WHEN Sharon Caddie started working up humorous texts friends sent her into pictures and posting them on social media, the buzz they created got her thinking.

“I would howl with laughter at the texts but when people started messaging me on Instagram asking whether they could buy cards or prints, I knew I was on to something,” says the Glasgow-based designer.

The busy freelance art director had been looking for something new and quirky to launch into the burgeoning craft market and Text From a Friend was born.

Over the last 18 months the card brand has gone from strength to strength, as consumers embrace hip, humorous hand-crafted products. Recent Valentines’ designs included a card emblazoned with “I’m glad I swiped right for you”, a nod to the increasingly significant role Tinder plays in modern relationships.

People are prepared to pay for quality,” says Ms Caddie, who studied at Glasgow School of Art. "It’s all about the maker, the hand-crafted element, the small batch feel.

“Initially I worked with a printer to produce them as cards in rose gold foil. But then I considered buying my own hot foil press. It was a big investment and being a bit of a worrier, the decision on whether to buy or not caused me a fair bit of stress.

“But in the end I went for it and it was definitely the right thing to do – it has taken the business to the next level by putting me in control of the entire printing process.”

Ms Caddie, 40, now produces up to 400 cards a month, sold online and through a network of independent retailers across the UK. Much of the business comes through social media, especially Instragram, which has opened up new creative markets.

“Instagram is a huge deal for a small businesspeople like me,” says the designer. “It gets your name out there and allows you to market for free to customers all over the world. But it’s also about interaction and creating a community, and it’s something that you have to put time into. People expect you to interact, so you have to be available.”

And Ms Caddie, who is from Glasgow’s east end, hopes a trade show in London next month could lead to the realisation of a long-held ambition.

“I would just love to be stocked in Liberty,” she smiles. “That would be a dream come true for me. And you just never know who might be at the show…fingers crossed.”

The entrepreneur, who has worked as a an art director for brands such as the BBC and Radio Clyde, admits there are pros and cons to running your own business.

“The flexibility is good and you get to make decisions on your own. But doing everything on your own can be daunting, too. Also, you can never quite switch off – the deadlines never seem to end. I do it because I love it. An agency recently spoke to me about a permanent job, but I couldn’t go back to working full-time for someone else now.”

This is especially true, says Ms Caddie, because the Glasgow creative scene continues to flourish. And with this in mind she is full of good advice for other budding entrepreneurs.

“Your idea doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult,” she explains. “My idea is simple, but it works. And you don’t need lots of money to get your business off the ground. You can even start your own company in your spare time while you are working a full-time job, giving you some stability while you test the waters and find your comfort zone.

“Do your research and then at the end of the day you just have to go for it. It’s about gut instinct. If you fail, you learn from it and move on. Failure is part of the learning and growing process.”

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