Send an artful greeting with carefully handcrafted cards made with beautiful detail, authenticity and colorful scrolls.
The makers at Quilling Card have taken a centuries-old art form and crafted it into beautiful and modern greeting cards along with gift items such as art pieces, jewelry, music boxes and DIY kits. Led by a powerful woman, Quilling Card empowers and employs women in Vietnam.
Take a look below at our interview with Quilling Card to learn more about this art and the work they do to support women!
What is the history/art of quilling?
Quilling is the art of rolling, coiling and shaping small strips of paper to create a cohesive three-dimensional design. The history of quilling can be dated back to Egyptian times where crafters would use a bird’s feather (quill) as the tool to coil the paper upon – this being how the art form came to be called quilling. Most notably making its mark throughout the Western world, quilling was practiced during the Renaissance by nuns and monks would roll gold-gilded paper trimmed from books to adorn religious objects in place of using costly gold filigree. In later years, quilling continued to be practiced throughout Europe as it caught on as a leisurely activity for affluent women who would use it to adorn household decor. Quilling found its way to America with the pilgrims and in recent years has seen a surge in popularity. However, quilling is still a long-lost art in many places around the globe and Quilling Card LLC has become the premiere source of preserving and sharing this beautiful art form.
How did Quilling Card get started?
Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Huong Nguyen Wolf, grew up in Vietnam and had previously worked in Marketing throughout Southeast Asia and the US for large corporations such as Unilever and L’Oréal. After years of working towards someone else’s dream, she decided to leave the industry and pursue her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for the art of quilling. In late November of 2011 while at their apartment in Saigon, Huong and her husband Raphael took their love for the art of quilling and created Quilling Card which would come to be a flourishing greeting card company – allowing this art form to be more accessible and placing it in the homes of admirers all over the globe. Quilling Card’s first official launch was at the National Stationery Show in May of 2012.
Tell us about the artisans that make the cards.
We are proud to have given jobs to hundreds of locals, most being young women from rural areas surrounding Ho Chi Minh City who have little education due to lack of resources. This makes them unqualified candidates for desirable employment options so it’s important they are given opportunities to learn new skills. We have a complete training program that provides all of the tools necessary for those interested to become experts in quilling—it is important to note however that after training over 3,500 people, we will only retain 500 who decide to continue on as one of our quillers. Most of these artisans currently fall into the young millennial category—being on average, 23 years old. Each artisan comes to truly enjoy the craft and meditative state that quilling provides, spending approximately one hour to complete each design.
What does it mean for your company to be Fair Trade Certified?
The Fair-Trade Federation focuses on maintaining a code of values for proper treatment of employees and encourages growth and sustainable business practices all over the world—Quilling Card proudly became a member of this organization in 2015. We place great importance on ensuring the highest quality work environment in our workshop in Ho Chi Minh City while providing our employees ample benefits and wages. Currently, we pay a salary which is 25% above the national average and have a benefits package which includes 6 months of paid maternity leave. Being a Fair-Trade Federation Member helps to reassure our consumers that they are buying a handmade product free from any negative stigmas commonly associated with products made overseas.
What is the importance of giving and receiving cards? How does it impact people?
Greeting cards are a way for us to remind people that they are thought of, cared about, appreciated and loved. Receiving a card makes people feel special, even more so with a Quilling Card® as this is not the type of card that is bought last minute—it is a card that was selected with a specific person in mind because it reflects something important to them. Our cards are pieces of art that are intended to be displayed as such and treasured for years to come. Don’t just send a card, send art!
What else should we know about Quilling Card?
Quilling Card is a Woman-Owned Business and 99% of our artisans are women. Interestingly enough however, those who are best at quilling are men. Among our quillers there is also a community of hearing impaired artisans. Quilling is something they are able to excel at while using their strengthened senses of sight and touch.