The Independent features Jivana Style

The Independent

The Independent, a national UK newspaper covered the Jivana Style story on September 2nd 2008. The Independent - Retail Jivana Style


Jivana Style makes National & International News!

working Lunch

The daily express wrotte about Jivana Style on March 13th 2008 - it was a fabulous article, spread across two pages and written by Maisha Frost. This news story was picked up by the agency Press Trust of India and sent to the media all over India and globally! The British Satelite News agency also filmed our story which should be out soon! Click here to read the article online from the Daily Express Website. Daily Express - Asian Cards making their Mark

The story was also published in India. Here are some of the stories: The Hindu, The Financial Express, Yahoo India, Deccan Herald, Indian Express, and Zee News to name but a few!
Precious online

Precious ( is an online magazine and network for women of colour; it was launched in 1999 and attracts an audience of over 80,000 unique visitors a month.

We were invited to submit our story - to read the full article click here.

Mela UK 2007

Mela UK feature

Click Here to read whole article.

BBC Asian Network

BBC Asian Network contacted us for an interview on the Breakfast show with Sonia Deol on Thursday 12th July 2007. The basis of the interview followed a report that 1 in 5 new businesses have been inspired by reality TV programmes such as BBC's Dragon's Den.

Click here to listen to the interview.

Asiana Magazine - July 2007

Editor Radika called us up for an interview which resulted in a fabulous double page feature in Asiana Magazine!

Asiana Magazine Feature

Click Here to open full Asiana Feature July 2007

Greetings Today - June 2007

Ethnic Cards Gain Ground Read More

Greetings Today News Article

Charlotte Cowell, editor of Greetings Today, tracks the progress of ethnic greeting cards on the high street...

"Ethnic Cards Gain Ground

Clinton Cards is in the process of testing another selection of cards for ethnic communities, which are published by Colourblind Cards. Colourblind Cards is run by Jessica Huie, who created her own cards after becoming disillusioned by the lack of ethnic greetings products in the market, but she's not the first supplier in this niche area to have been taken on by Clinton's. That distinction goes to Samantha Alfred's Jivana Style, who makes colourful ranges of cards featuring Black and Asian characters. Clinton's has been taking pains to ensure that the right cards are pout in front of the various customers of its 700-plus stores around the UK, which serve a variety of local populations. Jivana Style's collection has already been rolled out to over 100 Clinton's outlets, whilst Colourblind's ranges can currently be found in ten stores."

Greetings etc - May/June 2007

Cover Story: Stationery Trends Go Global Read More

Greetings etc cover story

Greetings Galore By Kathy Krassner

"Since Great Britain sends more greeting cards per person than any other nation in the world, it's not surprising that this country's largest retail exhibition - Spring Fair Birmingham held at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham, U.K. - features a huge exhibit hall devoted entirely to "Greetings." Held this year from February 4-8, Spring Fair Birmingham offered an expansive representation of card and stationery trends that are successfully driving sales on both sides of the pond.

Billing itself as "the world's essential greetings showcase," the show featured approximately 550 exhibitors in its "Greetings" section, located in Hall 3 at the NEC. Aisle after aisle contained numerous card publishers both large and small, as well as manufacturers of giftwrap, stationery products, partyware and more.

One of the major differences between the British and American greeting card markets remains the prevalence of square-shaped cards in the U.K. According to one card source at the show, square cards are synonymous with "high end" in the U.K., whereas 5" x 7" cards (the dominant card size in the U.S.) is considered more "mass market" there. Although the U.K.'s postal service recently added a surcharge for square-shaped envelopes, this hasn't hindered the popularity of these cards. Plus, most publishers' display fixtures are designed to hold square cards - making it difficult for them to switch to the 5" x 7" shape.

Another interesting difference is the use of the term "Asian" cards. While card buyers in the U.S. primarily think of Chinese and Japanese imagery in this category, "Asian" cards in the U.K. refer to designs for the Indian market - and are geared toward the large number of immigrants from India in Great Britain. One company offering such cards at the show was Jivana Style Ltd., whose lines include "Masala Girls," "Desi Boyz" and "Chutney Kidz"...."

To read the full article Click here.

