Category: Archive

Birth of an idea

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

“A woman approached us in the hospital with some birth announcement cards, but we thought they were so boring,” Patrick Giles said, recalling the moment.
Deciding to be more creative the second time around, the couple designed a card and sent it to their friends and family. “The reaction was amazing,” he said. “Everyone loved the greeting and picture.”
Patrick Giles works as an art director for a children’s television show on the Disney Channel. As a graphic designer, he had all the requisite skills to create images on the cards.
Amy Giles works as a freelance copywriter for publishers, so together they felt they should be able to make a real go of an online business, accepting orders electronically and mailing out the announcements.
“We investigated as we had no idea how to build a website,” he said. “We bought every ‘For Dummies’ book on websites and worked out how to do it.”
After months of learning the intricacies of the business, they opened shop online in January 2003.
With a choice of styles and a variety of designs within each category, the website offers a total of 11 custom-made colored birth announcement cards which the couple are willing to mail overseas.
Now, they offer 4-by-5-inch cards for $1.50 each and a slightly larger size for $2.25 each. Orders include complimentary white envelopes. An order of 100 cards or more comes with an 8-by-10 card as a keepsake.
The designs include “Cover Story” cards where a picture of the baby makes the front of a magazine with various details about the new tot and family dotted around like story taglines.
The “Quotable Baby Announcements” feature sayings made famous by people from Shakespeare to Sinatra. A sample on the website features a photo adorned with the well-known Maurice Chevalier line, “Thank heaven for little girls.”
The fourth category is the one the Giles have high hopes for. Called, “O’Baby Announcements,” it gives parents the opportunity to, “Celebrate your proud Irish heritage with these lyrical blessings straight from the heart of the Emerald Isle.”
These announcements feature photos of the newborns on cards decorated with shamrocks and a choice of three Irish sayings: “May the road rise to meet you, May the wind be always at your back”, “May the good saints protect you and bless you today and may trouble ignore you each step of the way” and “These things I warmly wish for you, Someone to love, Some work to do, A bit o’sun, A bit o’cheer, And a guardian angel always near.”
The inspiration for the O’Baby cards first came about when Patrick Giles found a framed embroidered poem, “May the Road Rise to Meet You” in the attic of a family member.
He proceeded to hang the poem in his home. It had belonged to his late Irish father and was of great sentimental value.
Amy Giles loved the poem and when she arrived home from hospital after the birth of her second child, the first thing she noticed was the framed blessing.
“As parents, we really felt the humble sentiment of the poem,” she said.
“I realized that we needed to design a line of cards for the Irish community, cards that expressed a mother’s and father’s pride for their new additions to the family.”
They plan to add more blessings and Irish sentiments to the O’Baby line.
“These Irish blessings are passed down from generation to generation, much like the framed poem on our wall,” she said. “We hope to keep the tradition going.”
The website includes tips on how to take the best photo of a newborn baby and offers the announcement cards in glossy or matte paper. A minimum order of 50 cards is required. For more information, see www.thumbsuckerannouncements.com.

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