“Your 20 year old daughter MADE that card?” I asked my best friend. The card images and text were stamped and embellished with a well-placed rhinestone. A 3-D feel was created by layered focal points and a beautiful ribbon completed the look. She showed me several more cards that she received for her birthday and her recent wedding anniversary. I was in awe and felt so inspired as I saw card after card, each with its own unique charm! I couldn’t wait to learn to hand craft my own cards!
And so began my love affair with designing and creating greeting cards. That day was 16 years ago and my passion continues. I love good design. I love greeting cards. I love connecting with people and teaching what I have learned.
I started my career in the fine arts field of music as a registered music therapist. I switched to teaching private piano lessons while raising my 2 young children. Soon after they entered school, I taught general and choral music in grade school followed by high school. My music career spanned 20 years.
When my daughter was expecting her first child and my first grandchild, I closed the much loved chapter of my music career and turned my focus to a home based business of designing and selling greeting cards. The ongoing set schedule and external responsibilities of classes, student performances, concerts and music activities were replaced by flexible time, working from home, and being available for more consistent support to my growing family.
My love of people and creativity now took a new outlet. Design classes at a local university fit nicely into my schedule. I developed my professional skills of design, typography, color theory, drawing, photography and so much more to help in my graphic design career. The sophisticated design software of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator became my tools of choice. As my design skills grew through the computer, my handcrafted cards turned digital and a new world of sales and marketing took hold.
My first sales outlets were small local shops where I sold my handcrafted cards. My sales grew to include larger regional stores, private label cards, and organization and industry specific collections. Online sales at Greeting Card Universe and my own online card shop, Cards by Sandra Rose, selling both wholesale to stores and retail to individuals, have allowed me to expand not only across the United States but in Europe as well. The online store Zazzle has allowed me to grow my business to include related collections of gift items featuring my designs. My line has now grown to more than 5, 000 cards and I have sold well over 200, 000 cards.
People share with me stories of how meaningful cards are in their lives. Stories of care and compassion and how a card has helped them touch a friend’s life who was diagnosed with cancer. Stories of the joy a card brings for just saying hello to a grandfather who lives in a nursing home. Stories of celebration as the “perfect” card scores a home run with a son or grandson on his birthday. Budding card designers reach out to me to learn how a home based career works, how to use the complicated design software, and how to make money online through graphic design.