Why the Company?
The primary motivation for CowrieCards.com came from my use of ecards and traditional print greeting cards, and having a limited or non-existent selection to choose from, that really reflects the tastes colorful people. The frustration associated with wanting to express myself to friends and family, and assuming that I wasn't the only one feeling this way, led me to start this company. The idea was solidified on a birthday, when I had received a number of electronic greetings.
During the many years of marketing products and services to the black consumer, I have seen the importance of addressing The African American consumer in a conscious manner, with dignity, respect and an understanding of who we are as people.
Aside Hallmark's "Mahogany" and "Maya Angelou" lines, the greeting cards industry has fundamentally overlooked us. In the vast majority of greeting card displays in America, one is hard pressed to find cards that we can relate to - cards that reflect our images, feelings, culture, experiences, hopes and aspirations. This is even more apparent when using an online service for sending ecards.
What have been the alternatives, and where have the outlets been for our social expressions? Where could we go to send and receive messages that define us and we find meaningful? Heretofore, we had to primarily rely on sending neutral and often bland, generic greetings or blank cards or even resort to creating our own. That is, until now ~ until CowrieCards.
CowrieCards is a new and innovative way for, Colorful People, to share our feelings and thoughts about and with each other. In part, one of the ways CowrieCards.com will do so, is by veering from the Hallmark "moments" on one hand, or the Blue Mountain Arts poetic form on the other and instead create, our own expressive character.
Mind you, ecards and electronic greetings won't replace traditional greeting cards, which by the way we have now also introduced. But as we all know, in today's fast-paced world, where the use of computers and the internet is everywhere, having a quick, convenient, easy-to-use, attractive, and reliable service for sending and receiving greetings and invitations via the web is really a nice alternative.
Great images (photos, illustrations and animation) and as we grow, we'll be including works from an array of black photographers, animators, filmmakers, visual and fine artists.
Taken together, what the CowrieCards.com experience intends to be is one where, you will come away feeling touched, moved and inspired. If CowrieCards can foster a connection with our feelings and our expressiveness, then we have done the job we've set out to do. As the psychologists Pasteur and Toldson wrote in Roots of Soul, "feelings cover the whole range of black behavior, in their expressive forms, in their folkways, customs, and personal relationships. It is in their relationships with others that feelings are most discernible..."
Why the Cowrie (cow-ree)?
Cowrie shells are found nearly throughout the entirety of the African continent. They've been used as a medium of exchange, for divination and adornment. In fact, in Ghana, the currency is called the cedi or cowrie. As such, the cowrie has come to symbolize affluence, wealth and sacredness throughtout African societies. Therefore I thought that the cowrie shell would serve as an appropriate symbol of our connection with mankind's Motherland.
Peace & Blessings,
244 Fifth Avenue/Suite H268
New York, NY 10001
"Where Colorful People Greet"