After spending time apart, many people are looking for ways to connect this holiday season that don’t involve a screen. For some, this means picking up a phone, but for others, it involves picking up a pen.
“We can tell this year by our business that greeting card sending, in general, is up,” says Gina Gottschalk, founder and president of Gina B. Designs Inc. in Plymouth. “People [need] that connection, and they’re getting tired of emails and texts,” she says. “They [want] that tactile experience of sending a card.”
Gina B. Designs specializes in greeting cards, stationery and gifts, and what started in 1984 as a small business has grown into a brand that can be found across the nation. In Minnesota, Gina B. Designs products can be found in garden centers like Bachman’s and Gertens,
as well as grocery stores like Kowalski’s Market and Plymouth’s Cub Foods, and the General Store in Minnetonka.
“I’ve always loved stationery,” Gottschalk says. “I actually started hand-painting cards and selling them to local gift shops, knowing that I would, hopefully, start being able to reproduce them ...” After starting with a few designs of her own, Gottschalk says she began working with sales reps, and the business took off from there.
Although Gina B. Designs licenses work by around 50 different artists at any given time, Gottschalk says the brand still has a distinctive style. “Generally, it’s pretty—a lot of florals,” she says. “We don’t like anything heavy; our art is mostly pretty light-handed, fluid. Most of our work is watercolor.”
Along with Gina B.’s seasonal holiday cards, Gottschalk notes that paper invitations and thank you cards are also trending this season as people look to make time with friends and family and reflect upon gratitude.
Thank You Note 101
Are you daunted by the blank white space inside a thank you card? With the help of postable.com, we pulled together some helpful tips to write the perfect thank you note.
The equation for a good thank you note is pretty straightforward: salutation + appreciation + detail + use + goodbye.
A Salutation can be anything from formal to casual, depending on your recipient. (Dear Mr. and Mrs. Smith or Hello Grandma, for example.) Just like a letter, the salutation is placed in the upper left-hand corner of the note.
Get to the point, and express your appreciation. (Thank you for coming to my Thanksgiving party, Thanks for the new ___ or Your Christmas gift was perfect. Thank you, for example.)
Add a detail or two to personalize the note. (It was wonderful to see you, and everyone loved the green bean casserole you brought! ___ is so cool and I’ve wanted one for a long time, for example.)
If you’re thanking someone for a present, let them know how you plan to use the item in the future. If you’re thanking someone for attending an event, express your interest in connecting again. (We look forward to having you over again sometime soon or I can’t wait to wear this to work on Monday, for example.)
Repeat your thanks, and say goodbye by signing your name. (Thanks again, I hope you have a good rest of your holidays, or Thank you, for example.)
Write a draft thank you note to see how everything lays out on the card.
Write slowly. Thank you notes should be written in ink, so it’s wise to use caution. It’s also helpful to look up the spelling of words that you’re uncertain about—stationery doesn’t have spell check!
Send thank you notes sooner rather than later. Target one to two weeks after the event/receipt of the gift.
Gina B. Designs