 days. We home educate our 5yr old son when we are not working.

Do you use social media to promote your business?

Yes, social media is a big part of both our businesses. Especially the wedding side where we have nearly 4,000 twitter followers. We were cited as a case study in a Prentice Hall book called Get up to Speed with Social Media in 2010.

Interestingly Facebook and Twitter have also been generating good sales leads for our trade business Blue Eyed Sun, even though our followings are small.

What inspired you / made you want to start your own business?

My wife. Jo knew that she couldn’t work for anyone else, so we listed all the things she could do, what she liked doing and what was achievable with what little funds we had. I helped out from the sidelines and officially joined the business later as it started to require more input.

Before you started your business what did you do?

I was a film maker. Jo did all sorts: fine art, print making, interior design, wedding dress making. She used to sell things on craft fairs, car boots, etc and even had a small shop in York for a time.

Tell us something we might not know about you?

Blue Eyed Sun was named after a line the Bob Dylan song “A hard rain’s gonna fall”.

What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received and who was it from?

Have fun. An old friend’s father and mentor to us both: Andrew Dymond.

What three pieces of advice would you give yourself at the point when you had the idea about your first business?

  • Listen carefully to your customers.
  • Build a good sales team.
  • Watch your cash flow.

Feeling social? Then there are plenty of ways to get in touch with Jeremy:

Blue Eyed Sun

Ivy Ellen

 

Posted in: How to start a business, Sage Business Experts
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