Small Business Highlight: Memphis Greetings
Joy Hardaway, a fashion designer by trade, started Memphis Greetings because she felt all the birthday or congratulations cards she found didn’t represent her or what she would actually say. So she started to create her own cards for friends and family. She did this for years, until she was convinced to start selling them. Memphis Greetings offers a satirical version of greetings cards that you don’t see in the store, as well as cards with a Memphis flare. When I asked Joy about the minimalistic style of her cards, she said, “As an artist and fashion illustrator I create very colorful and busy cards for that brand and I wanted something more simple. I wanted my customers to focus on the words and not be distracted by images.” Her cards range from birthday cards to Christmas cards to thank you cards. She has also expanded her products to t-shirts, bumper stickers, magnets, postcards, and tumblers, all with the classic Memphis Greetings sayings. You can find her products on her website and at her Memphis Arrow Creative studio where you can do local pickup.
Memphis Greetings has 40 cards available on their site. I asked Joy which one she would say is her favorite. She said, “This is a hard question, but I might have to say my ‘Congrats on yo lil ___.’ fill in the blank card. I like that it gives my customers a chance to personalize their card.” Memphis Greetings cards allow you to customize your cards because the inside of them are blank. This is her favorite aspect of the cards because, like Joy says on her website, “‘Checking’ is how we show love here and with Memphis Greetings you can show that love on paper!” Below are a few examples of her cards, including the ‘Congrats on yo lil ___.’ card.
Memphis Greetings also releases a new card design at the beginning of every month, and I wanted to know what inspired Joy for her new designs. “The city. The people. Experiences. Our history. And most importantly the love I have for the place I call home.” Their newest card is one for the person that has been there for you since day one or a significant other that you couldn’t go one day without. It says ‘Nobody Needs Nobody…’, which is based on a PLAYA FLY, a former member of Three 6 Mafia, lyric from his song of the same name. You can shop this card here: Nobody Needs Nobody… Card. Keep an eye on the Memphis Greetings Instagram for the release of their next card design!
I asked Joy about the Memphis Greetings logo (below), which has three hands making different signs with their fingers. “I chose the logo to honor some of our most historic ‘hoods’. When people hear MEMPHIS, they instantly think North Memphis, South Memphis, and Orange Mound, and the logo is a depiction of the hand signs we would throw up to let others know where we were from. I’m from South Memphis, so, of course, that’s my fav sign of them all.” The South Memphis sign is the one in the middle that has its pinky and thumb out. The one on the left is for North Memphis, which looks like a thumbs up, and the one on the right is for Orange Mound, which looks like an O and a M. Joy represents everything that she is, even in her logo!
Memphis Greetings has had some exciting things happen since its establishment, like being sold in Novel, a local bookstore in Memphis, but one of the most exciting moments that Joy has had since starting wasn’t even in Memphis, but in London! This past July she was able to share her products virtually at London Accessory Week. She wasn’t able to make it in person, but she has been invited back to sell her products at the London Fashion, Home, Beauty Christmas Market 2022 in December. That is so amazing! Memphis is going across the pond. We wish Joy all the success at her overseas market.
Joy has been growing Memphis Greetings slowly but surely and I wanted to know if she had any plans for expanding in the future, and, of course, she did. She said that she would love to work her way into big box retailers like Target, but also get a brick and mortar store of her own. “I would also love to create an oh so MEMPHIS brick and mortar location. Just a place where people can come purchase our items, but also come hang out and get lost in Memphis’ culture.” This sounds like such a cool idea! Memphis is a diverse and interesting place, and to be surrounded by stuff that makes Memphis, Memphis would be a great experience, for natives and visitors alike.
The last question I had for Joy was what she loves about being a small business in Memphis. “I love that it allows me to connect with all walks of life in and around my community and that it gives me the opportunity to show our youth that you can create a life as an artist.” People don’t always realize how much of a creative city Mempis is, but it’s bursting with wonderful and successful artists. We love that Joy wants to send that message.
We would love to thank Joy Haraway for taking the time out of her busy schedule to talk with us about Memphis Greetings! You can follow her on all the Memphis Greetings social media platforms: Instagram and Facebook, and again here is her website: www.memphisgreetings.com.
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