How to stand out from the crowd: our #madeinsandwell Monday star Curious Pencil makes it personal

We live in such a fast-paced digital era that it’s refreshing to come across something hand-drawn and personalised. Meet our #madeinsandwell Monday star Curious Pencil, creator of custom-designed greetings cards.

Curious Pencil_handsSisters Sheleen Cocea and Simone Smith design and hand-draw greetings cards for companies who want to improve their emotional connection with customers.

They began by selling hand-drawn greeting cards to independent retailers back in 2015, working part-time alongside their existing careers. Sheleen was employed as a school teacher and Simone worked as a mortgage advisor for NatWest.

In April 2018 Simone handed in her notice and began pursuing Curious Pencil full time. Since then the company’s focus has shifted to the B2B market, as the sisters discovered that their product is best placed to improve upon customer experience.

The Oldbury-based team works well together as Sheleen has a background in art and design and creates all the artwork, and Simone is the wordsmith, with a background in poetry and creative writing. Their combined skills are perfect for creating memorable, personalised greeting cards.

Dunton christmas copy_Curious Pencil“Customers are ultimately the backbone to every business and as humans we crave to be appreciated,” Simone told us. “We believe each customer deserves to smile, and a small gesture of appreciation goes a long way”.

Sheleen and Simone both enjoy being located in Sandwell due to the uniqueness of the borough and the support of the many businesses that are also situated in this area.

Guy Salmon Curious Pencil sampleTheir aim is “to make the world smile, one face at a time” and they are already on their way to achieving this as the company has just secured a deal with Guy Salmon Land Rover in Coventry, which now uses Curious Pencil cards to wish customers well with their new cars.

Curious Pencil also supplies Sandwell estate agents and mortgage providers with cards to welcome clients into their new homes. In 2015 it won a business start-up of the year award from Birmingham City Council’s Enterprise Catalyst programme.

You can check out Curious Pencil’s bespoke greeting cards and stationery design services at

#madeinsandwell Monday is a celebration of the talent and diversity of organisations within our borough. If you’re interested in being considered for a #madeinsandwell Monday profile and having information about your organisation shared on Think Sandwell and through our social media networks, read this.