MY #1 COPING TOOL AND HOW I TURNED IT INTO A BUSINESS

Since it is officially Card Reading Day and I have a greeting card business I thought I’d take this opportunity to tell you all how I got started and where I get my inspiration from.

For as long as I can remember I have been making homemade cards for family members for birthdays, Christmas, or whatever holiday it was that gave me an excuse to be creative with paper. As time went on and I matured my family noticed I really had a knack for making greeting cards. They encouraged me to start selling them but I told them that I didn’t want to lose my love of making cards by doing so.

It eventually got to a point where I was just making cards for fun and not even for anyone in particular. Making cards had become my number one coping skill and I couldn’t get enough of it. I decided to start selling cards to family members who would rather pay me than Hallmark or Wegmans (at astronomical prices). At this point, I couldn’t say no to selling my cards for the general public. I was spending a lot on card making supplies so I figured this would be a great way to at least pay for my Michaels and Hobby Lobby obsessions.

Less than a year ago I got really serious about selling my cards and since have gradually been building my business. I am so proud of it because I am able to incorporate my personal values into Refined Resilience Greeting Cards. By that I mean I make positive and uplifting cards for people struggling (with mental health in particular). They can be for anyone, of course, but from my personal experiences with mental illness, receiving cards and notes really brighten my day when I’m down. It shows that someone really cares, especially because when I’m depressed I feel as if people’s lives would be better without me.

I created the name “Refined Resilience” because throughout all of my treatments for the eating disorder and other mental illnesses I have been told I am a resilient person for overcoming a lot of the things I’ve dealt with. I believe that everyone is a fighter and we are all resilient individuals.

The cards I am most excited about are my NEDA cards. I physically carved a stamp of the National Eating Disorder Awareness symbol and use it to create these cards, as shown below and in other posts.

And what is most unique about my cards is that I don’t use a Cricut or any die-cutting machines. Monotony is the worst and I want every card to be super individual. Every single card of mine is unique and I think that’s very charming about them. You won’t find my cards anywhere else and even the style is very different because, as I mentioned, I don’t use any fancy machines for them. I have considered it but felt like it would take away the beauty from my brand. More importantly, it would take away the fun coping mechanism from me because I love just sitting down with my supplies and playing around with everything on paper.

My family tells me how much they love my cards either when they purchase them for me (for others) or when I give them to them. My brother even told me won’t buy cards anywhere but from me. As much as I love designing cards and getting that positive feedback, the most important part of the card is what you write on the inside. It’s so cathartic to write out how you feel about the people you love. Definitely check out my Etsy shop sometime but in the meantime stop at your local store that sells cards (or make your own) because it’s not too late to give a heartfelt card to a loved one this Card Reading Day!

As always, you can check out the card featured in this post, and many more, right on my Etsy site here.

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