Say it with a card

11:31 AM

One of the thing that is common to many a European culture is our love affair with greeting cards. We send them for pretty much every occasions : birth, death, birthdays, weddings, graduation, and even just to say thank you.
No gift is ever given without a card bearing good wishes and a sweet message and you could be committing a grave breach of etiquette not sending "Thank you notes" after your wedding or even after receiving a gift or greeting by mail.

When I first moved to India in 2003, I found out that greeting cards weren't that big a thing, and it got me in a fix when the time to send my Christmas greetings came. A friend told me that I might get them in a store called Archies and I found out it was the kind of silly cheesy gift store that in Switzerland was pretty much the type of place you would visit if you were a high school kid.

For the record, I did find Christmas greetings that were decent enough in a sea of cheesy birthday and anniversary themed greetings.
When I got married, I ended up making my own thank you cards, because there were no elegant cards to give my gratitude for all the gifts received (from my side of the family).
I will also always remember when my mom sent my in-laws Happy Diwali wishes, and months later, confided to me that she was a bit puzzled to never have received a thank you for those. I had to tell her that in India, the art of sending wishes by post isn't really a thing at all.

Things have changed a tiny bits over the year though, and while sending wishes by post is probably never going to be a thing over here, especially not in our digital era of animated stickers and gifs, the trend to attach a thoughtful card with a gift is catching.
And those who indulge in that trend are usually beyond the cheesy greetings from Archies. There is a need for refinement.
It also goes without saying that the look for classy cards in the expat community is also in high demand, especially around holidays.

This is where Home Cyn Home comes to the rescue! I have turned two of my popular artwork into 5x7 greeting cards printed on quality card stock paper and am now selling them in my Etsy shop along with my other stationery items.
As the Christmas season approaches, I'll also include some holiday themed greetings, but for now, I chose two versatile designs to suits many occasions.

Working with a local printer to get them done has been pretty awesome, because unlike the cards I sell on Society6  these bear a unique detail that makes them even more "mine" :

The back of the card bears my brand logo, and my name, so that whoever receives the greeting will know who made it.
It's those little things that makes my whole venture feel more real, if you asked me 2 years ago if I would ever sell something that bears my brand I would have looked at you odd, and then wonder if I was really worthy of doing so. Which is silly, because, seriously, the artwork I sell or license is mine to begin with.
But then the decision to open an Etsy shop has been because I wanted to own up to the brand and style I created and get more control in it.

If you live in India

I know that Etsy prices are in USD, but that doesn't mean I don't ship to India, in fact, the prices you see in my shop are all inclusive of FREE domestic shipping, which I do via SpeedPost within India. The only drawback, is that payments must be done via PayPal which is something some people have issue with in India. 
If that is the case, please do contact me either via email, or via DM on Instagram and we can work something out as I also accept UPI payments outside of Etsy. 

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3 comments

  1. The designs of both your cards is beautiful. I like the first one most. Cards for us was mostly for new year. In the pre archies days we send new year cards which were quiet decent. Cards were like rakhis only available around new year.

    Archies actually made us aware that there are cards meant for other occasions like birthdays, anniversaries and the mother of all occasions valentines day. A whole new culture of writing on card and creating designs evolved. U had to write in a particular style and language and of course use those funky pens. I think the slam books with coloured pages also arrived during that time courtesy archies. prolefiration of cards was the single most defining event of the 1990s. What maagi was to 1980s India cards were to 1990. Early nineties was a confusing time in India.

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    1. That is funny because in Switzerland Valentine's day is more of a married or serious couple kind of celebration and flower and chocolate is far more widespread than greeting cards (not to say they don't exist at all).

      Greeting cards are a big thing accross Europe, and you find them even in the stationery aisle in the supermarket.
      Another thing that is big is the postcard trend, this is something my family struggled with in India. When you go on vacation, any vacation, it is customary to send postcards back home to your family and friends, to let them know you are having a good time, and postcards usually have a beautiful picture of the place you are vacationing in on the front.
      Go to any kiosk in Europe, you'll have a selection of postcards for sale, and the kiosk usually also sell stamps so that tourists don't have to locate a post office to send them.
      Yet postcards are really though to find in India, in some touristy places there might be a few vendors selling a booklet of 10 postcards, but you can't choose them and then you need to find the post office to get the stamps and ship them, which is a big hassle.

      As a kid, my friends and I would exchange addresses so that we could send this postcards during our Summer vacation, winter break and spring break, even if we just went to a hill station 3 hours away from home a postcard was in order.
      On the overnight school field trip, we were also made to write postcards to family by our teachers, it is that big a thing.

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  2. Valentines’ Day was the strange event which suddenly came into our life in the early 1990s. A day of love which could only be celebrated by buying a card from Archies. There was no other way to celebrate it. You wrote with colourful sketch pens the legendary lines “rose are red, violets are blue……”, or something like it. Much later we came to know that there are days like Rose and Chocolate Day also. It did work for those who were adventurous enough to date in those days. Needless to say we understood very early on that this was just a commercial venture for gullible teenagers. We waited by the sidelines and saw the unusual drama unfold before our eyes. Never could make head tail of it. Even today, Valentine’s Day remains basically a teenage/youth event. Married couples are still not very much enthused by it. It is mostly referred to for pulling somebody's leg.

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