How to make a living in the Handmade Card Business

One of the smartest pieces of advice I ever got from someone in the handmade card business was "You should never be making the cards."

This doesn't mean you are forever banned from making cards. It means that if you want to make a living in the handmade card business, make it scalable. You cannot grow if you are the only one making your cards.

There are many great business plan classes out there, but most are service oriented instead of manufacturing oriented. If you plan on entering the card business professionally, and hope to work with sales reps and sell nationwide, here are some basic questions you will need ask youself. Think of this as your one page business plan:

Profit Quiz

Can you physically make and ship 5,000 cards a month by yourself_____?

How much profit will you make on those 5,000 cards (subtract all materials, commission, labor expenses) _____?

If your material expenses are too high, can you lower them with these strategies _____?

How many hours does it take you to make 5,000 cards_____ ? Is it worth the pay per hour_____?

Can you afford to hire other people to make the cards _____?

How much will you pay them to make each card _____?

After you pay them, what will your profit be per month for 5,000 cards_____?

CONCLUSION: You want to aim for at least a 20% profit per card for yourself. If you are shipping approximately 5,000-10,000 cards per month, and your profit is 20% or more per card, it is possible to make a full time income in this business.

More Articles on the Handmade Card Business

The Greeting Card Business

Get Your Greeting Cards Into Stores: How to Find and Work With Sales Reps (Updated 2017 paperback) If you like to make greeting cards, this book explains how to get your cards into stores and sell them nationwide.  Learn about changing trends in the indie card market and niche opportunities available for artists. Book includes detailed guidelines on pricing cards for a profit, getting professional feedback on your designs, finding sales representatives, pitching your card line to them, approaching stores, and the industry standards you should follow. Information is also applicable to gift items, such as magnets, journals and calendars.

Start and Run a Greeting Card Business From a British author, whose country has a long history of greeting card design, she takes you step-by-step through the process of starting and running your business with lots of useful practical advice to help you, including: - Deciding what type of cards to produce - Finding your market - Dealing with printers - Copyright and licensing - Pricing and profit. Kate's note: Some specs are different (card sizes) since it is UK standards.

Greeting Card Design This volume features a vast array of fun, elegant, simple and imaginative greeting cards designed by internationally-known artists, illustrators and calligraphers. With over 300 full-color photographs of creative, popular, and inspiring greeting card designs, this invaluable sourcebook showcases the very best of what is happening in the industry today. Accompanying text explores the history of the greeting card industry and examines the major contributions from the leading innovative companies.

Greeting Card Advice from a Sales Rep perspective

What You Didn’t Know About Starting a Greeting Card Line is a great 3 part article by Carolyn Edlund blog that all new card businesses should read. Here are the topics covered from the perspective of a sales rep.

Click on Part 1 Part 2 or Part 3 to see explanations of topics.

PART 1: Topics

Forget about selling a line of blank cards

Greeted card lines must be in the proper proportions.

Start with “Everyday Cards”.

The 80/20 rule applies. . .

Start small and find out what sells.

Cards are usually sold wholesale in packs of six.

Part 2: Topics

How big of a line do you need?

You can have what is called a “pre-select”.

Where do you find display racks?

What size should your cards be?

What size should your cards NOT be?

Indicator Cards.

Define your market.

You are not Hallmark.

Part 3: Topics

How should you price your cards?

What about minimums?

What about returns?

Should you have sales reps selling your line?

Where do you find a sales rep?

Treat your reps well.

What about niche markets?

Should you exhibit at a trade show?

Why shouldn’t you just use CafePress or Zazzle to print your cards?

What other alternatives are there?

Read Articles 1,2 &3 What You Didn’t Know About Starting a Greeting Card Line

Card Publisher Looking for Writers

JQ Greetings is a new company looking for humor copy with that extra spark of wit and originality. What kind of card humor makes you laugh out loud? That's what they're looking for in the following everyday captions:

Friendship (especially woman to woman)
Thinking of You
Just for Fun (thought for the day/ joke to share)
Get Well
Baby Congrats
Missing You
Thank You
Hang in There/Cope


1. If Mailing: Text should be on 3” x 5” index cards, one piece of copy per card. Please number your cards so we can refer to a specific sentiment easily. We prefer typed sentiments unless you have really excellent handwriting anyone can decipher. Include your name, address, phone number and email on the back of each card.

2. If Emailing: Number each idea/verse and include name and contact info. Email to

3. Send us only your best ideas, and no more than 12 at a time. We are not interested in receiving copy that is already out there.

4. Avoid anything too raunchy, but naughty or slightly suggestive is okay.

5. If Mailing: Send a SASE with your submission or we will not be able to return it.

6. Rhymes are okay as long as they are fresh, funny and original.

7. Response time is 1 to 4 weeks.

8. If Mailing: Please send your submissions to: JQ Greetings, P.O. Box 1498, Walker, MN 56484

Compensation is a flat fee for all greeting card publication rights.

To familiarize yourself with the line, go to

Need Card Designer in L.A. area

Urgent need for card designer to do a project:

They are seeking a designer to create charity based greeting cards to be purchased by mothers as gifts for children in two age groups, 7 to 12 and 13 to 18.

The cards need to be unique in that the charity element is special but cannot be seen as religious.

They are in Los Angeles and will be seeking various design themes. Prefer L.A. artist.

Contact Russ WerdinRuss Werdin (949) 474-8600 Ext 111
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