As you all know, the holiday season is upon us and that means an increase in the amount of mail passing through the system. Add in a global pandemic, extra online shopping, and Canada Post is predicting a very busy year!
SOOO, order your cards sooner rather than later! Normally I’m able to get orders into the mail within a day or two (maybe 3 if it’s over a weekend), but they’ll need time to get from me (in Chilliwack, BC) to you (wherever you are). Then if you’re sending the cards out to others, they’ll need time to get from you to them.
Want expedited shipping? Want me to write in AND mail your cards for you? Contact me (Nikki) by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or through one of my social media channels and we’ll have a chat and figure out a cost!
Here we are, November. What a crazy fucking year! Remember back when everything was seemingly “normal”? We could still hug people outside our household… Go to a friends house for drinks… Grocery shop without following arrows on the floor. Yes, those were the good ol’ days. But we’ll get back there… eventually!
While we patiently wait for the virus to fuck off, I encourage you all to keep in touch with those family members and friends that aren’t in your bubble! Give them a call, send them a text, or if they’d appreciate the humour – send them one of my cards! My Covid cards have been flying off the shelf, including the Covid Christmas card.
While you’re here, I should pass along a message from Canada Post. They are sending out an early warning that parcel volume will increase this holiday season and that you should start you online shopping early! So while most of the orders I receive are small and light enough to ship by lettermail, you never know if they might get held up with all those parcels. So…. START BUYING YOUR HOLIDAY CARDS (AND GIFTS) NOW FOLKS!!!
And if you were thinking about ordering one of my 2021 Wall Calendars, you should do it right this instant. There are literally only a handful left. Those little fuckers sell out quickly and to answer your question (seriously, I’ll get asked this a couple of times over the next few months) No, I will not be making any more!
In other news, for the month of October I participated in a drawing challenge. It gave me a new word each day and forced me to commit myself to picking up my sketchbook… Something I haven’t done much of the past ten years. Here are several pages from my sketchbook – they aren’t masterpieces by any means, but I had fun! I might even add monsters into my cards one day!
If you aren’t already, you should follow @hugandkissdesigns on Instagram or Facebook. I like the attention.
Well, holy shit. It’s been 3 months since my last blog post! How does time go by so quickly? I would have been a little more “on it” with my posts, but in all honesty I totally forgot! Between orders, calendar designing, and social media posts, it just slipped my mind… (until just a few minutes ago!)
But I’m here. I’m always here!
For the most part I’ve been focused on finishing the designing of my 2021 calendar (it’s always a pain in the ass) and the good news is, I’M DONE! The designing at least. The calendars are at the print shop right now and once I have them back in my office I’ll be finishing the manufacturing and shipping out all the pre-orders (early November).
If you want to snag yourself a copy, I recommend ordering one (or more) soon! I print a very limited quantity and once they’re sold out, they’re sold out.
I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy out there. It’s a fucked up world.
First off, I want to say that I was hoping to avoid making Covid-related greeting cards… but it seems this virus is sticking around awhile and people have already missed birthdays, wedding, graduations, etc. So, here they are… Hopefully I get to retire these cards sooner rather than later!
Right now there is a strong push for people to step up and support small businesses like this one. So I thought you might be curious to know who exactly you are supporting when you buy my cards (and other products).
You’ll be happy to know that my cards are 100% made in Canada! Not only that, but Hug and Kiss Designs Inc. is an Indigenous-owned business and all my cards are created on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Stó:lō First Nations, a land where my ancestors lived 4,000-10,000 years ago!
Tell us more Nikki…
The idea for my card line started back in 2006. I was working in a little store that sold greeting cards and I realized something about all the cards I saw. The funny cards were always “funny” and the sweet cards were always sweet. Either way, they were predictable. I decided to change that by creating a card that was shocking and funny. Something unexpected and hilarious. Naturally that meant cute cartoon animals and a sarcastic sense of humour with some swear words thrown in (at that point I had NEVER seen a greeting card with a swear word before. NOT ONCE! Was I the first? Maybe 🤷🏻♀️ )
After a couple months of jotting down ideas and doodling images, I had come up with a style that seemed to work. I showed my friends and family and they were in full support, so I decided to take a chance and start my own business! I mean, what else do you do with diplomas in Journalism and Design? So, in January of 2007 I registered the name Hug and Kiss Designs, bought a domain, taught myself how to build a website, and got things going! By May of that year I was filling my first wholesale order!
