Business Profiles — By Susan Post on July 29, 2015 at 8:00 am
A simple but powerful phrase serves as the inspiration for new greeting card studio Design with Heart. Love is Love. Period.
A successful graphic designer with over 25 years of experience and a serious list of accolades, Jason Bradley-Krauss is the creator of the made and manufactured in Columbus inclusive line of greeting cards, customized wedding invitations, gift-wrap, holiday cards and art prints that fills a niche for the LGBT community.
Bradley-Krauss experienced first-hand the limited options surrounding LGBT-appropriate cards when he married his partner of nearly 19 years in October.
“When we came back from New York I went to send out a wedding announcement and I couldn’t find anything I really like that was appropriate for two men, so I designed my own announcement, ” he says.
He noticed a huge gap in the market for announcements, invites and greeting cards that spoke to the idea that love is love. Some greeting card companies seemed to have tentatively entered the market, keeping options generic.
“Many retailers are starting to entertain the idea of celebrating the idea of marriage equality, but their selection is still so limited, ” Bradley-Krauss says. Nothing made that more apparent than the six of the exact same card that they received for their nuptials.
The Design with Heart line aims to say the things other companies or brands haven’t said.
Elegant, crisp, clean designs declare sentiments like “Here Come the Brides, ” “Here Come the Grooms, ” “To the Blushing Brides” or “To the Handsome Grooms.” Design with Heart doesn’t just address the wedding market, but includes heartfelt couple cards like “My Girlfiend Has an Amazing Girlfriend” and even adoption-appropriate cards.
Bradley-Krauss initially intended to keep the products exclusively LGBT, but love is love always came resounding back. The line includes cards that celebrate the love of any couple, as well as the more standard birthday, thinking of you and thank you varieties, but with the same editorial design.
“If I could use the focus of love and look at different occasions and holidays, really the cards designed themselves, ” Bradley-Krauss says.
The 160 different greeting cards Design with Heart brought to the National Stationary Show sold extremely well, further validating the need for such a niche.
Since then, the cards have landed not only in shops across Columbus, but the nation and even the world.
Locally, the owners of both On Paper in Short North and Peabody Papers in Grandview have been instrumental with insights, advice and critiques, and the cards are now stocked in both the shops. Design with Heart can also be found at The Book Loft, the Wexner Center Store and Torso, among others.
“It’s been a really great reception locally, ” Bradley-Krauss says.
Another big break for the line came from an agreement with Bed, Bath & Beyond. Through his network, Bradley-Krauss was able to make a connection with the national retailer and now has 20 different wedding invitations for same-sex couples featured at the store.
He’s also caught the eye of Bravo TV personality David Cruz and was recently featured on product launch platform The Grommet.
While Bradley-Krauss has spent many successful years doing design work for the likes of Cheryl’s Cookies, Bath & Body Works and Cardinal Health, “This is the first time that I’ve had a product of my own to bring to market, ” he says. And it’s a thrill to be doing it standing for an idea he believes in deeply.