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#TBT: Greetings, Gents

#TBT: Greetings, Gents


The gentlemen at In Your Own Words slightly bend images from the past for charming greeting cards today.

When Lew Alessio wanted to buy a greeting card for his husband, Jim Shaffer, that carried a romantic message but did not use straight couples, gross sex jokes, or bathroom humor, he realized there was a paucity of charming gay greeting cards.

After spending five years as director of a Maine HIV prevention program for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alessio followed his intuition and with Shaffer created In Your Own Words. When they took their greeting cards to the National Stationery Show, the cards beat out entries from big names like Hallmark and Crane to be voted Best New Product of 2012.

They have kept their company small, marketed their product carefully, and controlled expenses, allowing for more income for their employees. In fact, you can buy them cards only in selected stores, and you can get a list from the In Your Own Words website.

The cards are printed on 100 percent recycled paper and are printed solely using wind power. All income provides dignity and wages to the rural, HIV-positive men and women crafters. The images on the cards span from the 1850s to the 1950s; there are over 80 images available now.






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