Everywoman logo

Doing it Jivana Style

Established in 1999, Everywoman has over 29,000 members, and is the leading independent provider of valuable and practical resources to support women as they start, run and expand in business; Jivana Style's success story was chosen to be included on the website. To read the full article Click here.

BBC Radio WM

BBC Radio West Midlands contacted us after reading a news story in the Asian press. We had a live radio interview on Friday 18th May on the "Midlands Masala" programme presented by Satnam Rana - the show has all the latest news and events from the West Midlands' Asian communities.

Click here to listen the interview.

Eastern Eye - May 2007

Desi Cards Enter Market  Read More

Eastern Eye Feature


Zee Magazine Spring 2007

Play your cards right  Read More

Zee Magazine Editorial

At the end of December 2006, Zee magazine contacted Sam from Jivana Style to discuss the business and to run an article; Zee Magazine spotted the exciting cards at the National Mela 06 held at the NEC and was encouraged by the volume of customers and their enthusiasm and the buzz generated from the products on the stand.

Here's what they wrote:

"There's a card for every occasion now, it seems, thanks to Jivana Style cards, an original Asian card and gift service which burst onto the scene just 12 months ago. Recognising a growing multicultural audience, Jivana Style designs cards, on recycled paper, with messages unique to the British-Asian customer.

The Masala Girls and Desi Boyz, for example are funky Asian cartoons for birthdays, while the Chutney Kidz suit weddings and anniversaries. The 2007 collection features never-before-seen Asian Valentines and Mother's and Father's Day cards.

Samantha Alfred is the brains behind the collection and has also developed henna inpsired greeting cards with intricate patterns, hand finished with gems."

Black UK Online

Black UK Online recently featured our Story following our entry into the Den. This online magazine provides a unique blend of local, national, and international news, lifestyle, views, reviews, profiles and entertainment; it aims to bring thought-provoking editorial beyond the black experience reflecting more fully, the multicultural Britain we live in today.

To read the full article Click here.


Jivana Style launches British African-Caribbean Cards

Press Release - 30th January 2007  Read More

Press Release Jan07

Jivana Style burst onto the scene just 12 months ago with a fantastic collection of Unique Asian Greeting Cards. A British born Asian concept for a growing multi-cultural audience, the cards are designed and printed in the UK on recycled board and all gifts are produced in the UK.

Fabulous British Asian designs

The Masala Girls and Desi Boyz - fresh & funky Asian cartoons for birthdays and everyday occasions and Chutney Kidz - for multi-cultural weddings and anniversaries; the collection includes never before seen Asian Valentines, Mother's Day and Father's Day cards!

Ever the innovator, Samantha Alfred developed the first Henna Inspired greeting cards in the industry, drawing from her henna portfolio the fabulously intricate patterns are completed with glitter and hand finished with gems.

Jivana Style's original and eye catching designs are a fusion of cultures resulting in an original contemporary collection.

Funky British Afro-Caribbean cartoons

Following the success of the Asian ranges, Jivana Style is pleased to announce the launch of a funky range of Afro-Caribbean cartoons at Spring Fair 2007 which have been inspired by British Afro-Caribbean culture.

The idea behind this fresh new range is simple - they are a true reflection of the British cultures that are emerging - British Asian and British Afro-Caribbean - offering a new range of designs for a market that is untapped.

These fun and quirky designs have been created using vibrant colours and fashion that reflect the culture perfectly. Many of the cards carry phrases that are relevant to the changing face of Britain, presenting the mixture of languages that is prevalent in many vocabularies these days.

Contact Samantha Alfred for further information or interviews on: 020 8574 3085


Greetings Today - November 2006

Feature - 2006 in Review  Read More

Greetings Today Feature

"Our concept" says Samantha, is "British Asian design led greeting cards for British, Asian and Multi-cultural markets. Inspiration comes directly from the Asian culture; we choose recycled board for our printed range, producing our cards in the UK; our designs are far from the stereotypical Asian imported religious cards offering instead exciting designs that are a unique British Asian fusion.

