Funded! This project was successfully funded on August 25, 2011.

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Our cards are honestly and irreverently funny. The smart kind of funny that not everybody gets. And colorfully diverse. Cool, right?

Designing Greeting Cards...Frickin' Awesome!

I make greeting cards! Sassy, honest, colorful, funny greeting cards based on real people and real life experiences. And what a fantastic job that is. But for me, after 3 years of lovingly designing, printing, cutting, folding, and packing each zippy gem, the fun, quirky, newness of crafting cards has disintegrated into a "time to make the greeting cards" drone. I'm so over it. But just the physical making of the cards part—not the creative come-up-with-something-original-to-make-people-laugh part or the how-do-I-draw-stick-figure-leggings? part.
That part never gets old.

So, to get this greeting card making monkey off my back (and improve the quality while supporting local business), I laid it all on the line and had 79 different cards in my line professionally printed here in Rhode Island. They were all printed in May, just before the National Stationery Show in New York City, so I would have something to show potential customers. The new cards are printed on bright white, 100 lb, environmentally friendly FSC-certified paper and are paired with fun, colored envelopes. These happy (but not sappy) little cards are cheerful and fun for both the person purchasing them and for the person receiving them.

Printing 40,000 Cards...Frickin' Expensive.

As you can probably imagine, I now have A LOT of greeting cards. While this step is exciting (and I have to admit, I love seeing the pretty boxes of cards all lined up in the space where my dining room used to be), printing ain't cheap.

The total cost for printing was just over $6,600. I'm hoping to raise $5,000 to defray the costs of this investment so I can (a) pay my mortgage (b) buy groceries (c) keep the electricity on so I can work (d) not have to charge my boyfriend for...um...'happy times' to pay for stuff...you get the point. More importantly, your support will give me a chance to grow my business, pursue more stores, and spread the love, joy, happiness, and positivity that sending/giving greeting cards brings about. Greeting cards rock...especially really cool ones.

My Paper For Your Paper? Can You Help A Girl Out?

Would you like a box of funny and fabulous greeting cards? How about a mouse pad or lip balm, magnet, matted print, luggage tag? I've made all sorts of fun things for you to choose from as a THANK YOU for investing in my small, independent greeting card company. Most of these items are not currently offered on my website. I'm including images of all our rewards below so you can start making some important decisions, i.e. Which cards do I want? Or do I want a mouse pad or a luggage tag? Or a lip balm? Or all three? And who of my friends might want in on this action?

All of the greeting cards can be found on my website: www.survivalbydesigncards.com.

PLEASE NOTE: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PICK OUT YOUR CARDS NOW.
I WILL SEND YOU AN EMAIL WHEN THE CAMPAIGN HAS ENDED (let's hope successfully!) AND ASK FOR YOUR SELECTIONS THEN. :)

If you have the scratch to spare and can kick in a larger chunk of change, I will make you a greeting card in your likeness (as much as stick figures and my drawing skill will allow) with a sentiment appropriate for you. You can come up with the idea or I will. These cards will be specially handmade by me in the studio. Everyone I've ever made cards for has loved them and they do actually resemble the real person inspiring them. Erin in the video (Miss Mama Likes Her Cocktails) does look like her card, right? Except she has eyes...whatever.

Additionally, I license my artwork to a card manufacturer (Recycled Paper Greetings) so there is a possibility (at some point in the indeterminate future) that your character may end up on a greeting card in Target Stores throughout the country! For reals! I can't guarantee anything but it really is possible. I've also seen my cards at Borders Bookstores and Bed, Bath and Beyond...who knows where else they'll turn up? Here's the current selection at Target this summer:

Or do you have an idea for a card line but have no clue where to start or how to break into the industry? I have included a reward that will give you access to my brain, experiences, and general knowledge of the greeting card industry. People ask me questions all the time...this would be your chance to ask me anything and I'll do my best to answer your questions and provide you with the insight it took me 3 years to gain.

Finally, I am more than happy to throw a little party for all my backers! It would be held on the North Shore (of Boston)...there's a great bar in Lynn, MA where my boyfriend deejays and he would spin the funnest night of indie/80's/garage/power pop/whatever that is fun for dancing. I'll plan something. It'll be fun.

Hooray For Kickstarters!

Please know that I can't do this without you! Thank you so much for your help! I appreciate any level of contribution you can make. If you have any questions, feel free to message me. Please spread the word so your friends, family, distant cousins can get in on this greeting card action, too. Momma needs to raise some money! xoxoxo

Here are some samples of the rewards:

Here's me at the National Stationery Show this past May in New York City with my two cut-out girls. They are awesome, as you can plainly see! They stand on their own and are about 5 feet tall. I love them...but they can be yours, too.

