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Lonetree Cards branches out into Australia
A GREETINGS card design firm run by siblings on the outskirts of York is extending its global reach with new Australian distributors.
Lonetree Cards was launched by sisters Sara Hall and Emma Bensalem in September 2011 after the pair decided to team up and run their own enterprise.
Homing in on Mrs Bensalem’s love of handmade stationery and Mrs Hall’s business acumen, the duo created a design studio at a former chapel in Claxton near York.
Within 18 months Lonetree’s cards were stocked in Liberty London, the Design Museum and Fortnum & Mason, as well as branches of Waterstones and Paperchase.
Now, after only two years, the business is branching out into the export market after signing a new deal with an Australian distributor.
Mrs Hall said: “Out first shipment went out for a trade fair last month and we have already had our second order go out.
“We are absolutely delighted to be in this position. It is a whole new market for us to explore.
“There is a massive hub for greetings cards in the UK. Outside that there are only a few countries that have same big market so it is great to have another one of those sales bases taking our cards.”
The new deal has meant Lonetree Cards will now be exhibiting at a major industry trade show in Melbourne, as well showcasing their new designs in London in January.
Mrs Bensalem and Mrs Hall spent about 18 months working on ideas and preparing the business before Lonetree Cards was launched at the Top Drawer trade fair in London in September 2011.
After establishing a strong base in the capital, the sisters are working to get their cards stocked in other parts of Britain, as well as expanding into other countries. They are also looking into licensing arrangements.
Originally from Whitby, Mrs Hall’s background is as a food buyer for a cheese company in London, while Mrs Bensalem worked as a conservation architect in South Yorkshire.
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