"After a few months of test trading we decided to take the plunge and get serious at the start of this year. On the recommendation of one of our buyers we booked in for Top Drawer Spring in January, where we met some great people full of advice and support, and also met Charlotte Cowell of Greetings Today, who gave us our very first trade press coverage! We went on to exhibit at Spring Fair, where we met lots of big names, distributors and independent retailers who were very interested in our products. This is where Clinton Cards saw us and wanted to pursue discussions further; shortly after they booked us in for a test run in three stores.

"In April we planned an official launch party, inviting local businesses, retail buyers, press and all my family and friends who have been supporting me faithfully and then in June, we attended the Business start-up exhibition at the NEC and were approached by the Dragon's Den team who encouraged us to pitch our business idea to them. We were eventually selected to appear on the show from over 4,000 applicants!

July 2006 saw Jivana Style exhibit at the Asian Lifestyle Show, Olympia. The show was a great success as we met our target market face to face, and they gave us tremendous amounts of support and encouragement. Then at Autumn Fair, there was a huge buzz around our stand following articles in the press and our scheduled TV appearance. We had lots of key buyers visit our stand and have had interest from major independent retailers and even a supermarket chain.

"2006 so far has been fantastic. The response from the general public, press and buyers towards our Unique Asian Greeting cards and Indian inspired designs has been fabulous. It seems the market has been waiting for a product like ours, and we are very grateful and appreciative to everyone who has supported us so far. We hope this support is continued so we are able to publish even more vibrant, fresh and funky new designs"


Progressive Greetings - October 2006

Top Story - Breathing Fire - Dragons' Refusal Ignites Publisher's Enthusiasm  Read More

Dragon's Den Feature

New card publisher Jivana Style is celebrating its appearance on TV's Dragons' Den on September 14, despite 'the dragons' turning down the business' request for funding.

Founder Sam Alfred wanted money in return for 10% of her business for product development, marketing and general expansion. But the 'Dragons' 'pooh-poohed' her concept of graphic-style cards for British Asians, saying they didn't understand how she could make money from it.

But Sam, who has been in business since February after being made redundant from her job in an oil company, insists the business will make money and that progress so far proves her right.

She has already been successful in selling cards to Clinton Cards (they will be stocked in 100 stores by the end of this year) and they are on a test run in Fenwick's and Sainsbury's. And the range has received good feedback at consumer Asian shows.

And the appearance on Dragons' Den, far from being a failure, has given the business invaluable publicity, she says. "Seeing myself on the programme prompted some customers to place more orders, the website has had more hits and I get recognised locally!"

She says the 'Dragons' "didn't get the point" of her cards, which are fun and funky cartoon characters for a British Asian and multi-ethnic market based on members of her own family. The idea came about because Sam felt there was a lack of cards for younger British Asians who did not want traditional religious depictions of Eid and Diwali. And the cards are also suitable for non-Asian people to send to Asian friends, as they can buy them without worrying about understanding the religious significance. But the Dragons, Sam felt, "have not been exposed to the market I want to reach. Just as British people don't really 'get' American cards as they're too sentimental and traditional, so British Asians don't really like the traditional imported Asian cards."

But 'Dragon' Peter Jones told her she was "dreaming" and Duncan Bannatyne refused to believe she had cards in Clintons. Despite the knock back, Sam is busy working on developing the business, with various opportunities on the horizon including producing giftware and getting licensing deals. Having taken as art degree then spent 10 years in a corporate environment, Sam says she's found her niche. "I never thought I'd actually become an artist but at last I'm using my creative skills and I'm absolutely loving it"

startups logo is a number-one online resource for starting a business. For budding entrepreneurs with first time businesses or for established entrepreneurs looking to do it a second time, there is news and information needed to get your business on the right track.

Our profile is available online, to read the full article Click here.


Entrepreneur Succeeds Without BBC Dragons

Press Release - October 2006  Read More

Samantha Alfred of Jivana Style Ltd entered the BBC2 television programme, Dragons Den, which was aired on Thursday 14th September 2006, and emerged unharmed.

Despite the Dragon's comments, Sam pitched her business idea confidently and left the Den undeterred, fired up to prove they had missed an opportunity to invest.

Concept with a Difference

Jivana Style has developed a unique card concept: Asian design led greeting cards for British, Asian and Multi-cultural audiences - fulfilling a gap in the UK market.

