Keepsake cards that come to life
Don’t think of a card as a piece of paper you hold. Think of it more like a hug with a fold. That little piece of advice is on Jennifer Burgess’ website – and it rings true for many who have received one of her handmade keepsake cards.
Making cards has been her pastime for 30 years, and even now it is still an “after work” activity. However, it fills her with enjoyment, and the popularity of the cards has spread by word of mouth and she now has a selection on display at MarketPlace in Hamilton.
She hopes more stores will consider stocking her eye-catching, and mostly one-of-a-kind, creations.
Ms Burgess started making the cards as a way to solve the problem of going to a store and ending up with two or three different cards to achieve the message she needed. She also wanted to have cards that were more exciting, that could “pop out” or sparkle.
She started putting pictures of family on the front of cards to make them unique and personal. Then she started to cut out images and layer them on the cards.
Each year she found my cards getting better and better.
“They have come a long way. I make sure they all sparkle, they all bling, that they all do something. Some wobble, some pop out, some you pull and push,” Ms Burgess said.
Much of the cutting-out is done by hand, and she uses her own creativity to achieve different effects. She finds the process enjoyable and relaxing.
Her aim is to make cards that appeal to all demographics, and also have a service for people who want personalised cards.
Explaining this, she said: “People call and ask for a personalised card. I ask them questions such as what does the person like, who are they to you (father, friend, etc). Then, when I know how this person feels about the person getting the card.
“If they like tennis I will try to find something for tennis, if they like music I will find something with music.”
She can use computer programmes to assist with the drawing, and can incorporate a photograph of the intended recipient if one is supplied. A single, highly personalised card can be done in a day, while multiple personalised cards may take a day or two longer.
Mr Burgess’ cards went on sale at Hamilton MarketPlace after they caught the eye of a company executive.
“They found me a stand and I put up about 40 cards. I've been doing that since about October. I put up 'everyday’ cards, about 40 of them.
“The cards cover events and celebrations such as baby showers, weddings, and graduation. Some are Bermudian-themed with Gombeys, or carnival imagery. At Christmas, there was a selection of festive cards that quickly sold out.
“I was so happy, people did not know they were there, only my friends. I'm not a big avid social media person, so I do not have a big following. There are cards that I get calls for, and people stop me when I'm doing grocery shopping and half my list ends up being card orders,” Ms Burgess said.
When asked what attracts people to her cards, she said: “I think it is the glitter. The glitter is just off the chain. People have told me they walk in the store and they see cards [on display] and then they see mine – and they catch the eye. If the light is hitting them right, they will bling.”
Ms Burgess makes the cards in her spare time when not at work. She said: “I'm loving every minute of it, because even though I do not do it until I get home from work, that's all I'm doing – just making cards.
“I like the wow factor. Someone sent me a video of their friend opening a card – I'd never seen a person open one of my cards before. She was on the ground crying, it was just so beautiful. It was pictures of her, and she was so excited. She said 'You got this made for me?'"
Ms Burgess hopes her cards will continue to grow in popularity and be more widely available.
“I've been trying different places. I'm hoping that once people see them, they may want them in their stores. Maybe MarketPlace will put them in their other big stores like Heron Bay and Shelly Bay.”
There is a website. Ms Burgess said: “You can't purchase the cards there, but you can go on it and look at the kind of cards I make. I also have an Instagram page.”
She added: “There is never a dull, boring card. Lifein3D is where cards come to life!”