A few weeks I woke up with a bright idea: why not turn some of my local photos into a postcard and sell them to support The Charlton Champion, the community website that I help to run. We’ve been on a fundraising drive recently, setting up Patreon and Ko-fi accounts in order to generate some money to help pay the site’s running costs and – hopefully – to pay some contributors. The amounts we’re getting are not (yet) life-changing, but getting something in has provided a good boost and incentive to keep the site going.
It struck me that postcards might prove popular, and would also help raise awareness of the site as people sent them out, passed to friends, and so on.
I spent some time choosing pictures from my (not brilliantly ordered) archive and found four that showed different sides to Charlton. My InDesign skills won’t get me employed in a proper artworking department, but I managed to create a retro-tinged template, added the photos, then sent them off to print.
The first opportunity to sell them came at a pop-up shop that runs monthly in an old shop near my home. I’ve got to know the makers who sell from the shop over the last few months, and it was good to get their positive feedback on the postcards.
Next I put them up on the Charlton Champion’s social accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) and waited for the orders to come in. And, for a few hours, nothing happened – then a flurry of orders that saw the first print run sold out later that day. I sent another batch off to print and set off round the neighbourhood on my bike making deliveries. At the time of writing we’ve sold nearly 250.
I’m not sure what comes next (tea towels? stress balls?), and at postcard margins this enterprise is unlikely to make me rich, but it’s been an enormously gratifying project, that’s led to some nice conversations and connections.
Anyway, you can order them here. £1 each, discounts for buying in bulk….
And if you’ve ever accidentally become a local postcard entrepreneur then get in touch and let’s compare notes…