orn in Sweden and with a South Asian heritage, Annika Sarin was acclimated to not seeing bodies who looked like her on the greeting cards she bought. And as a mom of two adolescent kids and with a animated career as a clear designer, she capital a added adjustable agenda and the befalling to be artistic alfresco of work.
Sarin (CAS’95) is now accomplishing that in affiliation with her above BU roommate, Jen Ramella (COM’95), in their new jotter business.
“I said, ‘I accept this crazy idea,’” Sarin says. The abstraction was to alpha a cardboard and greeting agenda aggregation with aboriginal designs, abounding that would characterize interracial couples and families. A able clear designer, she pitched the abstraction to Ramella: Sarin would advance the artistic side, and Ramella would use her business accomplishments to handle the business side, although the two coact on both aspects.
“Annika knew I would accept the aforementioned affectionate of passion,” Ramella says. “We both admired writing, we both admired sending cards. Autograph is important to us, as it connects bodies to anniversary added in a way that an email or a argument aloof can’t do. I said yes immediately.”
Officially launched in March 2017, Me You Cardboard sells birthday, sympathy, holiday, and any break cards, journals, invitations, and added cardboard goods. They book on 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper, use acceptable packaging—like kraft cardboard boxes and agenda sleeves fabricated of compostable artificial sourced from plants—and architecture and book locally.
The alfresco of their cards generally has a caption, but the central is larboard bare intentionally. “We appetite to leave it up to you,” Ramella says. “The cards can beggarly so abounding altered things—like the bang breaching. It agency altered things to altered people.”
Their articles are awash throughout the greater Boston area, including at Brookline Booksmith, Barnes & Noble at Emerson College, and farmers markets like Central Flea in Cambridge’s Central Square, and online. While the two women did not appetite to allotment sales figures, they say sales accept been steady. They are planning to aggrandize to added food and markets.
The name Me You Cardboard was aggressive by a composition accounting by a acquaintance of Sarin’s that “talked about sending article from me to you,” Sarin says. “It’s this abstraction of sending a letter from me to you, sending adulation in this space….It’s a claimed adventure that needs to alpha with me—it can’t alpha with you.”
Their designs are generally aggressive by their own lives—one of the aboriginal prints was based on an Indian annual carpeting blind in Sarin’s home. Others are added abstract: a tusked albatross arrangement populates one, while addition is a dejected and azure baptize print.
Sarin—the babe of Vinod Sarin, a College of Engineering assistant of automated engineering—says affinity plays a big role in her designs. Aback she started the work, she asked accompany and ancestors to accelerate her claimed photos for inspiration, and she tacked them on a account board. It gave her a advanced ambit of relationships to draw from, and she still refers to them.
“Representation is actual important to us: representation affairs because anybody deserves to accept images they can chronicle to,” Sarin says. “I absolutely accept that a abridgement of admittance is why we’re in this abode that we’re in in this country. Me You Cardboard is allotment of a baby flat beachcomber of change that is accident to get bodies represented. Varying bark accent is actual important to us, interracial couples, interracial same- couples. Major greeting agenda companies would accomplish you choose—either you are interracial, or you are aforementioned .”
One architecture portrays a adolescent boy with flowers in his beard sitting in a woman’s lap. Ramella says that one time aback she was affairs her cards at a farmers market, a adolescent jailbait chock-full by, abiding on a book featuring the angel of two developed men embracing. “He had his duke on it, like he capital his parents to buy it for him, and they were off accomplishing article abroad and said they would appear back,” she says. “These were developed men on the card, and that seemed to beggarly article to him, I think, seeing this in print. Seeing who you are and the ability you alive in makes you feel allotment of it.”
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