Creative

Entrepreneur brings laughs with creative cards

CINCINNATI — Sometimes, we all need a good laugh, especially throughout this past year. Which is why one entrepreneur decided to bring smiles the old fashion way — through snail mail.


What You Need To Know

  • Kelli Spanier started Colette Paperie 12 years ago
  • She started the card business after her mom got sick, and she wanted to share funny cards in sad moments
  • Spanier designs, prints, cuts, folds and packages every single card she makes
  • Now, cards from Colette Paperie are in more than 500 stores worldwide

​​​Hand-making cards can be a monotonous task, but that’s what Keli Spanier does. Starting with the concept, to printing out the card, to packing each one all in her basement.

Spanier started her business, Colette Paperie, 12 years ago when her mom was diagnosed with cancer.

“She would get a bunch of cards and they were all so sad, and it basically became my mission to create cards that, you know when someone is already sad they don’t want another sad card,” Spanier said. “So I basically try to just be funny in sad moments.”

Spanier quit her corporate job and decided to go for it.

“When I quit it, was like OK, well this just gives me a good reason to kind of start fresh,” she said.

Her experiences helped inspire her to design hundreds of cards over the years, always poking fun at something.

“A hint of grocery store hatred and notes of dreading holidays with the entire family again,” she read from one of her latest cards.

And through the last year, Spanier has tried to help bring smiles to people’s faces in a difficult time.

“My job is to make fun of serious things, so, that’s kind of what I did,” she said.

Her cards may be clever, but she’ll let you in on a little joke.

“I don’t know if I’m really that funny!” Spanier said.

But you can’t laugh at the results; her cards are now sold in more than 500 stores worldwide.

“It’s a little mind-blowing!” she said.

Something she’s proud of while pursuing what she loves.

“It’s fun,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun!”