Sam says: "Inspiration for my designs comes from growing up in Southall, a diverse and multi-cultural community; my experiences of traditional Asian culture and life as a British Asian Christian.

I realised there was a huge gap in the market for Asian greeting cards, since the high street's idea of Asian cards was limited to Eid or Diwali; I felt the stereo type needed to be addressed so I set up my business offering fresh new Asian cartoons and Henna inspired designs for everyday"

Ranges include the funky Masala Girls and Desi Boyz - for Birthdays and general occasions and the Chutney Kidz - quirky Asian, Black and English cartoons in traditional Christian and Asian wedding attire - servicing the growing need for multi-cultural weddingcards.

"Masala Girls" hit with Clintons

Jivana Style's unique Asian greeting cards caught the attention of the UK's largest greeting card retailer, Clinton Cards in February; after a successful test, a nationwide roll out to stores began mid-September, the week millions of viewers watched Samantha on Dragon's Den.

Brett Smith, Purchasing Director, Clinton Cards said the introduction of Jivana Style to the chain: "We've been aware for a while for the need to serve the Asian community, but hadn't found anything that was quite right. Sam's style is young and fresh, and caters to those target customers and she really hits the nail on the head. There are a few different ranges and we're going to use all of them." (Greetings Today, August 2006)

Onwards and Upwards

There has been immense interest from Independent Retailers and multiples. The supermarket giant Sainsbury's are testing Jivana Style's cards - success could mean further nationwide sales. Christian cards have been supplied to St Paul's Cathedral, Asian cards to Fenwick's Brent Cross and Fenwick's Newcastle.

Sam is also working with a retail multiple in the Middle East, developing a specialist range for the market; the initial order has been delivered with a potential distribution deal on the table.

Jivana Style is working with two companies to develop the Masala Girls and Desi Boyz into an animated cartoon for television and mobile phone games and downloads. Currently the cartoon brand has been established with the expansion into a line of gifts including key rings, mugs, coasters, and fridge magnets; following this next year will be gift wrap and gift bags.

Note to Editor:
Samantha Alfred took redundancy 12 months ago, leaving behind a 10-year corporate career, taking the opportunity to follow her dream. Within 5 months, Jivana Style Ltd was incorporated and the unique Asian cards were launched at Spring Fair 2006, a major UK trade fair.

Cards are created and printed in the UK, a design led product fusing Asian culture with Western quality, resulting in a truly British Asian product. The originality of the product has captured the attention of the UK Greeting card industry, being widely reported in national trade press, local media and online magazines.

Contact Samantha Alfred direct for more information or interviews on 020 8574 3085


Southall, Ealing & Acton Gazettes, Ealing & Greenford Leaders - 22nd September 2006

Dragon's Den Feature

Emerging from the Dragons Den unscathed

BBC Two show Dragon's Den is becoming increasingly popular. mainly for the way its panel of five high flying entrepreneurs blast the business ideas which are presented to them on a weekly basis.

One of their recent victims is Samantha Alfred, who was seen by millions of viewers last Thursday trying to get financial backing for her Asian greeting cards ideas - Jivana Style.

Despite a though-out pitch, it was deemed an unnattractive investment for the dragons, particularly Duncan Bannatyne, who dished out the most sever criticism.

But this has not put off Ms Alfred who was speaking to the Gazette this week, vowed to push on the idea and prove the dragons wrong. She has made a good start by getting nationwide store Clintons to agree to sell her cards in more that 120 of their outlets.

The 33-year-old, of Burket Close, Southall, said "I realised long ago that if I wanted to give a greeting card which represented the Asian community I couldn't because cards only have western faces and represent western culture. That's where the idea came from.

"Also, traditionally people have imported Asian cards and so they've previously been Eid or Diwali cards. But I'm a Christian so I thought there was a gap there."

Speaking about her experience on the Dragon's Den, Ms Alfred added: "I was incensed when I was in there pitching because they really are cruel but that's what they're told to do. But when they aired it I was quite satisfied with how I came across."

Ms Alfred, was chosen from more than 4,000 applicants after hearing about the programme during a trade show at the Birmingham NEC arena in June.

