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Small Business Showcase: Cards by Jessi

Renew the tradition of sending Christmas cards with these handmade gems.

Cards by Jessi is a handmade card business owned by Jessica Artz in Muir, PA.

Step into the festive spirit with Coal Region Canary’s Small Business Showcase! In our special Christmas feature, we’re bringing you closer to the vibrant heart of our community, showcasing the local businesses that give our area its unique charm.

Let’s explore the captivating stories of these local entrepreneurs and highlight their exceptional offerings, ideal for your Christmas gifting. Join us in celebrating the joyous season by supporting our local gems! 🎄🎁

Business NameCards by Jessi
Business OwnerJessica Artz
AddressOnline/mobile business
Business Phone Number+1 570-573-4449
FacebookCards by Jessi
Hours of OperationVary based on vendor event hours; reachable via Facebook Messenger at any time
Special Holiday HoursN/A
Description of Products and ServicesHandmade greeting card business
Year Established2016
Unique Features and SpecialtiesHandmade greeting cards, personalized alternatives, sold at various events and online
Payment Methods AcceptedCash, credit/debit cards
Accessibility FeaturesHandicap accessibility varies by venue; assistance available in person or through Facebook

Q&A with Jessica Artz, owner of Cards by Jessi

Learn more about Cards by Jessi …

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What inspired you to start this business, and how did your personal journey lead you here?
“A friend of mine was running a benefit vendor event for a Schuylkill County animal shelter and was having a hard time getting vendors. At that time, card making was just a hobby for me. She asked me, if I would be willing to do the show. I love animals and felt like it was a worthy cause so I did the show. I went to the venue (a Schuylkill County mall) with a folding table and 200 Christmas Cards. I left the venue with 10 Christmas Cards. I had caught the bug! In addition to being able to craft handmade items, I also have a special needs child. I have struggled for several years trying to find a way to provide for my family and have care for her while I was working. You can’t just pass a special needs child off to just any ‘baby sitter’. So it made sense for me to open Cards by Jessi, work for myself, and do it in a setting that allows me to still be the caregiver for my child.”

What unique products or services do you offer that can’t be found elsewhere in our community?
“Each one of our pieces is unique. I don’t print anything, Everything is done with rubber stamps, paper cutting dies, paper punches, or a cutting machine. That means, even if I make 20 of the same card, there’s going to be slight variations in all of them.”

How does your business contribute to the local community or participate in community events?
“I donate card baskets to non-profit organizations for raffles and Chinese auctions all year long not only in Schuylkill County but Dauphin County as well.”

Can you share an interesting fact or story about your business that most people may not know?
“I started greeting card making because I had bought rubber stamps to make a scrapbook as a gift for someone. When my husband saw how much I had spent, he told me that I ‘had better figure out a way to use them more than once’. The joke’s on him! Now he gets to assist me at the many events I sign up for throughout the year.”

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a small business, and how did you overcome it?
“I don’t know if this is one of the biggest challenges I had, but it’s definitely a day that sticks in my head. I was at another vendor event in the previously mentioned Schuylkill County Mall and it had been a very slow day. A woman walks up to table and she picked out about 15 cards. She turns to me and asked if they were handmade (I get that question a lot). I replied that they were. She says ‘Oh’ and proceeds to put them all back and walk away. I felt so defeated and at that moment I wanted to quit. The experience made me question whether or not I could make Cards by Jessi a success. Building a business is not easy, but then again nothing worth doing ever is easy.”

What do you want customers to experience when they interact with your business?
“Cards by Jessi’s mission is to spread joy, one greeting card at a time. I want to put smiles on faces, not just our customers, but the card recipient as well. When you buy or receive a card from me, you’re also getting something that I’ve poured my heart into. I’m proud to stamp my name on the back of each piece I make because they are truly made with love.”

What are your future plans or dreams for your business? Are there any upcoming projects or expansions you’re excited about?
“Over the past 2 years, I’ve had to reduce the amount of events we attended. My husband had some health issues and we were advised not to travel more than an hour away from his attending physician. Now that he’s better, I would like to go back to some of the venues we had to give up. Also, I recently started something new and completely different. I’ve been working on primitive style wooden decor and I would love to expand on this and offer more of those type of items at my future events.”

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What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business in our community?
“Research and networking are the two best things you can do. If you’re planning on taking on an event-based business like mine and doing vendor events and craft shows, find one that’s low cost for your first one, go to it and talk to the other vendors. Most vendors are willing to talk with newbies and give information on what venues are good and which to avoid. If you plan on looking on Facebook for events, do your research and find out who is actually running the event, contact the venue to see if there even is an event. So many new vendors are being scammed by people on Facebook claiming to be event coordinators. Unless you absolutely know who you are dealing with, do not PayPal, Cash App or Venmo event fees. Doing that is a good way to lose your money.”

What does your business offer that would make a great gift for the holiday season?
“I make cards specifically designed to hold gift cards or money around the holidays because we all have that one person who is extremely hard to buy a gift.”

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COAL REGION CANARY SUPPORTS SHOP LOCAL!

Make your business part of our Small Business Showcase. Click or tap here to find the form to submit your business for a profile just like this one!

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Check out all the businesses who’ve participated in our Showcase so far …

Hydrangea CottageLeiby's Carriage ServiceThe Maid's Quarters
Archangel CreationsCards by JessiPressed Coffee & Books
Sughr & CompanyLucy & Leigh

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