The Best Medicine: A Small Business Owner’s Card Printing for a Cause

For Jessica Walker, owner of Better + Co., cancer hit close to home and sparked a small business idea. To spread joy and inspiration with Smartpress’ Greeting Cards, Walker mastered the art of card printing, using direct, unabashed messaging and bright, bold colors that not only perk up patients, but also their families, friends and care teams.

Greeting cards

GREETING CARDS: 130# UNCOATED SMOOTH WHITE COVER, 8.5 X 5.5″ FOLDED TO 4.25 X 5.5″

Laughter is the
Best Medicine

Founded in 2018 when Walker’s husband Tommy was diagnosed, Better + Co. offers products often missing in the cancer and long-term illness world. As Walker and her husband got on the road to treatment and recovery, practical products like planners for tracking appointments or pouches for carrying medication were nowhere to be found.

 

Hardest of all to find? Cards with the right words. When dealing with cancer, it’s difficult to know what to say, and it was with that sentiment that Walker’s custom stationery came to life (along with those other missing must-haves).

Working with an online printer like Smartpress meant Walker’s greeting card printing could be as customized as she wanted – and she didn’t hold back. Walker’s wide array of cards and say-it-like-is-messages span the spectrum of cancer types, as well as chemotherapy and radiation encouragement and quirky thank yous for doctors, nurses and staff.

 

We chatted with Walker about the inspiration for her card printing designs, the importance of the right paper stock and how opening a greeting card opened a new chapter in her life.

Print your own cards
Card printing

Q&A

Tell us a little about Better + Co.’s story.
Jessica Walker: “I started designing cards after my husband’s cancer diagnosis in 2018. I was always on the lookout for cards that reflected our motto, ‘laughter is the best medicine.’ We were constantly using humor to lift the heaviness of the situation we were in and I knew it was a sentiment other survivors and caregivers might appreciate. That project grew into my shop, Better + Co., which is a space for cancer-specific greeting cards, gifts and resources.”

 

What are your creative priorities when designing your custom greeting cards? What’s your design inspiration?
“I make sure my messages are simple and to the heart. I love to create bright and cheery designs to instantly bring color into the recipient’s day. I often run my card designs by my husband to make sure the sentiment lands and the design reads easily. My main source of inspiration is the cancer community itself! It is full of bright, colorful, joyful people and I want my cards to reflect this energy.”

How did you choose the paper stock and paper weight for your custom cards?
“I prefer the heavier weight papers that Smartpress offers. That was something I was very particular about when choosing my printing company. I want my customer to feel the quality of my cards when they hold them and that ultimately comes down to the paper’s weight.”

 

Tell us about your experience using online printing services like Versions for card printing.
“I love that Smartpress gives the option to print multiple card designs per order. I want my cards to represent all cancers and all situations that a survivor might look for during their journey, so I have hundreds of designs! I am able to order the exact quantity I need every time.”

 

How do you choose between vertical and horizontal orientation?
“I typically choose vertical orientation because shops prefer it. They don’t have to change the way they merchandise my cards, since the majority of the display cases and card spinners showcase the vertical presentation.”

Custom cards

“As a small business owner, knowing my product will arrive in flawless condition in a timely manner is invaluable.”

 

 

 

How has your greeting card business impacted your life?
“My greeting card business changed my life entirely. I’m now able to work from home and support my family with my business. Tommy is able to work as he likes and take off when he needs to rest and heal. I’m able to give back from my proceeds to support esophageal cancer research, which will directly support Tommy and his medical team to find the best options down the road. I have the opportunity to connect with the cancer community daily. What began as a card shop has grown into a beautiful support system across the world.”

 

What feedback have you received from customers about your card printing?
“My customers often message to thank me for creating cards they didn’t know they needed! I love hearing that I was able to help them find the words to support their loved ones. It’s hard to know what to say when someone close to you is diagnosed with cancer, so I love being able to help make support simple and heartfelt.”

What impresses you most about the final product and online printing with Smartpress?
“Smartpress has the most consistent and affordable print options I’ve ever come across. I know when I make an order that I don’t need to worry! The cards will arrive pristine, perfectly colored and the process will be painless. As a small business owner, knowing my product will arrive in flawless condition in a timely manner is invaluable.”

 

Why do you think physical cards continue to be popular in the digital age?
“There’s something special about a physical card you receive in the mail. We are bombarded with so much digital stimuli every moment of the day. Receiving a physical card in the mail makes you pause and enjoy the present. There is nothing like it!”

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