Looking over the horrible cards in a gift shop will help you realize there is room for someone with a little creativity who is also interested in starting a greeting card business.
If you are creative and can get your thoughts on paper, there is opportunity. According to the Greeting Card Association, this is a growing industry.
There are a lot of options to get started in the greeting card business. You can be a writer and designer, or you can simply be an independent distributor. Or you can tackle the entire thing and design, publish and distribute your own cards. Etsy has opened the door to anyone who wants to create their own cards and sell on a platform made for creators.
There are a lot of “mom-and-pop” businesses who have started in their basements and done pretty well, even though the big players like Hallmark, of course, still control a majority of the market.
Another option is to be a freelance designer or writer and you send your work to existing greeting card publishers for a fee.
But if you want to really be on your own, have full control and you have a real knack for creating better cards than the awful ones you see in the stores, I suggest doing the whole thing on your own. You can charge higher prices for your own professionally produced cards. And, again, you are in control.
But there is a lot more to it when you are responsible for running the entire business. But that’s just how it goes when the alternative is working for someone else.
What skill do you need to start a greeting card business?
Of course, you need to be creative and get your thought onto paper in a creative and meaningful way. It can be a lot of fun. But if you’re going to sell wholesale to retailers, you’ll need to have the ability to meet with people and sell your creative products. Although creativity often sells itself, being able to present in a professional manner will help you succeed.
$400 to $5000. You will need a computer, a very high end color printer and basic art supplies. If you are going to print your own cards through a commercial printer, you are looking at a minimum cost of $1,000 just to start up the press.
Digital “On-Demand” printing allows you to print a small amount of cards for much less money than it would cost to print on a traditional press. That way, you can start off printing smaller quantities and test the market before spending a lot on larger printing quantities.
The Greeting Card Association (GCA) is the trade organization representing greeting card and stationery publishers, and allied members of the industry
Greeting Card Association1156 15th Street NW, Suite 900,
Washington, DC 20005
Telephone: (202) 393-1778
You can Write Greeting Cards by Karen Ann Moore
How to Write and Sell Greeting Cards, Bumper Stickers, T-Shirts and Other Fun Stuff
The Complete Guide to Greeting Card Design & Illustration” by Eva Szela