Eastmoreland couple designs and sells greeting cards & calendar
As we enter a New Year, it is always handy to have a calendar in time to start planning ahead for the coming months. And also, having some beautiful greeting cards that are blank inside can be very convenient.Two people who have been designing and creating their own calendars and greeting cards in the community for the past seven years are Eastmoreland residents Fred and Karen Williams, and they've made a business of it – called "Reflections by FW". They market the calendars and cards primarily during the period before the Holiday Season.
On November 20th the couple parked themselves on the steps of the Woodstock Community Center for two afternoon hours, so loyal customers could come by to pick up and pay for their new colorful cards and calendars. Since the COVID-19 pandemic has created so much isolation, it was also an opportunity safely to socialize a bit.
The calendars are unique in their usage of composed segments of photos of seasonal flowers, leaves, branches, or structures – for example, St. Philip Neri Church, this year.
Fred has taught himself intricate computer design techniques over the years. He takes a section of a digital picture and uses it to make a mandala image, with from 6 to 20+ segments. A few of their greeting cards have up to 100 small segments taken from the original picture. Greeting cards are designed from a triangular section; some use hexagonal sections that become stunning spirals.
On each calendar page, the original photo is portrayed in a small square to the side above a poignant quotation chosen by Karen. For all of the greeting cards, the original picture from which the mandala was made is shown on the back.
The couple works as a team – both to create and to sell their calendars and cards. Using her marketing experience, Karen identifies and signs up for neighborhood and regional Holiday sales events, and places their greeting cards and calendars in local stores, such as Otto's, and manages online sales to the general public.
Karen has been a loyal patron of Woodstock Community Center classes for many years, and some of the people who make annual purchases are from past WCC classes of hula, Zumba, and genealogy, as well as the toning and stretching class that both Karen and Fred have also taken.
On the Friday afternoon of November 20th, Marilyn Lipco of the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood showed up to buy a calendar. In an e-mail she later remarked, "Karen and Fred were in our Fitness & Toning class at Woodstock Community Center. This is my third year buying their calendar. I like how Fred creates the designs, and Karen chooses the quotes – they are such a team. And I get to support the people in my community. It's a win for everyone."
Sellwood-Westmoreland resident Sally Palmer also came to the Woodstock Community Center steps that day to buy a calendar. "I love the calendars. I know a lot of folks use electronic calendars these days, but I enjoy having a real one that I can actually write on. And the pictures and quotations that Fred and Karen come up with are amazingly creative and interesting."
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