Cheers to the Noted @ *Noted Winners!

If you sell cards and have not checked out *Noted, you are missing out — and there is still time to check it out! Between all the great sessions, LOUIE finalist announcements, Meet Your Maker Videos, and the easy navigation, not to mention all the fabulous card vendors, it is the next best thing to gathering in person.

Once you check out the show, head on over to the GCA Marketplace where you can purchase product from every last exhibitor! I got a sneak peek into the platform and it is truly a wonder to behold. Shopping it and *Noted is the closest we can get to gathering in person, which fingers crossed will happen next year.

As I’ve mentioned, I was so honored to help manage of the 2nd Annual Noted @ *Noted Awards, especially when it came time to celebrate the winners. The awards ceremony kicked off *Noted late Wednesday afternoon and if you missed the fun, I’m here to catch you up.

I am really in awe of our judges, as we all carefully navigated more entries than we were all bargaining for. The original goal was to simply top last year’s numbers. Somehow, at the last minute, entries jumped from around 100 to 194. That’s a 42% increase over the 2020 numbers!

Examining all that compelling design and copy was no easy task. Joining me in that endeavor was Audrey Woollen, founder and creative director of Urbanic Paper Boutique; Chandra Greer, owner of GREER Chicago; Chelsea Shukov, co-founder of Sugar Paper; and Daniel Collier, danielrichards.

If you can catch the awards presentation, please do — as we announced the winners, judges shared what made each finalist special. I’ve also heard a lot of positive feedback about a segment midway through where we informally chatted about curating a cohesive retail offering, shopping digital v. catalog, and that special greeting card sauce that captures the eye and tugs the heartstrings.

But enough from me. Here is the video of it all, in case you missed all the fun!

And, in no particular order, I give you the winners!!

Congratulations to all the winners! It’s crystal clear that makers have been busy during quarantine pulling out all the design stops, especially Seedlings and Girl w/Knife, who each snagged an impressive two awards. I love that they are both young brands with really fresh perspectives — it shows!

Each Seedlings design is paired with a plantable envelope, so it is also the gift of flowers. The girl with the knife, AKA the über-talented Elicia Castaldi, meanwhile, is not a new winner in this competition. “I’m deeply honored to receive awards for Best Use of Profanity — two years in a row! — and Snarkiest Card,” she told me. “No one would be more tickled by this news than my late father, who greatly influenced both my sense of humor and colorful vocabulary. Congrats to ALL, and thank you to *Noted and the esteemed judges.”

Bravo Elicia — and kudos to Dad for inspiring such a pristine potty mouth! I know I am not the only one who loves hearing the backstory behind a compelling designs — you can see those of all the finalists here.

I also want to tip my hat to all the winners I haven’t shouted out yet: Lake Erie Design Co., Lykkefund Paper, UWP Luxe, Next Chapter Studio, Inklings Paperie, and Paper Epiphanies. UWP Luxe, Next Chapter Studio and Inklings Paperie all took honors last year as well.

Meanwhile, see more stellar card design from over 70 makers as you hobnob with the community virtually at *Noted! Start your visit here — the platform will stay open through May 30 — and I hope to see you there!