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‘Empathy Card Pioneer’ Emily McDowell At PG Live For Abrams & Chronicle’s Launch 

Having trail-blazed the genre of empathy cards in her native America, Los Angeles designer, Emily McDowell, will be launching officially in the UK at PG Live next week (Tuesday 4 June and Wednesday 5 June), via a distribution deal with Abrams & Chronicle – and the inspiring lady herself is flying in to be there to see it all!

Emily, who now has a high media profile, drew on her own experiences of having cancer to create designs that would have been the type of cards that would have reflected what she was feeling when she was diagnosed and then going through treatment.

Above: A trio of Emily McDowell designs that hit the empathetic spot wonderfully.
Above: A trio of Emily McDowell designs that hit the empathetic spot wonderfully.

‘Please let me be the first to punch the next person who tells you everything happens for a reason. I’m sorry you’re going through this’ is one of the classics which joins a now wide portfolio of designs which are empathetic to the less than perfect situations and relationships people find themselves in.

Explaining her mission right from the outset, Emily said: “I wanted to make cards that felt true to the relationships we have. All too often I felt the greeting cards out there reflect idealised, aspirational relationships that very few people share. Real lives are messy, but yet people do want to foster connections. My aim has always been to create cards that help in this”.

Above: Emily McDowell has spoken on and in all manner of media (from the BBC to the New York Times) on the importance of sending cards in support of life’s challenges.
Above: Emily McDowell has spoken on and in all manner of media (from the BBC to the New York Times) on the importance of sending cards in support of life’s challenges.

Among those who will be making a beeline for the Abrams & Chronicle stand will be Mark Janson-Smith, md of Postmark, the London-based greeting card retailer. “Emily McDowell has long been my ‘go to’ reference point on empathy, something that really came into its own when I was working with the Miscarriage Association to develop the special collection of cards that we stock in the shop and on Postmarkonline,” said Mark.

Having previously shipped the Emily McDowell cards straight from the US to his four shops in London, Mark is delighted that the arrangement with Abrams and Chronicle makes this much easier.

Above: The Emily McDowell card design that Postmark’s Mark Janson-Smith says is one of the best examples of an empathy card ever.
Above: The Emily McDowell card design that Postmark’s Mark Janson-Smith says is one of the best examples of an empathy card ever.

“For us, her ‘there’s no card for it’ design is one of the best sellers as it can be used for so many delicate situations,” says Mark, who in tribute to Emily now has a dedicated ‘empathy’ section on the card displays in Postmark’s shops.

“Empathy cards, of which Emily McDowell is the pioneer, are at the heart of what gives true meaning to our whole industry – a tangible connection between people in times of need.”

Abrams & Chronicle is very well known for its strong line-up of books, calendars and stationery, but with Emily McDowell & Friends collection its reputation in the greeting card world will be significantly boosted.

Above: The much-lauded book that Emily co-wrote with Kelsey Crowe.
Above: The much-lauded book that Emily co-wrote with Kelsey Crowe.

At PG Live, as well as Emily’s ‘classics’, the company will also be showcasing the Lisa Congdon collection which form part of the Emily McDowell & Friends portfolio. There are 16 of Lisa Congdon’s brightly-coloured and uplifting designs in the inaugural range.

Also on show (on Stand 241) will be the new format Emily McDowell & Friends’ Fill in the Love journals. Emily claims these little books are “a secret weapon of love”. By filling in the blanks, they transform into a personalised, meaningful gift of love or support.

Also being showcased will be new format of journals, tote bags and wine bags.

A full article on Emily McDowell appears in PG June. (click to pages 101-103).

Top: Emily McDowell has always wanted to create cards that reflect the reality of relationships.

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