Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Otis Richardson: Gay business owner expands Lavenderpop Greeting Cards
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times
2020-08-23

This article shared 1520 times since Sun Aug 23, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Otis Richardson is an artist and owner of Lavenderpop Greeting Cards—now the first independent and Black-owned greeting card company to be sold at Jewel stores in the supermarket chain's 121 years.

"Becoming a Jewel vendor was a step-by-step process," said Richardson, who lives in Chicago's Washington Park neighborhood. "When you partner with such a big retailer, there are so many things you have to have in place, [such as] business insurance, display racks, specific UPC codes and certifications. The executives at Jewel were very helpful in walking me through the maze.

"The response from the public has been tremendous. Hundreds of Facebook congratulations [came in]; people saying they would start buying greeting cards again just to support me; people who live outside of Chicago would promote my cards to their family members who live here. [Plus], other buyers who couldn't get to a Jewel store, but decided to purchase online. I'm so appreciative."

Richardson's Lavenderpop cards are available in 10 area Jewel stores, mostly on the city's South Side, as well as Homewood and Oak Park.

"I had a disastrous interview with another grocery-store chain, so when I got a 'no' from them, it motivated me to approach Jewel. It [was], like, 'I'll show them,'" Richardson said. "Once I found the correct category manager, the process started to determine if it was even allowable for my cards to be sold there because of their prior relationship with American Greetings Co. When I finally got the OK, I buckled down and made sure I accomplished every step I needed to do to make this dream happen.

Lavenderpop cards also are available at the Whole Foods in Englewood—and he's been an online card shark of sorts since 2004.

"I've survived pretty much by sticking around … you know, the last person standing," he said, laughing. "Like many entrepreneurs, I have my day job to fund my creative endeavor. I've been able to maintain and keep improving my designs over time. Now that this retail opportunity presented itself, I was ready to take advantage of it.

"I believe the strength is eye-catching and relatable illustrations. Part of my motivation is to offer cards for people looking for another option for Black greeting cards. I also want to have fun cards that connect to Chicagoans. So several of the birthday cards have Chicago themes, such as Chicago=style hot dogs, Chicago mix popcorn, house music and even a card making fun of the bag tax at local stores."

Richardson is the greeting card designer and the company's sole proprietor.

"Business is really great," he said. "Securing this 10-store deal with Jewel-Osco has really been a turning point for Lavenderpop. I've been in business for years, but it's only in the last few years that I've been able to get into retail stores. Before that I sold primarily online, [at] vendor fairs, and pop up shops."

Richardson said the most popular Lavenderpop card is a birthday card featuring a smiling woman with natural hair, adding, "I also have a series of [popular] blank cards, one with a sister meditating, and others featuring a man and woman with a fade hairstyle. These are extremely popular."

Lavenderpop cards are primarily purchased by women, particularly Black women, as many card designs feature Black women.

"My focus are Black images and Chicago themes," Richardson said. "I started with more LGBTQ designs years ago. That represented an atmosphere when we had more LGBTQ bookstores and gift shops. With the loss of a lot of these brick and mortar stores, it made sense to pivot and have designs that appeal to many identities, but really celebrated Black people because of the lack of diversity in the stationery industry."

Richardson, like countless business owners, has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. He has, for instance, set back due to his own concern in delivering to all the stores. Plus, he was worried about the safety of shoppers and if they felt comfortable spending time to look for a card when focused on getting essentials.

"Sales have been great, though. I've restocked several times and the cards have only been there for about a month," he said.

For more about Lavenderpop Greeting Cards ( LavenderPop.com ), the company can be found on Twitter @LavenderpopCards; Facebook, at Lavenderpop Greeting Cards; Instagram @lavenderpop; and Etsy, at LavenderpopCards .


This article shared 1520 times since Sun Aug 23, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

NATIONAL Bidens, NYC businesses, notable deaths, anti-Trump suit 2021-01-24
- President Joe Biden and his team recently named openly gay man Jeff Marootian as special assistant to the president on Climate and Science Agency Personnel, according to Instinct Magazine, citing The Washington Blade. Marootian is one ...