So how are my cards made?
After I write and illustrate a card, I send it to my favourite little print shop (a family-owned company here in BC). They print the cards for me on large sheets of cardstock (4 cards per sheet). I add the crease with my creasing machine (hand-powered), cut into quarters with my industrial paper cutter (again, hand-powered) and then I check each card for quality control. If it passes, I fold it by hand (one at a time) and I cut them to their final size with my other paper cutter (the kind you find at most offices). Because it’s a thick cardstock, I can only cut one card at a time! Yes, ONE AT A TIME! It’s time consuming, but it’s the best way to ensure a nice, neat edge.
Okay, so that felt weird to talk about myself that much, but let’s review what you learned. Hug and Kiss Designs is a one-woman show. That woman is First Nations and she’s a hilarious, crazy, perfectionist that would rather get carpal tunnel by cutting each card by hand than using machinery and creating an imperfect card. Her raunchy, rude, and ridiculously funny cards are 100% made in Canada.
I hope you’re all doing well and finding ways to adapt to the new “normal” of face masks, hand sanitizer, and social distancing. It really is a weird world that we’re living in, isn’t it? (Remember, sending greeting cards in the mail is a great way to keep in touch with those you can’t see in person! (Perhaps someone you know just graduated or had a birthday or baby or wedding that they couldn’t invite you to?!))
Around here not much has changed for me. Being self-employed and working from a home office has the advantage of being able to avoid people quite easily! (Though avoiding the kid and the husband has become more challenging…) When it comes to shipping your orders I’m able to make a quick (and safe) trip to the local post office. And don’t worry, I’m not licking any envelopes around here!
In other news, you’ve probably all read about how important it is right now to be supporting Canadian, Indigenous and Black-owned businesses… and it is! Canada is home to SO MANY wonderful Canadian companies (both big and small) and one way to support our country and racial equality is by supporting these small businesses!
Just so you know, Hug and Kiss Designs Inc. is proudly 100% Canadian with all our products being designed and manufactured here in Canada! Not only that, we’re actually owned by an Indigenous woman! That’s right, Nikki (that’s me) is from the Coast Salish territory (my grandpa is from a small reserve in Chilliwack, BC and my grandma is from one on Vancouver Island.) So while my light skin comes from my mom, my dark hair (the ones that haven’t gone gray!) and eyes come from my dad!
If you’re looking for other First Nations businesses to support, you can check out Shop First Nations for an ever-growing list. You can find a very comprehensive list of Canadian Black-owned business over at Afro Biz. Or if you want to know more about WHY buying Canadian is so important? Check out Buy Canadian First for some great information.
Please remember that you can support small businesses in a variety of ways. Yes, making purchases of services and goods is great, but if that’s not feasible a simple like or share on social media goes a long way!
There has been a lot of new traffic to this site, so I’d like to take a minute to thank all of you for dropping by! Some of you have probably been with me for years (this company has been around since 2007), but some of you are seeing my products for the first time and you might be thinking, “What’s up with this Hug and Kiss Designs?”
Well, here’s a quick rundown. Hug and Kiss Designs Inc. is a small stationery company run out of Chilliwack, BC (Western Canada for you international folks). And when I say “small company,” I mean SMALL! Right now the company is run by one person – me! My name is Nikki and I’m a journalist/designer turned entrepreneur. I started Hug and Kiss Designs Inc. over 13 years ago when I realized how sappy and predictable most greeting cards are. I decided to shake things up by making cards that looked cute on the outside, but were sassy and sarcastic, funny and vulgar, and even a little mean on the inside! I periodically travel around selling my cards at various craft/trade shows (you know, back when people were allowed to gather in groups) and my cards are sold in several brick and mortar shops across Canada (listed in Retailers link).
All of my hilarious cards are 100% made in Canada! I write and illustrate them from my office, send them to a local family-owned print shop where they are printed on large sheets and returned to me. I then crease, fold, and cut each card BY HAND! Yeah, by hand. I’m crazy like that… and needless to say the quality control around here is top notch! (Just read some of the reviews)
I think that sums up the basics. If you’d like to keep in the loop about what goes on around here, go ahead and sign up for my mailing list (form is at the bottom of this page) or follow me on social media (links at the top of this page).
If you ever have any questions or comments, leave them below!