Connections are at the root of everything I do—as an inspiring entrepreneur, an ambitious executive, a kind neighbor, a thoughtful friend. Connections are woven through every aspect of my life, creating a rich tapestry of relationships that spark joy and cultivate success.
I've always been a card sender. When I was in college, every few weeks I would buy beautiful cards, write notes to my friends and family, and receive cards in return. Notes from my grandmother. My schoolmates. Friends from worldwide adventures. Getting a handwritten card is so special. A note in longhand is such a treasure.
Personally and professionally, relationships have always been important to me. After graduating from Illinois State University with a degree in graphic design and working in advertising, my natural ability as a connector serendipitously led to a career in staffing, an industry that hinges on relationships. I was always running out to buy cards for clients—thank you notes, birthday cards, condolences. Sitting in my Chicago office one day, I had a lightbulb moment: wouldn’t it be great to have a box of simple, elegant, sophisticated cards in my desk drawer that were appropriate for personal or professional correspondence and multiple occasions?
Finding nothing that met my needs, my entrepreneurial instincts took over. I summoned my design capabilities, love of quotes, and penchant for old-world quality and produced my first run of 12 cards in 2007. I sold the cards at my art gallery in Three Oaks, Michigan, a venture I had launched a few years earlier. I soon landed my first retail account with Paper Source in Chicago. Juggling my burgeoning staffing career and bustling gallery while raising two kids with my husband, I steadily built Occasionally Speaking, expanding to more Paper Source locations, Whole Foods Market, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, and Vosges Haut-Chocolat boutiques.
In 2019, I closed the gallery to shift my focus more fully to Occasionally Speaking. My career has evolved from staffing to executive search, and the historic building that once housed our gallery serves as the headquarters and fulfillment hub of Occasionally Speaking (as well as our home!).
I invite you to send a personal note on an Occasionally Speaking card and give a tiny gift to the world. In the words of Emerson, “Scatter joy.”
The world will be better for it. And so will you.