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JEREMY’S JOURNAL Business blogging by publisher Jeremy Corner of Blue Eyed Sun.
Blind Spot Jeremy Corner, owner of greeting card publisher Blue Eyed Sun and distributor of BambooCup, takes a glimpse at his blind spot.
I recently met up with an experienced retailer friend of mine. I love seeing him as we both enjoy shooting the breeze about business and life. I also value his good honest feedback about our products and business. We were discussing the blind spot in the Johari Window - a technique created by psychologists Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham in 1955 that helps people better understand their relationship with themselves and others, used primarily in self-help groups and as an exercise in corporate situations - when he said something to me that shook me to my core: “You are not a greeting card publisher, Jeremy. You are just a guy who has helped his talented partner along their way.” I flinched when he said it. It came out of the blue and I recoiled as if to avoid it, while at the same time knowing, on some
level, that there was truth in what he said. It amuses me to think that Blue Eyed Sun has come so far without me being a greeting card publisher, but that’s probably the truth. If it’s the truth for me, it could also be the truth for a huge number of others in our industry. That’s not just for publishers by the way, but retailers too. Another industry friend regularly points out that there are a huge number of amateurs in retail. If you don’t know what your best sellers are and which products generate your biggest profits then you may well be one of them.
What to do It’s easy to hear something like this and feel defensive or angry. I believe that feelings are like metal detectors for gold. If you feel a reaction then there is work for you to do around those feelings and treasure to be liberated from the muck. Blue Eyed Sun has been reliant on the talent of one remarkable design talent for many years. Part of the reason I knew that my friend was right is the fact that I have repeatedly tried and failed to create ranges with other designers. They have all bombed. It’s not like the business is complete 44
PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE
Top: Take a glimpse at your blind spot to have a clear understanding of your business. Above: The Biscuit range designed by Jo Corner is one of the new ranges from Blue Eyed Sun. Left: The Johari Window is a technique to help people better understand themselves.
rubbish either though. We have built something quite remarkable with our blood, sweat and countless tears. The first thing I decided to do was to take stock of the value within our business. These are other truths that can keep one from jumping off a cliff, when the rug is seemingly pulled out from under your feet by the reality of your blind spot that you have previously denied yourself from seeing.
Our value Blue Eyed Sun has built a widely established brand presence within the trade marketplace, painstakingly forged over nearly two decades. We are well-known within the industry, with years of coverage in hundreds of magazine articles, many award