As Valentine’s Day approaches, Carol Taggio cuts through sheets of coloured paper and uses packages of adhesive tape for her custom cards and paper crafts.
“I love coloured paper. The more colours, the better. I love rainbow colours, bright colours, pastels,” Taggio said. Her second favourite: anything shiny or glittery.
Taggio has been a part of Close to My Heart, a direct sales company based in Utah with a special focus on paper crafts, scrapbooking and stamping. Working out of her home in Holland Landing, Ont., Taggio has been with the company for 12 years, but has been crafting for about 16 years.
“I could get lost in paper crafting,” she said. “You don’t have to be artistic to be a card maker, but you can become artistic along the way.”
February is particularly busy for her, as Valentine’s Day cards need to get made.
According to the U.S. Greeting Card Association, Valentine’s Day is the second most popular time of the year for holiday card sales, topped only by Christmas.
A 2019 YouGov online poll of 1,214 adults in the U.S. found that 31 per cent of women ranked a card as their top choice for a Valentine’s Day gift. Fifteen per cent of men surveyed said the same.
This poll did not surprise Taggio.
“Cards are a way for people to express something emotional within them to somebody else, in a very succinct way,” she said.
⚡️ “Card Making and Paper Crafting, Just in Time for Valentine's Day”https://t.co/uqTkBJ4CSx
— Stefano Ruccia (@RucciaStefano) February 14, 2019
Anthony Pullano, founder of Embassy Print & Design in Aurora, Ont., has been making cards from his watercolour paintings for 15 years.
“Embassy Cards started from the kitchen table,” Pullano said. “I took out my sketching pad and my watercolours and I made my first little painting.” The painting was a winter scene with kids skating and tobogganing.
“That’s where I started Embassy Cards. With one little painting on the kitchen table,” Pullano said. “It was seasonal, it was a happy scene.”
Pullano sold his cards in bulk to companies that gave them to employees and clients. He also partnered with charities such as Habitat for Humanity Canada, which received a portion of the proceeds that Embassy sold on its behalf.
“The process of creating that painting, that little painting that you can imagine, that’s my favourite part,” he said.
Taggio’s latest project was a collection of 50 hand-crafted Valentine’s Day cards for her daughter, a florist, to sell alongside bouquets of flowers.
“Flowers are always a wonderful gesture, but it’s really nice when they can give a special card along with it,” she said.