County Durham greetings card company hopes to make waves

A couple are hoping their new Newton Aycliffe greetings card business venture will float your boat

David Grey and his wife Julie testing out the boat cards with nieces Lauren and Jessica
David Grey and his wife Julie testing out the boat cards with nieces Lauren and Jessica

A husband and wife team are hoping to make waves in the corporate market with their newly-formed greeting cards business.

Mixing business with pleasure can be a challenge for some but not for David Grey and his wife Julie, who have launched a card company with a difference.

The greeting cards they produce transform into boats which actually float – hence the company name Float a Boat.

The husband and wife team set up the firm, based in Newton Aycliffe, inspired by their shared passion for creative card crafting and are now looking to grow their business by offering a range of cards for cruise liners, ferries and special events.

David said: “It was actually the Olympic Games in 2012 that inspired us to create these unique cards. Ben Ainslie had just clinched his fourth straight gold medal and it was summer, the weather was warm and the children were playing in the paddling pool.

“We decided to have our own Olympic sailing race with paper sailing boats but after trawling the internet without much luck - I decided to design my own paper boats and this gave us the idea to turn these boats into greetings cards.

“Julie and I spent many months trying out new designs, researching and sampling coatings to get the cards to float and looking at ways to package the cards. We have done everything from start to finish and after a lot of hard work we are finally ready to go to market.

“We wanted to create something that had the wow factor – something unique which was much more than a card. We wanted it to be memorable and fun and wanted to create something that would be treasured after the big day.

“So many people receive cards and then bin them or pop them in a drawer when the big day has gone.

We wanted our cards to double up as toys so children could have fun transforming their birthday cards into boats and watching them sail. In this age of computer games and technology, it is so nice to sit down with your child and make something.”

Julie added: “We’ve trialled our cards at craft fairs and other events and people love them so we are hoping they will really take off.”


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
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Mark Douglas
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