A CREATIVE Keighley woman has seen her online greetings card business boom during lockdown with a string of topical products.

Toni Pilling, 26, set up TeePee Creations while working as a graphic designer until quitting her job in August last year to concentrate on her business full-time.

It has thrived, particularly since lockdown was first imposed in March, with orders far and wide coming in from Australia, USA, China and India coming in.

Miss Pilling draws the card designs herself, looking at the news or social media for inspiration for her latest offerings. She has now developed a range of 350 cards for customers to choose from for a host of special occasions. She has also branched out into other items including coasters.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Examples of cards available from TeePee Creations Examples of cards available from TeePee Creations

Her card designs include cartoons of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and a weekly design for lockdown featuring face masks, banana loaves and Zoom video calls.

She said the summer, which is traditionally a quiet time for the greeting cards industry, instead proved to be a busy time. She had to recruit her boyfriend to help her pack up her orders to meet the demand.

She has also been backed by online Greetings card marketplace thortful.com, which champions independent designers and has provided a lifeline to numerous self-employed creatives throughout the pandemic.

Miss Pilling said: "I was a bit worried at the start of lockdown, not sure whether people would be shopping online or not for things like cards. People are at home and may not have wanted to be sending cards.

"But my business has absolutely taken off. Any targets I had for this time, I have smashed them.

"I come up with a couple of ideas a day. I sketch them out quickly and show them to my dad and my boyfriend. If they find them funny I go with them.

"People didn't realise at first that you can get such unique cards online.

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"There is a lot of ideas I come up with that I don't put out.

I go on Twitter. It is a good port of call to see what people are finding funny and then making a greetings card out of it

"It was absolutely mental during the summer. Thankfully, it seemed I had nothing to worry about as during the summer of this year thortful completely transformed my business.

"I ended up selling five times as many cards in just a few months on thortful than I had sold on all my marketplaces put together in 12 months the year before. Watching the sales rise every day kept me motivated through this strange time.

"It is just about trying to put a positive spin on everything at the moment."

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Miss Pilling, who is originally from Bolton, is also expecting the run up to Christmas to be a busy period for her business.

She added: "Last year, Christmas was really busy for me.

"There is a lot more people shopping online this year, so I'm expecting to be getting busy again."

Go to teepeecreations.co.uk for more information.

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