[Chandra Greer] In my first On the Wire post for 2013, I’d like to share a story about the youngest new talent we’ve discovered, someone with heart and passion that belies her age. Everyone, please say hello to 11-year-old Izabella Verbovszky of Iba Greetings.
Last year, we received a message at Greer from Izabella’s mother:
My name is Gabriella, I have enjoyed coming into your store with my daughter Izabella. Izabella has been making cards—they are very sweet. She says she would like to be a greeting card designer. I thought I could show these cards to you and you could advise me what to do next. I am her advocate and would like to show her that indeed, you can take an idea and transform it into reality. In the event you have a moment to meet me, I would be grateful.
Of course we met with Gabriella and fell in love with her daughter’s notions of what a greeting card should be. It was clear Izabella had thought about different reasons for sending a card, pairing her charming drawings with a variety of handwritten sentiments.
As we discussed what’s involved in moving a card design from sketch to printed piece to market, we saw Gabriella’s smile fade with each impossible-sounding step. And that’s when it occurred to us we could do more than provide a consultation, we could easily execute what would be very difficult for her to do.
We decided to print and package Izabella’s cards and offer them at Greer with the proceeds going to our little stationer.
Mohawk Superfine Soft White was the perfect paper for Iba Greetings’ designs.
And perhaps as proof that one of the strongest selling points for any product is the buyer’s perception of the heart and passion behind it, this little set has been a big hit with our customers. Initially we thought that might be because of the story behind them, a synopsis of which is printed on the back of each card, but we soon realized many people hadn’t even noticed the story. Perhaps they just liked, in the words of one customer, “the refreshing honesty” behind them.
The purpose of this column is to showcase people of talent working hard every day to share that talent—pursuing their dreams, often unsung, often under the popular radar. Sometimes all they need is a little more exposure, a little more help. As we enter 2013, we wonder what could we all do to help move someone’s dream a little closer to reality in this new year?
The proceeds from the sale of Iba Greetings, available exclusively at Greer, go to Iba Greetings. We applaud Chandra and her team for fueling the dreams of young designers like Izabella. On the Wire is a series of monthly conversations with up-and-coming stationery designers who, while tiny in size, are titanic in talent. Our interviews are hosted by Chandra Greer, the owner of Greer (@GREERChicago), an independent stationery shop and website with a longstanding commitment to seeking out and supporting independent designers.