Two sisters took a leap of faith and started their own greeting card business, inspired by their parents’ random notes of encouragement.
Cincy Chic: What is PesPress?
Kirstin Pesola McEachern and Kara Pesola, Owners of PesPress: PesPress is a sister-owned greeting card company that encompasses different card lines to address different sentiments, such as happy birthday or thanks, but each card is simply designed and carries the signature poppy logo, a symbol of the owners’ late father, Tom Pesola, whose grandkids called him “Poppy” and whose friends called him “Pes.”
The company’s ambitions are simple: to bring back print mail and emphasize connection, from our most random thoughts to our most heartfelt feelings. Essentially, we are creating cards that we want to send to people, but we haven’t been able to find.
We are a small business whose cards are available via etsy and soon to be at local shops.
Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
McEachern and Pesola: The idea to start a greeting card company was inspired by our parents, who used to leave notes under our pillows and send greeting cards to our college campus mailboxes. These fond memories contribute to our love of old-fashioned, in-your-mailbox-from-the-post-
Individual card lines were inspired by various passions. For example, our empathy line is inspired by the loss of our dad. He died suddenly when he was only 59. Very few people knew what to say, both at the time, and on anniversaries of his death. Learning from the experience of our dad’s death, we aim to create thoughtful empathy cards and notes to honor many types of tough anniversaries – anniversary of a divorce or a disease diagnosis, for instance.
We are also committed to social justice, so we have a line that of cards that represent our hopes for a more just world.
Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it?
McEachern and Pesola: Kirstin Pesola McEachern and Kara Pesola are the co-owning sisters. We describe ourselves on our website as follows:
After dropping ridiculous amounts on greeting cards over the years and still not finding quite what she wanted, Kirstin shared the idea of starting a card business with her sister, Kara, who had been thinking the same thing. When she is not dropping weekly cards in the mail, Kirstin is reading or running. She lives in Cincinnati.
Kara is a card lover who lives in Salem, Massachusetts. As a child with no money, she would walk the card aisle at CVS and steal ideas to make for her family at home. As an adult she is still searching card aisles, but now she pays for them! Kara loves finding the perfect card and hopes you will find one with PesPress.
Scott Booth is our resident card designer, graphic artist, and photographer. When he’s not working on something creative, he’s probably hanging out with his dog Porter. If you want to get in touch with Scott, check out his website scottboothphotography.com.
Cincy Chic: What types of products do you offer?
McEachern and Pesola: Right now, just greeting cards – cards that are slightly smaller than your typical ones so as not to intimidate people and make them feel they have to write too much inside.
As we are just starting out, we’re excited to see how the business grows!
Cincy Chic: What makes PesPress unique?
McEachern and Pesola: In our digital age, we think our company is unique in its mission to bring back printed mail and help people feel more connected. Our company story as inspired daughters and sisters is one we haven’t heard before, either. We are not graphic designers or people who work in the creative industry. By day, Kirstin is a school administrator at a PreK-12 school in Cincinnati, and Kara is a nurse practitioner in Salem, Massachusetts. This company, and the cards we create, is a labor of love and a way for us to stay connected as sisters with a common purpose, despite now living 1,000 miles away from each other (Kirstin moved to Cincinnati in 2015).
Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for PesPress?
McEachern and Pesola: We are just about to launch our social justice line, and our empathy cards are right on its heels. After those are launched, we are expanding our offerings. So far, we’ve just printed our top 4 cards (based on feedback from various groups), but we have SOOO many more waiting in the wings that we can’t wait to put in a mailbox near you!
Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
McEachern and Pesola: Readers can visit our website and Etsy shop, but we also have a facebook page where we regularly reach out to people and get feedback on card ideas: https://www.facebook.com/
We are also happy to offer 10% off to your readers, valid through 5/31. They can use the coupon code CINCYCHIC at checkout.