As you may or may not know, I support indie designers. I’m always on the lookout for fresh and unique cards and designers so I can offer you the best of the best in your curated packages. And I believe that it’s wonderful to get to know the designers behind the cards you get in your hot little hands and lovingly send out.
So today is the first interview in what will be a regular series called Heart of Cards: Designer Interviews.
One of the perks of Pretty by Post®’s curated collection is that some cards will be custom made exclusively for our service – which means that you can only purchase them as a subscriber.
The first card (and the freebie e-card if you subscribe to the newsletter) I ordered, which was custom made, was through Hello Happiness Card Company, run by Jenny & Josh Solar.
I first met the incredible husband & wife team through my stint as the content manager for a popular online community, and was instantly smitten with their positivity and fun personalities. When I discovered that they were card designers, I just knew that I had to work with them.
They are truly as kind, generous and fun as they appear. I just know you’re going to fall in love with their cards and mission of encouragement, love and positive energy like I have. Enjoy our conversation.
1. Hello Happiness Card Co is about creating cards that bring love, happiness and joy into the lives of the people you care about most. Can you share how you both live this mission in your day to day?
Jenny + I live our life trying to add as much love as possible into the world. For me, there are so many ways to do this, usually small ways, but still adding love is adding love, right? One thing I love to do is write letters of encouragement and leave them wherever I go throughout the day. I like to sit down in the morning and give myself a little pep talk for the day, and whatever comes up I write down in one of our cards for someone else to get the positivity as well. Jenny isn’t into writing as much as I am, so she likes to carry our little mini encouragement cards to give to others or leave wherever she goes. It’s all about something out of the ordinary that people can find and break up a routine…unexpected happiness I guess.
2. I’m including your mini encouragement cards as a special gift for new subscribers. Please share about your amazing #encouragesomebody and #moreloveletters campaigns & how you came up with this idea.
The More Love Letters campaign is what got me writing letters in the first place. I first heard of it when I stumbled on a video featuring Hannah Brencher. It came into my life when I was really struggling with my purpose for living. I was battling a depression, had an ill child that no one could figure out what was wrong with and super confused about how I had ended up in this place. Once I saw that video, it all made sense to me. No matter what was going on in my life, I always had the power to encourage others. I can use my words to remind others why life is worth living. And once I adopted this practice into my life, other things started happening. I found myself happier, more content, more grateful for what I did have instead of always focused on what was lacking in my life. The reason I started using the #encouragesomebody hashtag is because I wanted a way to follow along and see who else joins me, as well as see if anyone who had found one of my letters had shared about it. It’s cool to see how our actions can make a difference in another’s life.
3. If your creative work were edible, what would it taste like?
Ha. I’ve never been asked that question before! I’m going to go with a warm apple fritter, one that’s still a bit doughy in the middle but crispy on the edges.
4. Who or what inspires you? How has personal experience influenced your creativity?
Being out in nature inspires me. The mountains, the ocean, all of it. Talking to folks about what their dreams are inspires me. I’m not big on small talk, or chatting about the weather. I only have a limited amount of words to speak in this life, I want to make sure they count for things. Learning about what lights up others and helping them do more of that inspires me. My wife inspires me, to see all the struggle she’s gone through in her life and to be able to walk with her on this path helps me pursue more meaningful things in my life. My kids inspire me. They’re so creative all the time, and can create these amazing worlds so fast! I want to spend as much time with them as possible and hope that their creativity rubs off on me.
How has personal experience influenced my creativity…well, I remember some distinct moments in my childhood. Times when I would be drawing, or my mom tried to get me to take guitar lessons, and I remember how much I felt alive when I was drawing and doing artistic things. But I chose sports, baseball and soccer and devoted so much time to those things I kind of forgot what it felt like to do art. I only recently discovered my passion for anything creative the last few years. This love of art was rekindled, I think, because of all the wonderful kids books I would read with my kids. The simple, positive messages made me happy, the art made me smile, and it triggered these memories of how I felt when I created things just because it made me happy.
5. What is playing on your iPod/fave music app/etc., right now?
I try and spend as much time with my phone away from me as possible. This whole thing of always feeling like I have to have it on me and respond to texts/calls as fast as possible stresses me out. I’d rather be present with the ones directly in front of me.
That being said, I LOVE music. I’m big into anything that makes me dance or has a positive message. I listen to a LOT of classical music, reggae, folk, hip hop, bluegrass, I’m kind of all over the place. Currently, I’m listening to a lot of Trevor Hall, Jinja Safari, Switchfoot, MC Yogi and The Mowgli’s.
6. PbP was founded to honor those we love with what matters most: loyalty, support and unconditional love. What does #fierceloyalty mean to you?
When I think of #fierceloyalty, I think of my wife. We’ve been together for 19 years…way back to when she was a freshman and I was a sophomore in high school. The amount of struggle we’ve shared to get to where we are in life, it screams #fierceloyalty.
There have been many times in our lives where it might have been easier to just give up, be it go get “real” jobs because our entrepreneurial pursuits weren’t going as planned, or how we could’ve let the time when we had to cancel our 5 month adventure in Europe because our son just wasn’t well enough to go, a trip we’d been planning for 4 years, we could’ve let that crush us. I mean, we had the tickets booked, we had the car leased. We were going to go do the wild and crazy thing we’d dreamed up. But life had other things in store for us. And no matter what life throws in my path, I’ll greet it with love, and know that Jenny will be right by my side holding my hand.
#fierceloyalty is letting go of all my expectations as Jenny works through her childhood trauma and I have to pull more weight around the house and on our businesses. #fierceloyalty is letting Jenny know, that there’s nothing she could ever do that could make me love her less than I do. #fierceloyalty is waking up every morning fully committed to this life built chasing time freedom and knowing it’s hard but I wouldn’t choose any other path than the one we’re on together. #fierceloyalty is knowing full well if our roles were reversed right now she’d be doing the same things for me.
We’ve experienced first hand how our words can change someone’s life.
We believe hand written letters are magical. Especially when you put lots of love into them. Transferring all the encouragement, love and positive energy one can muster onto a piece of paper and sending it off to a friend is a lost art in today’s rushed and overly stressed world.
We believe a little love can go a long way, especially when you share it.
That’s why we established the hello happiness card company to create cards that bring love, happiness, and joy into the lives of the people you care about most.