Even in a world overrun with social media, many summer campers are still expected to hand in their cell phones upon arrival. That opens the opportunity for some good, old-fashioned letters from family and friends.
But one University Park mom, Elizabeth Henderson, just wasn’t happy with any of the stationery she found in stores.
“It’s a big deal to get a card. So of course, I want to send [my children] a cute card. I would go to Target, CVS, or every single place you can to find a cute card,” she said. “Well, let me tell you … finding cute camp cards — they just are nonexistent. There’s a void in the marketplace.”
So, like any determined woman, she decided to take matters into her own hands.
“This year after camp, I thought, ‘You know, I should start a company and call it Camp Cards,’” she said.
And just like that, Henderson was a businesswoman. Her godson and his wife, Megan Peach, had just moved to Dallas from Kentucky. Peach had experience in design, so Henderson enlisted her to work on the project last September.
“We’d get together after I dropped the kids off at school, and we would start brainstorming card names, card designs, and card themes,” Henderson said.
The pair took their cards to the annual camp fair held at ESD’s campus in February to showcase them before interested parents. Cards could be purchased at the fair, but they are also available online. Retailers have also expressed interest in selling the pack, and Henderson has reached out to the camps her children attend in North Carolina to help get the word out.
“I don’t have any kids at camp, so Elizabeth came up with what people are doing at camp, and we reached out to see what was going on at friends’ kids’ camps,” Peach said.
All in all, the duo sells one pack of seven cards, featuring different camp-related activities: bicycling, fishing, swimming, tennis, archery, and, of course, s’more-making. Each one features its own pun and brightly colored envelope.
“We tried to make them all a little ‘punny’ because a lot of the cards say ‘we miss you,’ or ‘you’re miles away’ and would kind of make the kids sad,” Peach said. “We wanted to make them clever enough [so] it might make kids smile and laugh.”
The cards are all printed on recyclable paper, and the business partners are using a local printer to get the job done. Henderson sees the unique void her company is filling in the marketplace, but she also sees room for expansion in the future.
“In stores, you’ll see the pack for children to send to parents, but you don’t see the cards for parents to send the kids. That’s what we’re doing,” Henderson said. “Next year, I think we’ll add on to sell both.”
The duo held a launch party for the venture in late February and hopes to release a new set of designs each year. They are already working on ones for 2016.
It’s not hard to see that Henderson’s proud-mom attitude has carried over not just toward her children, but toward her new product as well.
“I feel like we’re really onto something,” she said. “I have to say, I think they’re very cute.”