Birthdays. Holidays. Milestones. Until the inevitable heat death of the universe, the unrelenting repeated rotation of our great watery blue planet will bring us occasions of the so-called “special” variety on the regular. But what makes them special? How does one keep all these chronologically earmarked days from blending together, year after year, into a thick gray sludge of hopeless ennui, until each day seems a clone of the day that preceded it and one begs for the sweet fiery release of Armageddon?
Such was the question plaguing one of our company founders in the star-crossed year of our lord 2015, when he faced the daunting prospect of finding a card for his then-girlfriend on Valentine’s Day. Our future glorious leader had found love, and it was resplendent. But much like the male great gray shrike who offers the nesting female an impaled rodent in the hopes of securing a mate, he knew he had to impress his beloved with the presentation of a suitably majestic declaration of devotion. To commemorate the day with anything less would be an insult to Saint Valentine, who was violently beaten and beheaded so that lovers could one day wait two hours for reservations at the Cheesecake Factory, get into an argument on the ride home, and have lukewarm obligatory makeup sex without eye contact.
A meme seemed fleeting. One cannot pin pixels to the corkboard of one’s cubicle and point to it with the smug triumph of social dominance when Karen from Accounting walks by. Goddammit, Karen. She and her fiancé Brody just took another set of matching sweater photos with their Pomeranian Chauncey. Where are they getting all these matching sweaters? Also side note it’s July, Karen. Would matching tank tops ruin your brand or something? Maybe Brody has a terrible dolphin tattoo he’s covering up. Maybe Chauncey does.
He considered a store-bought card, but a visit to a local drugstore to peruse the selection felt like visiting a nursing home. Not those sexy cool nursing homes you only see on your fancy late night premium cable programs, you disgusting pervert. A regular one. Ointments. Catheters. Dusty old butterscotch candies. And yellowing atop a heart-shaped doily in each and every room, the same exact “Happy Valentine’s Day Grandma” card from dozens of different detached uncaring grandchildren. He wanted to distinguish himself to secure his legacy in her heart, not do the bare minimum to secure a place in her will.
So our hero turned to the bustling international marketplace of the internet. Surely the world wide web wouldn’t let him down. And yet that’s exactly what happened, dear readers. He browsed site after site, searching for the perfect bold and distinctive card, yet all he could come up with was a printed representation of yet another lousy cat meme. Do we all love cats? Of course we do. But must we be buried to our necks in cute fuzzy pussies every time it’s time to celebrate something? Even champagne and caviar gets old if you eat it every day. That’s on Rockefeller’s tombstone, you know. Or maybe it’s the Monopoly guy’s. Whatever.
Somehow, V-Day happened and the relationship continued. It was likely the less-than-spectacular card was made up for by our hero’s natural born prowess in creative gift giving, the very skill that made him so acutely aware of what a disappointment the card market was. The following year, when he couldn’t find another card that was even remotely impressive, he had no choice but to marry her.
Shortly thereafter, he met for beers and goofs with a friend of his who just so happened to be an online e-commerce wizard (yes, he wore a wizard hat and giant white beard and carried a one-eyed toad with him everywhere, duh). At one point, the talk turned to the greeting card market, and how both gentlemen just wish they could find cards that really jolted the recipients out of their modern-day technology-overload-induced slumber, the equivalent to a flaming punch in the face, but, like, pleasant and not technically assault. And then they simultaneously came to the exact same fateful conclusion – if they couldn’t find it out there in the market, well then, why not create it themselves?
And so the first InYourFace greeting card was born, a bold oversized physical declaration of jubilation. Simple and succinct, large and in charge, like a billboard advertising that somebody super awesome is out there commemorating the shit out of the special days in your life. The line expanded from birthdays to anniversaries, holiday cards, and even apologies.
All of this is to say, dear reader –