Just in time for the big holiday (you know the one), Dallas businesswoman and blogger Melinda Jones has launched a greeting card line to meet your correspondence needs. But, don’t expect the typical gushy card outlined in pink and red hearts. She’s come up with a concept that is modern, clean, and allows for the actual written word to be the star of the show. The cards, which are carried at Neighborhood in the Bishop Arts District, also include wedding, baby, birthday, and friendship selections.
And because I have a not-so-secret obsession with all-things stationery, I just had to ask Miss Jones what sparked her to create the Read Between The Lines concept, and how she finds the inspiration for each clever phrase. Enjoy the Q&A after the jump.
What is your inspiration for creating a greeting card line?
I’ve always loved paper, and creative writing. Emails are great, and handy, but when it comes to expressing real appreciation—or love—or anything else you want someone to remember, nothing beats handwriting on real paper. Cards and letters are what people keep. And what beats finding a real card amidst the bills and junk mail? A card that feels like a present! Email has become so prevalent that receiving a card has become like receiving a gift.
It occurred to me one morning, while thinking of sending a note to someone, that it’s easy to spend a good bit of time trying to tell someone how you feel, and yet never get it across. You send the letter, they receive it, but you’ve missed your mission entirely because all you could get out was talk about the weather and your kids’ soccer teams. A card is supposed to help you out in that regard—to provide an assist—but many of them are too “goopy” with their words. Most often, what you need to say is short and sweet. It’s just a few words when you boil it down. “You’re the best and the mostest” or “Give me my stuff back.” It’s simple, meaningful, and sometimes playful. That’s what Read Between The Lines accomplishes, and in a really subtle, modern way.
Can you explain the “Read Between the Lines” concept?
It’s inspired by the thought that it would be lovely for the “line” of a card to repeat softly in the background, becoming visually intertwined with the sender’s handwritten words. It would allow for the card’s line to whisper and never be more important (optically or otherwise) than the sender’s personal sentiments. You can also say things in a whisper—sweet or salty—that just wouldn’t be as successful in a shout.
I also wanted to produce a line that’s gender-neutral. It’s hard to find killer paper goods for men to use and receive—it’s typically poorly designed and often plays to negative stereotypes. I wanted this line to be clean, modern, slightly cheeky, and one that both men and women would be proud to send.
Tell me about your background and how you got into the greeting card business?
I’ve spent most of my working career in advertising and marketing. I love people and communication and seeing the light go on in someone receiving a message. This seems to happen best when humor and honesty are employed and allowed to run around a bit. I started a blog, Super Much Love, in fall of 2010. Writing for the blog, on the eve of my 40th birthday, I found it helped me open up, sort out, and share my life. In receiving positive feedback from readers, I became increasingly honest and compassionate with myself and others, and more appreciative of life in general. Read Between The Lines bubbled up as a natural extension of that learning and expression.
Where do you find inspiration for creating each phrase?
Typically in the shower! I do my best thinking there! The world floats away (what is it? the steam?), and the honest, sometimes funny stuff has room to come to the surface.
Where can our readers find your cards?
Online at ReadBetweenTheLines.com, or in Dallas at Neighborhood in the Bishop Arts District – and soon all over the country!