Updated: Mar 28, 2021
This week on the xoxo, jess Podcast I'm talking to Janie Velencia, founder of The Card Bureau. The Card Bureau is a design company focused on greeting cards and novelty gifts founded in 2016 in Washington DC. They sell greeting cards and gift items that are inspired by politics, feminism, and current events in over 700 stores across the country! I am so excited to dive into this conversation and bring another chat with a card maker to you this week, so don't forget to give it a listen! Listen to the episode above, on iTunes HERE, or read the transcription below.
Welcome back to xo xo, just when we dive deep into the world of greeting cards, the highs and lows of entrepreneurship and the mindset tools needed to start creating the business of your dreams today. I'm Jessica Walker, your host here with another Wednesday episode. And this Wednesday, I am speaking with Janie Valencia, founder of the card Bureau. The card Bureau is a design company focused on greeting cards and novelty gifts that was founded in 2016. In Washington, DC, they sell greeting cards, gift items, candles, all sorts of things that are inspired by politics, feminism and current events. And I'm so excited to dive into this conversation and bring another chat with a cardmaker to you this week. So without further ado, welcome Janie. Of course, I've admired the card bureau forever. And I'm really excited to ask you questions. So I think let's just dive straight in and start with your background like what got you into the greeting card world? Have you ever been to art and design? Or what kind of was that entry point for you?
Oh, gosh, well, nothing I ever expected to be doing.
I used to be a political journalist. And this just sort of started as a creative outlet. At the time, I used to buy a lot of greeting cards. And, you know, I was going into stores and I'm like, Ah, you know, I don't really like that many of these, like, I could probably make greeting cards that are that are funnier and better. So, and then I was like, Well, why don't I so I just did it. And it was nothing really serious. It was like, just I figured maybe I'll make like some beer money doing it and just sold to a few local like, came up with some designs, I worked with someone who is a graphic designer at the time. I also should note that I have no artistic skills myself. And you know, had a friend and I was like, Hey, I have you know, some ideas for making greeting cards. Do you want to make some with me? And she was like, That's weird. But okay. And so we made like a, you know, five cards, and we pitched them to some local stores, and they started carrying them and, you know, just sort of grew organically from there.
That's so cool. I love that two things that are like a little bit different than a lot of people I've had on is you didn't start with like the the drawing the art side, which is also how I am I'm not an artist. And also you went straight to stockists like two establishments as opposed to selling like retail online, which is so cool. And did you always have like a dream of being an entrepreneur in general? Or was again, this kind of something you just fell into?
No, I did not. It was something I fell into. You know, I was covering the 2016 elections. At that time, I was working as a media pollster for Huffington Post, then. And I was a little burnt out from my job. And just I don't know, I needed something else to think about and, and so some of the cards were like DC related politics related. So just like a fun segue into that, but yeah, nothing I'd ever really planned on.
I do. I always say, like, so many people are accidental entrepreneurs. You're like, how did I get here? It's just like kind of happens.