FAQ

  • Because I'm an a-hole. No, just kidding. :)

    In May, we exhibited at the National Stationery Show in NYC where buyers from all over the country (and internationally) come to see what's new and available in the world of stationery and gift items. To show the breadth of our line, we wanted to have some birthday, some get well, some congratulations, some holiday, and especially some every day cards (our sassy/just for fun styles) to show store owners. We have over a 100 styles in our line and chose to print the fewest amount that made sense. Shop owners want to see a complete line with some heft so just printing 10 or 12 styles doesn't really cut it.

    As for the quantity of each style, if you are familiar with offset printing, just the set up alone is expensive. To be cost-effective, you need to print in large runs of at least 250, 500, 1000+. There was very little difference in printing 250 or 500 of each style (and the price per card goes down the more you print) so we ordered 500 of each. Clearly, it would have been cheaper to print digitally but the quality wouldn't have been as good and we thought you, our customers, deserved better.

    As a result, we are able to offer our wholesalers (who happen to be small, independent stores themselves) a break on the cost of each card. They, in turn, can afford to bring a new line into their store and fans, like you, can have an opportunity to buy our cards in person at a store near you. So, everyone wins.

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  • Our cards were printed in Cranston, Rhode Island by Barrington Printing. We chose them because they are also a small family-owned company. We knew they would pay close attention to the quality of the finished product since they print their own line of greeting cards called "Inspired By It".

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  • Survival By Design Cards is run by Jennifer Adler. We, scratch that, "I" am the sole employee. I design the cards, write the copy, sell the product, do the accounting, make the phone calls, agonize over the decisions myself. I am lucky to have the love and support of many, many good people, friends, and family who serve as sounding boards, brainstormers, event support, and on-call specialists as necessary but, at the end of the day, you can't get much more 'small business' than this little operation right here.

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  • No. Absolutely not. I am self-employed as a freelance graphic designer and I design print projects for clients in New England. All but one client is a nonprofit and that client produces renewable energy. Prior to making cards and starting my own company 3 years ago, I worked in-house as a communications person for two different nonprofits. I quit the one for profit job I had a decade ago to join the nonprofit world...I really do want to make the world a better place, even if it is through greeting cards.

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  • Well, that's what Kickstarter is for—to help raise money for creative projects. In fact, Kickstarter cannot be used to raise money specifically for charities nor can it be used for operating costs for businesses. As an individual, I donate money yearly to several nonprofits that are close to my heart. I support renewable energy, social services, finding cures for diseases, the arts, civil rights, and I support other small businesses. I ask you to consider doing the same.

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  • OMG, how could you ask me that? Seriously? I can't go back in time now! How is that helpful?
    —I'm joking. Mostly.

    Yes and yes. See FAQ number 1. As with any business, you need to invest in growth if you want to grow. On a side note, I got a nasty email from a greeting card sales rep prior to the Stationery Show who shamed me for not having professional enough product to display. It was hurtful and true. Colleagues have been telling me to up my game and print my cards for the last two years; it was time.

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  • They are sold in my online shop on my website, at local art sales that I participate in, and in a bunch of small stores and boutiques throughout the country as well as a few international ones. All my retail store locations and photo galleries from past card sale events may be found on my website. Additionally, I license some artwork to Recycled Paper Greetings and they sell the cards to Target Stores and other big box stores throughout the country. Those cards are not produced by me, they are a different size/format entirely, and appeal to a much broader audience. Let me know if there is a store near you at which you would like to see my cards sold. :)

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  • Freakin' awesome people like you with great senses of humor! Typically, you are SMART, witty, sassy, gorgeous, handsome, realistic, fun, maybe a touch sarcastic, never mean (intentionally), and the kind of person I want to hang out with. :) You rock!

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  • No. I will cover the cost of shipping. You will only be charged the amount you pledge.

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  • I will send you a survey email once the campaign closes to get your mailing information and selections. Don't worry, I will ask before sending you anything! :)

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  • As soon as the campaign closes, I will start the fulfillment process. I expect to have everyone's stuff shipped within 2 weeks or so. I'm a "get it done" kind of gal and I want you to have your stuff as soon as possible! :) If you need your stuff by a certain date (say if you are giving it to someone as a gift), let me know and I will do my best to accommodate you.

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  • I have very funny friends and family members. They say hysterical things all the time that need to be immortalized on paper. People say I'm pretty funny, too. :)

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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    1 backer

    Virtual high five (or thumbs up, whichever you prefer) and the knowledge that I'm clapping like an idiot in my studio...for you...in appreciation.

  • Pledge $5 or more
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    1 backer

    Happy clapping plus a limited edition sticker that I designed especially for Kickstarter. Stickers are fun. Especially this one.

  • Pledge $10 or more
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    9 backers

    CARD + STICKER Pick any one of the 79 new cards! If I haven't already mentioned, they are gorgeous! Printed on 100 lb FSC-certified paper locally in Rhode Island, each card comes with a matching envelope in a protective plastic sleeve. Plus a limited edition sticker and happy clapping.

