Sometimes a great idea sprouts from something that’s, well, not so great. Such was the case when California designer Emily McDowell was diagnosed with cancer. She got a lot of cards from well-wishers that, as she puts it, “felt weird.” For example, some people sent “get-well-soon cards” when there was a chance she wouldn’t—get well, that is.
In response, McDowell began creating sympathy cards whose messages are, let’s just say, far from those you typically find in stores. One reads: “Please let me be the first person to punch the next person who tells you everything happens for a reason. I’m sorry you’re going through this.”
Happily, McDowell did recover. And currently, Emily McDowell Studio™ is busy expanding its line of greeting cards and other assorted gifts.
Anyone who can laugh at the trials of parenthood will appreciate Parenting Support Cards, her new line of cards that, as McDowell explains, are “designed for anyone who’s struggling with the day-to-day of raising small to medium-sized people.”
There’s this gem, “You’re Not a Monster. Parenting is Really Hard”, among others. What makes these Parenting Support Cards so perfect is that they express what countless parents go through, but don’t always feel comfortable acknowledging. Now, there’s a card for that.
McDowell describes the origins of her card company best on her website: “This company was founded on the success of one card that spoke to a truth about relationships in a way that wasn’t yet represented in Greeting Card World, and that’s what we most like to do here: identify universal, emotional truths and observations on being human, and turn them into products that help people feel understood.”
If you like the irreverent slice-of-life messages on McDowell’s line of cards, you also might enjoy her new book, co-authored with compassion expert Kelsey Crowe, PhD: There Is No Good Card For This: What To Say And Do When Life Is Scary, Awful, And Unfair To People You Love (HarperOne 2017).
McDowell was interviewed on WYPR’s Morning Edition on February 13, 2017. Listen to it here.