The Cheerful Card Company of White Plains, New York, recruited thousands of salespeople through advertisements. The ads were in various periodicals in the history of the mid Twentieth Century. Christmas cards, all-occasion greeting cards, wrapping paper, and personalized stationery were sold by this army of marketers. These were often the first paid jobs in the lives of many of them. From the magazine page, just send in their perforated business reply card which required no postage. In return you were sent “on approval” selected sample greeting cards, stationery, a catalog, and a corrugated cardboard kit that could be folded into a sales briefcase.
A Personal Experience
This writer was one of that army of salesmen. The experience demonstrated my natural tendency to be in sales. From those days forward, I was always in marketing.
I had seen The Cheerful Card Company ad in Boys’ Life Magazine in 1955, at the age of 10, while in the fifth grade. I chose this one over the adjacent ad to sell Grit Newspapers.
Living in Dallas, Texas. I had resolved that I would find a way to pay for YMCA summer camp the coming summer, as our family struggled financially.
It would take more than a hundred 1955 dollars for my Camp Grady Spruce dream to be fulfilled. Complicating matter was the fact that the Christmas card season had passed, and I was at home recovering from the red measles. From our only phone in the downstairs hallway (extension phones were an “unnecessary expense”), I called most of my classmates’ mothers from the grade school directory to make appointments to show them samples once I got well. At a dollar a box commission, I had better hit the ground running once I was able.
Throughout the ensuing spring, I managed to move lots of “Tiny Talls” and stationery into the homes of my neighbors. Tiny Talls were boxes of assorted all-occasion greeting cards. The process involved knocking on doors, taking orders, sending them to Cheerful, and ultimately delivering the goods on another trip. The inefficiency of this soon dawned on me, and my parents helped to finance the ordering of my most popular items so I could just hand them over in a single sales visit.
More than 65 years later, I can find out little of the origins and the later status of The Cheerful Card Company. Apparently, though, I am not alone in having fond memories of this character-molding experience selling greeting cards. A blog named Papergreat displays many people’s experiences that are similar to mine.
- Year Started: 1950
- Year Ended: 1990
- Origin Of Name: Descriptive
- Location Sales: North America
- Brand Name Predecessor: N/A
- Brand Name Successor: N/A
- Owner Original: N/A
- Owner While In Use: Bevis Industries
- Owner Successor: N/A
- Year Resurrected: N/A
- What’s Popular Today: Hallmark Cards
- Naics Code: 513191
- Location Headquarters: White Plains, NY, USA