  • Pledge $15 or more
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    6 backers

    CARD + STICKER + LUGGAGE TAG Pick any one of the 79 new cards (as described in $5 reward), plus limited edition sticker PLUS an awesome luggage tag (your choice of 2 styles) and joyful clapping.

  • Pledge $15 or more
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    7 backers

    CARD + STICKER + MAGNET Pick any one of the 79 new cards, plus limited edition sticker PLUS a super fun, super attractive magnet (your choice of 4 styles) and exuberant clapping.

  • Pledge $20 or more
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    2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)

    CARD + STICKER + KISS MY SASS LIP BALM Pick any one of the 79 new cards, plus limited edition sticker PLUS an all natural, limited edition lip balm. These yummy little numbers were made in small batches by Stella Marie Soap Company here in Rhode Island. We have Pucker Up Peppermint and Cheeky Chocolate Mint. You'll feel like a badass every time you use it. Oh, and three cheers for you!

  • Pledge $25 or more
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    0 backers

    CARD + STICKER + MOUSEPAD Pick any one of the 79 new cards, plus limited edition sticker PLUS a totally rockin' mouse pad (your choice of 4 styles). Oh, and lots of applause from my studio!

  • Pledge $25 or more
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    9 backers Limited (1 left of 10)

    CARD + STICKER + COASTERS Pick any one of the 79 new cards, plus limited edition sticker PLUS a 10-pack of limited edition paper coasters. Fun for your next party and great as a hostess gift...if you do that sort of thing. Momma likes her cocktails and momma likes you! Cheers!

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  • Pledge $30 or more
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    24 backers

    8 CARD BOX SET + STICKERS Pick any 8 of the 79 new cards (oh yeah, I said EIGHT!) and I'll put 'em in a box with envelopes so you'll have a stash of them for whenever the occasion arises. We don't offer these on our website or at our art sales so this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. PLUS extra stickers, lots of idiotic clapping, and I'll publicly thank you on my Facebook fan page. You rock!

  • Pledge $50 or more
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    5 backers

    CARD + STICKER + MATTED PRINT Pick any one of the 79 new cards, plus limited edition sticker PLUS a matted print version of any of the 79 cards. Oh, and lots of applause from my studio and I'll publicly thank you on my Facebook fan page, you superstar, you!

  • Pledge $75 or more
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    2 backers

    CARD + PICK ANY 3 PRODUCTS + STICKERS Get what you want, exactly how you want it. Pick any one of the 79 new cards, plus limited edition sticker PLUS any 3 items (choose whatever combination of mouse pad, luggage tag or magnet that suits your fancy). Includes lots of applause from my studio and I'll publicly thank you on my Facebook fan page. How awesome are you?

  • Pledge $100 or more
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    8 backers

    8 CARDS + PICK ANY 3 PRODUCTS + STICKERS This is a turbo pack of Survival By Design stuff! Pick any 8 of the 79 new cards, plus limited edition sticker PLUS any 3 items (choose whatever combination of mouse pad, luggage tag or magnet that suits your fancy). Can you hear the cheering from my studio? I'll thank you on my Facebook fan page. You complete me.

  • Pledge $250 or more
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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    PICK MY BRAIN Do you have an idea for a card line but have no clue where to start or how to break into the industry? I will give you access to my brain, experiences, and general knowledge of the greeting card industry. This is your chance to ask me anything and I'll do my best to answer your questions and provide you with the insight it took me 3 years to gain. And I'll clap and cheer for you, personally.

  • Pledge $250 or more
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    4 backers Limited (1 left of 5)

    YOU ON A CARD Seriously. I'll 'draw' you and will either come up with something witty for you to say or you can tell me what you'd like on your card. I will present you with 12 finished cards (which will be handmade by me) in a lovely box with matching envelopes. Who knows? Maybe your character will end up in Target Stores nationwide? You'll be famous! Can you hear my spastic clapping? And a happy dance is being done in your honor as I post a thank you for you on my Facebook fan page, you glorious individual!

  • Pledge $500 or more
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    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    THE WHOLE FARM + A CUPCAKE Dude, seriously? Okay, you get a personalized box of cards made for you (in your likeness), 4 magnets, 3 mouse pads, 2 luggage tags, and a partridge in a pear tree...er...I mean a matted print. You get applause, a happy dance, your name posted on my Facebook fan page and I'll buy you a cupcake from Wildflour Vegan Bakery in Pawtucket, RI. You're a sweetie and I love you.

  • Pledge $750 or more
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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    THE WHOLE FARM + A CUPCAKE + A FULL SIZE CUT OUT OF ONE OF MY GIRLS I had two full size cut out girls made for the National Stationery Show in New York City this past May. If you pony up this much, I will give you one of my girls. That's how much your love means to me. Plus everything else in the $500 reward. Holy crap.

Funding period

- (30 days)