Story written by Tim Simpson


Hounslow & Isleworth, and Richmond Informers - 22nd September 2006

Dragon's Den Feature

Asian greeting cards prove a big success

Facing sharp-tongued business experts in front of an audience of millions didn't stop greeting card designer Samantha Alfred realising her ambitions.

Despite being turned away by the five-strong panel on BBC's Dragon's Den show, the tenacious businesswoman has closed a deal with Clinton Cards.

Her Asian cards have been in 20 of its shops, including Hounslow's Treaty Centre store, and are set to take another 100 by storm.

"I wanted to create a card aimed at people of Asian heritage born or living in Britain because I thought there was a real gap in the market," said Mrs Alfred, 33 of Burket Close, Norwood Green.

"I've designed all the cards myself in a cartoon-style and the character are all based on friends and family."

"The ranges are called Masala Girls, Chutney Kidz and Desi Boyz."

A degree in art and English from Roehampton University channelled Mrs Alfred's creative streak, and after more than 10 years working in human resources for oil company BP, she knew it was time to get back to her roots.

After taking redundancy last year, she was inspired by husband Eddie, 37 to follow her heart.

"My husband runs his own chauffeur business and is always so happy, " added Mrs Alfred. "I thought 'I want a piece of that' and decided to get into card designing full time.

"I have always made cards myself - you'd often see me producing 200 Christmas cards for friends and relatives - so it was a logical step."

Dad Subhash, 68 and mum Asha, 60, of Southall have been astounded by their daughter's success.- apart from the downside that she no longer has as much time to see them.

But with a test batch of cards already delivered to Sainsbury's and more on sale at Fenwicks department stores, it looks like Mrs Alfred could soon have less free time.

Story written by Magda Ibrahim


Progressive Greetings - September 2006

Into the Dragon's Den & A Clinton Roll Out  Read More

Clinton Cards Feature


Greetings Today - August 2006

Quality and Value - Clinton Cards  Read More

Clinton Cards Feature


Progressive Greetings - August 2006

Innovations - East meets West  Read More

Two of our Henna inspired hand-finished greeting cards were chosen to be featured in this month's Innovations.


Greetings Today - June 2006

Jivana Style launches cards for Asian market  Read More

Greetings Today - Clinton Cards Feature

The launch of our Unique Asian Greeting Cards concept was reported in the June edition of Greetings Today.



Progressive Greetings - June 2006

Innovations - Wedding Spice  Read More

Progressive Greetings Feature

Wedding Spice

"Chutney Kidz is a wonderfully cute and likeable cartoon range of multi-ethnic wedding cards from Jivana Style. The 12, 125mm square designs include traditional Asian bridal couples, bridal couples in traditional Christian outfits, and multi-ethnic couples in Asian and Christian bridal wear. The range is printed on recycled board and individually cello wrapped with matching coloured envelopes."



Hounslow Chronicle - May 18th 2006

Cards for Masala Girls and Desi Boyz  Read More

Hounslow Chronicle Feature


Asian style from Jivana

Giftware Review - May 2006  Read More

Giftware ReviewFeature


Greetings Today - March 2006

Editor's Choice - New Wave  Read More

Greetings Today Feature

Editor Charlotte Cowell revisits Top Drawer Spring, reviewing of one of Clarion Events' most exciting trade shows. (p17)

"Jivana Style, meanwhile offered a novel, vibrant collection of Asian greeting cards, including a fun range featuring the 'Masala Girls', 'Desi Boys' and 'Chutney Kids' cartoon characters. Also on show were some lovely, simple Christian cards, contemporary Indian images and examples of Mehndi Art."

Garden of Eden (feature on animals p28) Card design ARK05 was included in this feature.



Asiana Wedding - Spring 2006

Yours Truly - Wedding Invitation Feature  Read More

Asiana Wedding Feature

Asiana Wedding magazine is one of the UK's leading Asian wedding publications.
4 out of 10 wedding invitations selected for the feature were from Jivana Style!

Designs Incuded:

Chutney Kidz - Rich
Mehndi Art Collection - Divine
Henna Hearts
Mehndi Art Collection - Unique

View these cards and many more on our Invitations page.

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