Chandra Greer: You’ve Got Mail

January 16 - On The Dot
 
FIRST THOUGHT: Greetings and Salutations

I remember in the early 2000s when e-cards hit the scene. I gave and received them almost every week and was delighted at the animation and sound effects. But a decade and a half later, I’ve realized they are no match for a handwritten greeting card.

There’s something special about uncovering an old card and reveling in a few celebratory sentences from a friend you haven’t seen in years. Today, buy a greeting card or make a simple one of your own and give it to someone in your life who needs a little pick-me-up.

WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 80 Percent

Have you ever been in the card aisle at the grocery store on Valentine’s Day? If so, you have likely seen a lot of dudes picking out last-minute greeting cards for their sweeties. But this might be one of the only occasions for which they do so because, as it turns out, women in America buy 80 percent of all greeting cards. And considering the greeting-card industry brings in a staggering $7.5 billion in annual sales, that’s a whole lot of cardstock. Us thoughtful ladies also tend to buy several cards all at once. That way, we’re always prepared for an impromptu celebration!

WOMAN TO WATCH: Chandra Greer, Founder and Owner of Greer

By now, you’ve probably remembered a relative’s birthday coming up or a thank you card you’ve got to send. Have no fear; Chandra Greer is here. Chandra is, to put it simply, a crazy talented stationery goddess.

Her Chicago brick-and-mortar shop, Greer, showcases a bevvy of designers’ work, like adorable and funny greeting cards, as well as funky journals, calendars and fun notepads. My favorite is the grocery-list notepad with the pre-populated first item: cheese. But if one Greer piece could describe Chandra, it’d have to be the letterpress poster that reads, “No whining, no complaining, absolutely no frowning. Only hugs, smiles and warm fuzzy feelings are allowed.”

Chandra exudes a great sense of positivity. And she’s nothing if not a curious lady, a trait that’s played out interestingly in her career. In fact, Chandra’s past jobs have been as assorted as Greer’s diverse array of paper goods. Before she owned her own stationery business, Chandra worked in advertising, and before that, she drove a cab to help pay for college. After seven years ruling her big-time advertising gig, Chandra quit without a plan in order to put her creative force to work in a more fulfilling environment, a move she admits was scary but necessary.

A key lesson Chandra learned during her time in the advertising industry is just how powerful communication can be, that one simple note from a loved one on a bad day can cheer you up immediately. So, with Greer, her aim was to focus on products that made people feel good, that made people feel loved.

But owning your own business takes a lot of hard work. That’s why, a few years ago, Chandra invested $10,000 to revamp her business website, a super smart move that resulted in 30 percent more traffic to her online store.

At the core of Chandra’s heart is the belief that the world needs to be more tolerant and less critical. By providing a little sunshine through her stationery business, she’s doing just that, one thoughtful greeting card at a time.

QUITE THE QUOTE

Inspired by Chandra Greer, I’ll leave you today with a quote from essayist Phyllis Theroux, who said:

“To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at OnTheDotWoman.com and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

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