#4: The GCA does not stand for “George Cancels Activities”

You may know George White as president and COO of Up With Paper and UWP Luxe — these are fantastic, award-winning houses of pop-up cards renowned for their complex engineering and beautiful rendered artwork. But the reason I invited George here is because he is also president of The Greeting Card Association, and to say that organization has had a crazy year is a huge understatement. It fell to George to navigate the industry through it.

The GCA was to hold the second edition of Noted: the greeting card expo in San Francisco on May 1; the event was to encompass the LOUIE Awards, which recognizes stellar design in greeting cards each year, as well as the Noted @ *Noted Product Awards, which I actually sponsored under The Paper Chronicles banner.

As you can imagine, COVID-19 threw a wrench in all those plans … and I had a front-row seat to see how everything was reconfigured as it unfolded in real time. Now, getting anything done by committee can be super-difficult, and I was in awe of how George kept everyone on task and in agreement, and pulled off an amazing virtual event. Which is great, because that’s not going to be the only virtual event on the GCA’s plate in 2020.

First off,  The LOUIE Virtual Awards, sponsored by the Atlanta Market, are now to be held July 30. It was a big accomplishment to put this together — and I’m sure the 2020 finalists who have been waiting since May can’t wait to hear the results!

And I have news on another big event just being announced this week. Through Noted: A Focus on Diversity, held Thursday, July 16 at 2 pm EST, Black makers will have the chance to “pitch” their greeting card line to a panel of the top retailers, sales reps and or international distributors — plus a large group of retailers online. This event’s pitch panel will feature Vanessa Raptopoulos, Awesome Brooklyn; Chandra Greer, Greer Chicago; Kristina Burkey, Calliope Paperie; and Kyle Williams, Paper Source.

If you are a retailer or sales rep, please attend to learn about these great Black makers, download samples of their work and start to diversify your offerings. $5 of the $10 ticket price goes to a Noted 2021 scholarship for a maker of color. And if you want to apply to pitch your work, you can do so here. It is 100% free for makers, as all of the usual costs of $250 per maker are being covered by the sponsors. The GCA is also working with Faire to create a page on its site of all the makers selected!

George also shares how we can all, regardless of role, help #savethepostoffice — and how the act is doing so is anything but a partisan act.

Hitchcock Creative
Winner, Noted @ *Noted Awards
Snarkiest Card

Image up top: Next Chapter Studio
Winner, Noted @ *Noted Product Awards
Best New Product Line