Walk down the greeting-card aisle at the new CVS Pharmacy on Route 130 and you’ll come across a rack of cards designed by a former township resident.
John Erving started designing greeting cards 13 years ago after the company he worked for was purchased and moved him from an outside sales position to a desk job.
“I always thought about going into business myself,” he said.
So Erving, who had sales experience in the greeting card industry from a prior job, did some research.
“I found out there was a need for quality black greeting cards,” he said.
He bought some books on sketching and painting, started attending trade shows and recruited his wife, Margaret, to write some of the verses that appear inside the cards.
Erving’s line has grown from 32 to 200 cards. He paints about half of the images on the cards himself. He also hires artists like Cal Massey of Moorestown and Ben Jefferson of Philaldelphia to design his cards.
Erving said the demand has grown to the point that he has hired merchandisers to make sure the store shelves stay stocked. He has also become a distributor for other black greeting card designers and sells their cards alongside his own.
“I realized I couldn’t make enough cards to meet the need,” he said.
Photo by Dennis McDonald.
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