Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Mother's Day - Mothering Sunday

Mothering Sunday, often called "Mothers' Day" in the United Kingdom and Ireland falls on the fourth Sunday of Lent (exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday). It is believed to have originated from the 16th century Christian practice of visiting one's mother church annually, which meant that most mothers would be reunited with their children on this day. Most historians believe that young apprentices and young women in servitude were released by their masters that weekend in order to visit their families. As a result of secularization, it is now principally used to celebrate and give thanks for mothers, although it is still recognized in the historical sense by some churches, with attention paid to Mary the mother of Jesus as well as the traditional concept 'Mother Church'.

Source: Wiki

Cool Cards: Mother's Day Cards

And on a lighter note... Tesco Value Mother's Day Cards

Source: Tesco Value Cards

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Anti Hallmark - Smart Alex

Interview with Jay Blumenfeld of Smart Alex cards.

"In the multibillion-dollar greeting card business, Smart Alex has carved a niche by boldly going where no big company has gone before. Founder Jay Blumenfeld opens up about his irreverent, unorthodox rise to success.

Jay Blumenfeld started the bold and bawdy greeting cards company Smart Alex in 1980, building it without venture capital, business training -- or a sense of hearing. Today, the deaf, gay, and out-about-it-all CEO personally designs bestselling card lines for specialty retailers, including sex shops, across North America. Blumenfield recently linked up with Inc.com via instant messenger to share the story of Smart Alex, advice on succeeding with a niche brand, and why uniqueness counts in the business world.

How did you start Smart Alex?

It was by accident. I didn't intend to do it at all. What I wanted to do was to promote my photography, and get a photography book published after I got out of college. This was 1980. Many book-publishing art directors told me that I should put my creative energy into making greeting cards. I thought it would be something I did for a year or two to promote myself as a photographer. But I fell in love with the alternative greeting cards industry, and decided to continue with the business.

What does Smart Alex do today? How is it distinct within the greeting cards industry?

We are a greeting card company that makes edgy cards. We aren't afraid to use butt-kickin' humor. And we sell through unusual channels. Most card companies are all alike and don't focus on a particular target audience as much as we do. We have a very specific market.

One of our most successful lines is the bachelorette series. I know I'm giving away our biggest secret, right? Oh no! But not many companies can do something like that.

We have great relationships with stores that aren't catered to by companies with bigger lines. Quotable is bigger. Hallmark and American Greetings are far bigger. They do humor. But it's just not as fearless as what we do at Smart Alex.

Can you make a comparison to another company?

If Hallmark and American greetings are like NBC and CBS, and Quotable is like CNN, I guess we're like an MTV or VH1".

Read more: Click to continue
Visit: Smart Alex Cards

1950's Valentines Day Cards

James D. Kimberlin: "This is a flickr set of 1950's Valentines Day Cards that I scanned. I'm an avid garage saler who came across 4 large scrap books of cards. I have been wanting to use them for a project and have finally gotten around to scanning them.

They include Valentine's Day, Easter, Christmas and Birthday cards, all dating from the 1950s. The scrapbooks are from a set of twin boys Vin (Elvin) and Don. There are some great classic cards in the set. I cleaned them all up and silo'd them.

Please feel free to download any and all and share them. I also have higher res versions of most of them, so if anyone needs those please feel free to contact me.

Also, I have a large assortment of other cards, Easter, Birthday etc. if anyone is interested".

View: Flickr images