The Card Designer Spotlight is a series featuring independent makers whose greeting cards you can find in Paper Source stores. Meet and be inspired by a new designer every month on our blog!
Through a lifetime of travel & adventures, paired with her colorful design aesthetic, Karen Adams’s brand was born. Inspiration and innovation fashioned a business of hand-drawn cards and custom invites meant to express happiness and share joy. Karen is now celebrating her thriving collection of goods, gifts, and designs that are printed and produced right out of her Memphis, TN studio.
How did you begin your card-making career?
I volunteered to do an invitation for a non-profit event and I knew I wanted to make a splash – so I had fun with it, went all out. We had a great response and great turnout… win-win! I then started the business officially in 1999.
Where do you draw inspiration from? Food? Pop Culture? Timeless Motifs? Playful Puns?
Everything around me in my everyday life and interests. I will tag it, photograph it, buy it; looking out the window, browsing through old books, traveling, and scrolling through pictures.
Sometimes I will come across something from an earlier part of my life and it will speak to me. Ideas are the best and most exciting part of the process.
What does your day look like as a card maker and designer?
When I’m in “design mode” I know I will be sitting at my desk for long periods so I like to make sure I get some sort of workout in – running, pilates, walking or swimming. I like to touch base with my office
and make sure there are no fires to put out – then from our group meetings I will know what creative direction I am supposed to be working on.
When I first started I wore about 80% of the hats. I think it’s really important to know all facets of your business, be familiar with it all – but I definitely feel like it is a luxury to now be able to
concentrate on the design aspect primarily.
What is your preferred medium?
I hand draw my designs and then evolve them in photoshop.
What does your creative process look like?
Figuring out a combination of what I feel will be good in the market and what I want to create. From there our team will brainstorm some ideas and then narrow down to the final product.
What are you most proud of as a creator and card maker?
I want to always continue to evolve, get better and speak to our customers in a way that will be relatable, fun, magical, humorous, well done and personable. When
someone tells me they used one of our cards or invitations for something special in their lives I think that is the best compliment I can receive.
Any personal tidbits? Special talents/fun facts?
Our business is a family business – we still have Sunday dinners together and have fun.
Family – born to or chosen – and friends are who give you those experiences and laughter in life that make it full.
Find Karen Adams cards such as Congratulations Money Card, Season’s Greetings Holiday Card Set, or Merry Merry Luxe Card Set at your local store or online at papersource.com. For more inspiration and behind-the-scenes action, follow @karenadamsdesigns on IG.