Gay News

Lightfoot and city leaders lead MLK interfaith event 2021-01-18
- Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot virtually gathered with civic, business and religious leaders this weekend to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the City of Chicago's 35th Annual Interfaith Celebration. This year's ceremony ...


Gay News

Social exclusion, career limitations hinder LGBTQ STEM professionals 2021-01-17
- ANN ARBOR—LGBTQ professionals' pride in their science, technology, engineering, and math work is not reciprocated, say researchers. These STEM professionals are more likely to experience career limitations, social exclusion and ...


Gay News

Illinois Restaurant Assoc. asks Pritzker to allow indoor dining 2021-01-14
- On Jan. 14, the Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA) and restaurant operators around the state issued a press release asking Gov. JB Pritzker to immediately allow for safe and limited indoor dining operations. The IRA's Open Indoor ...


Gay News

WORLD Workplace index, Japan survey, stories of the year, Buttigieg 2021-01-05
- Two years after the India's Supreme Court decriminalized homosexuality, employment for the LGBTQ community is slowly gaining acceptance in the private sector—to the point where there is now an India Workplace Equality Index, RFI.fr reported. The ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Aimee Stephens, GNC teen murdered, Katie Hill, Amazon 2020-12-27
- A consent decree ordered that Michigan business Harris Funeral Homes—which fired the late Aimee Stephens for being transgender and led her to sue the business in litigation that made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court—must ...


Gay News

John Pennycuff Memorial Apartments in Castillo Plaza, LGBTQ housing in Logan Square 2020-12-18
- Last month, The John Pennycuff Memorial Apartments at Castillo Plaza (Pennycuff) opened at the corner of Milwaukee and Campbell Avenues in Logan Square after four years of development and city approval meetings and for the past ...


Gay News

Pennycuff Memorial Apartments now open 2020-12-16
- The John Pennycuff Memorial Apartments at Castillo Plaza is named for the late LGBTQ and civil rights activist, John Pennycuff. Located on Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood, the building was designed by Cyrus Subawalla ...


Gay News

Report: Take Off Your Mask So I Know How Much to Tip You 2020-12-11
--From a press release - Today, One Fair Wage, a national nonprofit organization representing subminimum wage and other tipped workers, in partnership with #TimesUp, the UC Berkeley Food Labor Research Center, Professor Catharine MacKinnon, Professor Louise Fitzgerald and ...


Gay News

Lamont Robinson fundraiser with Chasten Buttigieg on Dec. 9 2020-12-09
- Lamont Robinson, Jr.—a Chicago business owner and insurance agent who became the first openly gay Black state legislator in Illinois history, and who is running for a second term representing the 5th District in the Illinois ...


Gay News

Andersonville at Home for the Holidays virtual variety show Dec. 13 2020-12-08
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Dec. 8, 2020) — Although we can't all gather for the traditional caroling and festivities that are customary in the Andersonville business district during the holiday season, the Andersonville ...


Gay News

COVID-19 City investigators look into Ann Sather violation 2020-12-07
- City inspectors stopped by Lake View Ald. Tom Tunney's Ann Sather restaurant, 909 W. Belmont Ave., because the official has been allowing people to eat inside the establishment in violation of city and state coronavirus restrictions, ...


Gay News

Billy Masters 2020-12-07
- "You're assuming that I'm completely straight. Maybe I am, maybe I'm not. And it's frankly none of your business."—Viggo Mortensen responds to a reporter's question about whether he should be playing a gay character in Falling."Wh ...


Gay News

Andersonville Chamber of Commerce highlights COVID-friendly shopping, dining 2020-12-03
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Dec. 2, 2020) — From shopping in your pajamas to late-night curbside pick-up to Glogg-to-go, the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (ACC) is rolling out a festive line-up of COVID-friendly ...


Gay News

WINDY CITY TIMES 2020 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE 2020-11-25
- Even as crazy as this year has been, there have been some constants—such as the observations of holidays (although they have been a lot more virtual). Among said observations is holiday shopping, and Windy City Times ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.