This Tech Startup Wants To Make Sure People of Color See Themselves In Greeting Cards
This article originally published on 12/28/2018
Culture Greetings is making greeting cards more inclusive with diverse images and themes that speak to communities of color.
The online greeting card startup was founded by tech entrepreneur and business psychologist, Dr. Dionne Mahaffey, who saw a need to create culturally relevant greeting cards that can’t be found in stores.
“It’s important for us to be able to see ourselves in products,” Mahaffey said. “Something bearing an image of us with sayings that are specific to us as a people.”
Culture Greetings is innovating the slow and antiquated process of searching for the perfect card in the store and making it easier for people to create and send a greeting card to anyone in the U.S.
According to the American Greeting Card Association, the average American sends 25 to 30 cards each year, with the most popular being birthday cards.
The act of sending someone a greeting card is still meaningful, but now Culture Greetings is giving users the ability to customize cards catered to people of color in minutes.
“There are other automated greeting card services, but none that deliver cards that have a specific cultural nomenclature,” Mahaffey said.
The Atlanta-based company launched just in time for the holidays last month with over 700 greeting cards (and growing), mostly designed in-house by Mahaffey herself. The tech entrepreneur also works with award-winning cartoonists Quinn McGowan and artist Steve R. Allen whose work can be found in the National Museum of African American History.
“My goal was to design a culturally relevant greeting card platform that would become a leading destination for Black consumers. That’s the beauty of being able to code. We programmers can build whatever we dream,” said Mahaffey, who worked in tech for over two decades.
Users can choose from a wide variety of cards for different occasions, use the online tool to write a personalized handwritten note plus add a gift card. The custom built automation software then prints, stamps, and mails the card to be delivered the next day.
“It gives the same experience of someone receiving handwritten cards, but it takes the sender the same amount of time it takes to write a social media post,” she said.
The company plans to launch a series of Black history cards in February. The platform is also set to launch an iOS and Android app in 2019.
Mahaffey is the founder of several businesses including the WhereU app, a directory of Black-owned businesses.