talks to Sian Ellis-Thomas from The CDCard Company about their
unique greeting cards and how they built a business on
Digger: Can you please tell us
about the background to
The CD Card Company?
The CDCard Company
evolved from a music distribution company called Arabesque, we
used to supply import LPís and 12Ē singles to music retailers.
Towards the middle of the 90s when the vinyl business was in
decline we started looking for ways to diversify into other
products. After many product ideas and iterations we came up
with the concept of a greeting card with a CD of music from
the year of birth. We utilised our relationship with EMI to
secure licenses for original tracks and we were off with the
first CDCard range. That was in 1999 and since then weíve
moved the music catalogue to SonyBMG and sold over 7 million
CDCards! We also launched a DVD version of the cards that
gives the customer a one hour long exclusive documentary of
events from the year of birth.
So you could say we cover the
music and the pictures of your life from 1929 Ė 1994.
Digger: Please tell us more
about acardandagift.com and whatís on offer.
Sian: acardandagift.com is our
consumer website where we specialise in personalised versions
of our products. Customers can add a photo and special message
to create a totally unique birthday or anniversary card. You
can even select the compilation or DVD you wish to add. In the
world of personalisation where everyone is jumping on the
bandwagon, our products are TRULY unique.
Thatís me in the examples
Digger: Wow, so these products
can be highly personalised online. Is this proving a popular
Yes, of course. We get customers from all over the world and
our feedback is always amazing. We also sell interesting retro
style gifts, mugs etc.
Digger: Who are your typical
customers, if such a thing exists and what ranges tend to be
the most popular?
as you say, there really is no such thing. Our customers are
all ages and from all over the world. I think the one thing
that unites them is that theyíre looking for something unusual
and unique that will say something about them AND the
recipient. Life happens to music so our CDCards help recall
happy memories and mark milestones. The DVD documentaries are
compiled from the archives of British Pathe, ABC News America
and ITN and give a fantastic insight into what was happening
the year you were born. Who isnít interested in that?
Digger: What sort of feedback
and comments have you been getting from clients?
customers are not only pleased with the end product but the
remarkable turnaround time and the general service we provide.
If you order by 12pm today and you live in the UK, your card
is with you tomorrow. Now thatís not so unusual in this
internet age, but we deliver all over the world and when you
get feedback from a happy customer in Australia, now thatís
Digger: Praise indeed, so what
is this enduring fascination people have generally with Retro
and Nostalgia in all its forms?
soon as you hit your mid twenties, nostalgia kicks in and it
grows with each passing year. It just seems to be in our DNA.
We just canít help it. We all look back through rose tinted
specs at our childhood and beyond and those times are
punctuated by trends, fashion, toys, adverts, films, cars, you
name it Ė everything seems to have a special place in our
hearts and an ability to evoke precious memories. No wonder
that we and everyone else on Retrosellers were able to build a
business on it.
Digger: Your products can be
found in outlets everywhere. What does the rise of The
Internet do for your business?
Sian: We sell in over 2000
outlets in the UK and countless thousands around the world.
But our internet business concentrates its efforts on the
personalised element of our ranges. It delivers something you
canít yet get at retail. Every business nowadays has to make
every effort to maximise its sales and this is our way of
doing exactly that. We also work with many, many internet
sites who also stock our products too and who take advantage
of our personalised offering for their own customers via click
through agreements. Digger, your customers can see just how
fab our personalised products are and get a special
Retrosellers discount of £2 off a personalised CDCard or
DVDCard by using this promo code: RS1840Z in the relevant box
once they get to the basket.
Digger: Wow, thatís a great
incentive for them to try out your products. So tell me, what
are the best things and what do you most enjoy about working
at The CD Card Company?
Sian: Well Iím a musician
myself and so the appeal was always the music. I just happen
to be good at other things too!
Digger: So where do you see
the future for The CDCard Company and
Sian: You canít afford to stand
still in any business and so we are busy looking at the next
generation of CDCards. Weíre doing some very interesting
product development but itís all a bit hush hush at this
stage. So watch this space!
For further information about
The CDCard Company please email or visit:
Web retailers interested in stocking CDCard
Company products please email Sian Ellis-Thomas