Many of you know that I worked at Hallmark Cards for almost a decade before moving to Colorado to pursue a living as a fine art painter. Well, recently, after decades of creating original fine art and illustration, I realized I have lots of nice work sitting around in computer files, not doing me or anyone else any good. So Mollie and I have decided to make the best of this work available in the form of greeting cards, note cards, apparel, and other gifty stuff. Digital technology now makes it super easy and affordable to do this. If you’re a fan of our work, I hope you’ll go to our Zazzle page and check out what we’re offering to you.
We’re resurrecting a business name I was toying with when we first moved to Colorado – The Loveland Company. Originally I wanted to open a store in Loveland selling art, creative gifts, great local music (by locals such as Taylor & Rebecca Mesple, and Dave Beegle,) and other cool stuff. Fortunately, I realized that I really didn’t have the capital and business savvy to open a brick and mortar store. We still don’t, so we’re opening an online store. If we get a decent response, we’ll keep adding new stuff.
Why The Loveland Company?
Because:1) I love the name of our town – Loveland, Colorado, 2) I love the fact that The Loveland Company initials happen to be “TLC,” 3) My town, Loveland has developed a reputation as a great little art town. There are proportionally a ton of artists of all types living here. So how fitting to name our little art & design company after our little artsy town, 4) I love love, 5) I hate hate.
I’m timing this announcement a couple of weeks before Valentine’s Day, since I’m featuring a Valentine’s Day card design. Since I’m a (possibly obsessive) storyteller, I thought I’d tell you the story behind this design. (I promise not to do this every time we add a card to the offering.)
The Time Angel
I tried to push a very different version of this idea at Hallmark, but they rejected it. Then, when I got to Loveland, I learned that the City holds a citywide contest each year to pick an official Loveland Valentine card, which is then sold all over town at local businesses and stores. At the risk of sounding like an art snob, I will say that some of these designs seemed to me to be just a wee bit amateurish. Which is fine. It’s a small town. Whatever. So one year I decided to submit my Time Angel idea, which Hallmark had rejected. You know…since I had worked as an artist for the number one greeting card company in the whole freakin’ world. I spent a couple of days creating a new watercolor painting, which I was quite happy with. I submitted the design.
The Loveland Chamber of Commerce Valentine’s-Day-Card-Picking-Committee also rejected my submission. (Sigh…)
So I later sold the little original watercolor at a studio tour, and moved on to the next thing. But I still have a great digital scan, and I still like concept. Whether ANYONE ELSE LIKES IT OR NOT!
LOVE RULES, MAN!!!
Here is the card design, blank inside, suitable for giving to anyone you love, available on Zazzle:
A Note About Loveland’s Valentine Re-mailing Program
Valentine’s Day is kind of a big deal in Loveland, because of the town name. Loveland is also known as The Sweetheart City. You may or may not be aware of Loveland’s re-mailing program, the largest of its kind in the nation. Each year more than 160,000 cards from all 50 states and over 100 nations are re-mailed through Loveland so that they can be postmarked with Loveland’s Valentine cachet. This year marks the 68th anniversary of this program.
You can have your mail stamped in Loveland by following these 2 steps:
1) Pre-address and pre-stamp all valentines, and enclose them in a larger 1st Class envelope.
2) These envelopes should be sent to:
Postmaster – Attention Valentines
446 E. 29th St
Loveland, CO 80538-9998
All valentines will be removed from the larger envelope at the post office, postmarked with the official Loveland Valentine’s Day cachet, and sent on their way!
To ensure delivery by Valentine’s Day 2014:
> Foreign mail must be received in Loveland by Feb. 4
> U.S. destined mail must be received in Loveland by Feb. 7
> Colorado destined mail must be received in Loveland by Feb. 10
> Proper postage must be affixed, especially for foreign mail.
Colorado residents have the option to drop off their pre-addressed, pre-stamped valentines to local King Soopers or City Market food stores, where you can find special drop boxes for this purpose. Feb. 8 is the final day to drop off valentines at these locations to ensure on-time delivery.
Below are some examples of past Loveland cachets. They’re all designed and written by locals, as part of the annual contest.
More Interesting Details
This year, 2014, the cachet stamp slyly references the floods that buffeted a segment of our community last fall:
From the Sweetheart City
Scenic, Safe and Strong
Comes a flood of Valentine wishes
To you, where they belong.
Here’s something else I just learned from the Loveland Chamber of Commerce website. Apparently, there is a waiting list for people who would like to be one of the 60 plus volunteers who “lovingly hand-stamp” each card with the Valentine cachet during the first two weeks in February. Check out this video. At one minute and forty-one seconds, it’s almost too long, but it’s so stinkin’ cute. Go ahead! Click here and get a glimpse of some local color! (ie: red and white.) When I saw it, it hadn’t quite gone viral yet, at 474 views…
Thank you again for stopping by our ZAZZLE STORE (click here.) Please bookmark the link as we will be adding cool stuff periodically.