Top women’s consumer magazines Grazia and Elle are among the high-profile media to have dedicated significant coverage to ‘Mixed Up’, the new audio book Tineka Smith (the founder of greeting card company Huetribe) wrote with her husband Alex Court about life as an interracial couple. Added to this have been a host of radio programmes and podcasts that have also got behind the book launch, which Tineka and Alex co-wrote to provide an insight into the racial prejudices that still exist, highlighting that improvements need to be made.
It has not just been with her book that Tineka has been pushing for change, as together with a group of like-minded black-owned and diversity-committed card publishers the last six months especially has seen a push for progress on the diversity front within the greeting card industry.
Tomorrow (November 4) Tineka, together with Adriana Lovesy, founder of Mrs Lovesy are participating in the Diversity panel discussion at the GCA’s Conference and AGM that is being hosted by Mark Callaby, managing director of Ohh Deer. In addition, both Tineka and Adriana will officially become members of the GCA Council, as part of the trade association’s commitment and responsibility towards ensuring greater diversity in the sector.
As Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA commented in a press release that was issued by Tineka’s PR agent: “There has been an increase in the number of publishers producing greeting cards which reflect the UK’s multi-cultural population, with notable retailers upping their commitment to offer greeting card designs which support black-owned publishers and reflect diversity.”
As Amanda highlighted in the press release, testament to the appreciation and recognition of the talent in black-owned businesses is that several companies beat thousands of others in reaching the finalists of The Henries. These include brands such as KitsCH Noir and Mrs. Lovesy cards. “This is something the GCA continues to build on, and of particular importance is letting consumers know about the ranges of cards available, including those celebrating occasions and people of all diverse backgrounds, such as brands like Handmade cards by Dayo and Huetribe – as part of its mission to engage the next generation with card sending.”
Tineka, in addition to running Huetribe and her role within the United Nations, she is also a diversity expert for the BBC. Following an interview on BBC radio at the start of the summer about diversity (https://www.pgbuzz.net/tineka-smith-founder-of-card-publisher-huetribe-speaks-out-on-the-bbc-on-diversity/), Tineka told PG Buzz: “I do hope that when I go on air in the future and talk about diversity in creative industries, I can highlight the positive work happening within the greeting card industry.” Now, six months later, as she and Adriana will highlight on the panel discussion at the GCA Conference and AGM tomorrow, “yes, some progress has been made and there is much greater engagement within the industry, but there is definitely much more to be done on the diversity front, but importantly change is happening.”
The new GCA website (https://www.gca.cards/), as well as including a blog to mark Black History Month featuring several of the association’s black owned businesses, also includes a search facility that enables retailers to source cards that celebrate diversity.
To read Elle’s piece on Mixed-Up: Confessions of an interracial couple, click below: https://www.elle.com/uk/life-and-culture/culture/a34411305/interracial-couple-confessions/
To read Grazia’s piece on Mixed-Up: Confessions of an interracial couple, click below:https://graziadaily.co.uk/life/real-life/mixed-race-marriage/
Top: Tineka Smith and Alex Court on their wedding day.