During the pandemic, it's been difficult to stay in touch with friends who live far away. Between video calls and endless streams of text messages, communication can become exhausting. And with physical travel somewhat out of the question, what can you do instead to show those in your life you care? Try sending a card in celebration of "National Send a Card to a Friend Day" on Sunday, Feb. 7.
Sure, the origins of this holiday are uncertain, but the meaning is no less heartfelt. Sending greeting cards has been a pastime since the 1800s, when companies like Goodall and Charles Bennett began mass producing cards. And in 1910, Hallmark, America's oldest and largest greeting card company, was founded by Joyce C. Hall.
Here are some local card makers that have the perfect greeting cards for friends, if you want to join in the celebration:
This online shop owned by Sarasota artist Bailey Spasovski has more than 190 quirky card designs for every friend in your life. Whether you have a friend that enjoys wine humor or has an abundance of sarcasm, there are plenty of hand-drawn designs to choose from. The company began on Etsy, but has recently moved to its own website. Cards begin at $4.99.
Bradenton illustrator Shannon Kirsten owns a studio downtown, where she illustrates her own prints, cards, notepads and more. Her collection of bright, cheerful and feminine prints is shared over her website and Instagram, and she has partnered with Anthropologie and Hallmark. Check out her array of floral greeting cards or dog prints, if you know a dog lover. Cards start at $4.50 and can be purchased online.
This Bradenton shop is run out of the Red Barn Flea Market on weekdays. With a variety of greeting and pop-up cards, there are plenty of holiday-themed and "just because" prints to pick up and send off to a friend you're thinking of. Personalized invitations for weddings or other gatherings can also be made and ordered on the shop's website. Greeting cards begin at $0.99.
This Sarasota-based Etsy shop owned by Nicole Dawn Peachey features cards with pastel illustrations and earth-toned watercolor designs. Cards are made in batches, with new designs on rotation all the time. Past favorites were the Orange Florida Postcard and the Pineapple Greeting Card. Peachey is also a freelance artist and her watercolor prints can be purchased, too. A set of four cards begin at $10.
This First Street stationary shop offers unique gifts and prints for anyone special in your life. The shop's custom box notes can be designed through a consultation, and are perfect for wedding invitations and other events. You'll find bundles of other great gifts to send from the shop's physical location or online. Follow Write On Sarasota's Instagram for updates.
While this card making company is based in Nashville, Tennessee, they have a beautiful Sarasota-themed postcard perfect for those you want to come visit once travel is safe. Postcards are typically reserved for places you've vacationed to, but why not show off the beauty of our town? Buy a pack of eight on the company's website for $14.99.
From the heartfelt to the humorous, Paper Source card company has an online shop and several physical locations around the country, including one at University Town Center Mall. Find cards for friends in the "thinking of you," section or the "friendship & humor," aisle. Get a laugh out of the "What Happens In Covid," greeting card, or a smile out of the "You Brighten My Day," rainbow card. The possibilities are endless. Cards start at $4.95.