Friday, November 16, 2012

Designers Care

As many of you may know, I live in Queens, New York City. Although, I've got to be honest and say that, even though I've lived here almost three years, I still don't really call Queens home. Home, to me, is the south shore of Long Island on the water. I'm one of those people that actually takes comfort in the smell of low tide, which is why when I moved to Queens, I found a place right on the water. Most of the people I know are also water lovers, in fact I think it's fair to say that if you live on Long Island, you've got water running through your veins. And trust me when I say that nobody ever thought the water they so loved would ever turn against them.

Oh, but it did.

Two weeks ago Superstorm Sandy smashed into the East Coast, wrecking everything in her path. Maybe another time I'll write about what my personal experience was during the storm, but for now just know that I'm safe, my home is safe, and my family is safe. After the storm came through, and people lost everything, those of us that had power sat in absolute stupors in front of the television looking at the wreckage. The news coverage was (and still is) 24/7 about the crisis. For me, it took days before I actually realized what happened. When I went back to work, I found myself staring at the computer screen unable to really move.

I wanted to help. I thought about volunteering, but I knew I didn't even have enough gas in my car to get to the areas that were hardest hit. Plus, if I heard about a single pet that died, well, I'd be a wet mess on the side of the road - I don't know why I'm such a softie for animals. But I still wanted to help. Everybody wanted to help. In fact, as soon as the storm was over, I went online and the entire designer community was reaching out to me to see if I was OK. They kept asking if there was anything I needed - but there wasn't, I was fortunate to have had no damage. Although still, the aching feeling that I needed to find a way to help.

And then I had this crazy idea. What if I found a way to use stationery to help? So I put an exploratory idea out into the design community: Would anybody be interested in donating a design to me so that I could use the design to make a stamp and then create gorgeous hand stamped note cards to sell with ALL proceeds going to help the storm victims?

The answer was a unanimous and overwhelming yes.

Friday, November 9th, I threw the question out there. Within 48 hours I had over 60 designers involved, a submission kit created, an army of designers pitching in, an Etsy shop opened, and the decision to donate proceeds to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief.

Designers Care was born.

I knew we'd need support, so I reached out to a few of my favorite vendors to see if they'd be willing to get us off the ground. Simon, over at Simon's Stamps, was the first person to support us by donating the our first 20 stamps. We then raised enough money as a group to purchase the remaining 40+ stamps and ink pads. was so extremely generous in providing us with some envelopes, and we're still hoping to get more paper and supplies donated to help us keep growing.
Over the course of the first 24 hours, the amazing Jennifer Wick quickly created a shop logo, while Rebecca Bowen helped raise the start-up costs, and Kim Dietrich Elam researched some legal/logistical issues. My mother rolled up her sleeves and jumped in to help too, creating a new email address, setting up all of the shop listings and helping me coordinate emails and inquiries. She'll also be helping me fill all of the orders and send out to customers. The design community became so involved that we created an entirely separate place for us to work together in creating the new initiative.

I am so humbled, honored, proud and grateful to have the privilege of organizing such an amazing project. Designers Care has already become my baby, and I cannot thank all of the designers enough for helping me get it off the ground. Our goal is to raise at least $2,000 as soon as possible for Sandy victims, we're already at over $400 and we need all of your help! I would love if you could share the story, write a blog post, pin, retweet or whatever it is that you can do to help us sell as much as possible.

And please, please, please visit Designers Care and purchase some note cards. I'm offering small (2" x 3.5" cards) or note cards (4.25" x 5.5") in singles or sets of 4 or 5. Prices start at $2.25 for a single card and $8.75 for a pack of five cards. You'll have the options of white or kraft paper, and black, gold metallic or silver metallic inks. In the next few days I'll also be adding black paper and gold embossing as well as 4x6 prints that would be perfect as framed art.

So a huge thank you to all of the designers that made this happen, and to everybody that donated to help get Designers Care off the ground!

1 - Joy Comes by Mariel Joy. 2 - Full of Hope by Paper Next by Lesa. 3 - Love Peave and Joy by The Lovely Letters. 4 - You're Awesome by Geekink Design. 5 - Made with Love by Frooted Design. 6 - Un Grand Merci bhy le Poetik Studio. 7 - Thank You by Kristen Smith. 8 - I Heart NY by 2BSquared Design9 - Tweet Thanks by Pistols

1 - Strong by Susan Asbill 2 - Shine On by Bleu Collar Paparie. 3 - Left My Heart by Jennifer Wick. 4 - Home Is by Kerry Doyle. 5 - Sunshine Ahead by Stacey Hill. 6 - Go With The Flow by Laura Bolter, 7 - Happy Thoughts by The Occasional Hello, 8 - Hope by Robin Ott, 9 - Bless Your Heart by Felicity Paper

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