Greetings with a Specialty

Greetings with a Specialty

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Looking back, Julie Strickland admits she probably always had the creative bug deep inside her. It was probably always dying to get out, dying to be a part of her daily life. And050911social.jpg suddenly, one day, back in 2005, it was out. Julie took a greeting card class on how to do personalized designs. She absolutely loved it, she says. 

 

“It was just a little two hour class at somebody’s scrapbook store,” Strickland says. “And then my mother –in-law said, ‘you should see these’.”

 

For the following three years, Strickland made greeting cards as a hobby, balancing it between life as a mother and work as an urban professional. “Then I decided that I really did like it enough and I just wanted to make it a career,” she says. And so, Specialty Cards 4 U was born. Sometimes it seems like that was just yesterday, she tells Cincy Chic.

 

Strickland spent the last few years running Specialty Cards 4 U from her home in Greater Cincinnati. “I just love that,” she says. “The flexibility of this job is just wonderful and that’s probably one of the best things about it.”

In the process, it’s allowed Strickland to continue to be an active mother and participate in her kids’ daily lives without having to sacrifice a career, she says. She’s also learned how to be a businesswoman for a new age. 

 

“You know, there really is no one way to build a greeting card business,” she says. Strickland learned a lot of how to run her business 050911SOCIAL2.jpgthrough online networking. That networking taught her how to distinguish her product from big box store cards and other competitors, she explains.

“All of my cards have little gem stones and hand tied ribbons, individual and unique designs,” she says. “l’ll also take custom work. I had someone come to me a few days ago—a coach—who wanted specialty cards for their pee wee football team.”

 

Designs from Specialty Cards 4 U cards run the gamut—from birthday greetings to holiday cards. Predesigned cards cost $5.50.

 

Strickland ships four to 500 cards a month, and sometimes even more, she says. Cards are carried in several states, and in boutiques in Canada. Cincinnati Magazine’s Best Of issue also recently highlighted her unique creations.

 

“It’s exciting to know that many are being sent out,” she says. “I’ve even had some months where I have shipped three thousand cards.” Locally, you can shop for Specialty Cards 4 U at places like Poeme, The Wine Store, The Next Best Thing, the Library Friends Shop, and It’s in the Details. The company also has an active online shop.


PHOTO CREDITS

Photographer: Neysa Ruhl