When Brian Sweet of Trail's End Bookstore in Winthrop, Washington, wanted to refresh his store's offering of greeting cards, he took his quest for new suppliers to the newly redesigned Idea Exchange on the ABA Web site, www.BookWeb.org. Using the ABA booksellers-only forum, Sweet sought the input of his colleagues to find "good independent bookstore-type greeting cards." Booksellers responded with recommendations for more than 20 greeting card lines, which Sweet is now considering ordering.
Sweet told BTW that checking the Idea Exchange is part of his everyday routine -- after he checks his e-mail, he goes to the forums, where he often posts "all kinds of questions" and usually gets helpful answers that obviate the need for more time-consuming searches for information. "It takes five minutes," he said. "And I always learn something."
Booksellers ranging from coast to coast replied to Sweet's question about replacements for Trail's End's current card offerings.
One particularly useful response, said Sweet, was from Carla Jimenez of Inkwood Books in Tampa, Florida, who mentioned having good results with Fotofolio, Artists to Watch, Great Arrow, Teetersaw, Imagine Greeting Cards, Quotable Cards, and Laughing Elephant. Jimenez added, "We are specially fond of the cards at www.patiencebrewster.com right now, as they are very new to us and very popular, and it's a cottage industry in one of my favorite small towns, Skaneateles, New York."
The Laughing Elephant line was also listed by Heather Lyon of Lyon Books & Learning Center in Chico, California. In addition, she said, "Arts and Crafts Press [cards] now available through Gibbs Smith (800-213-3023)
are beautiful arts-and-crafts style designs printed on an antique letter press on high quality paper.... Bergsma Galleries (800-BERGMSA) has great cards and ... framed prints, journals, bookmarks, magnets, etc."
And Tammy Lynn from The Book Basket in Wetumpka, Alabama, posted, "We've added a small line of cards from Leanin' Tree. They're reasonably priced and gorgeous!... We just also added their magnetic list pads today. Customers were picking them out for purchase while we were unpacking them!" Paper Lantern greeting cards also worked well for the Book Basket, said Lynn.
Here's a recap of greeting card suppliers recommended above:
Artists to Watch (www.artiststowatch.com)
Arts and Crafts Press (www.artsandcraftspress.com)
Bergsma Galleries (www.bergsma.com)
Great Arrow (www.greatarrow.com)
Imagine Greeting Cards (www.imaginegreetingcards.com)
Laughing Elephant (www.laughingelephant.com)
Leanin' Tree (www.tradeleanintree.com)
Paper Lantern (www.paperlantern.biz)
Quotable Cards (www.quotablecards.com)
Other recommendations include:
Graphique de France (graphiquedefrance.com)
Persimmon Press (persimmoncards.com)
Renee Locks Calligraphy cards (store.yahoo.com/brushdance/index.html)
Running Rhino (www.runningrhino.com)
Tell Tale Press (www.telltalepress.net)