We find lots of things to inspire us at Beekman Farm, but sometimes inspiration comes from the places we visit and the people we meet.

At the age of 9, J.C. Hall became a salesman for the California Perfume Company (which later became Avon), selling cosmetics, soaps, and lemon extract door-to-door for a commission of 40%.  In 1913, from a 12 x 12 foot room at the YMCA in Kansas City, Missouri, he started a greeting card company that would become Hallmark.

Companies that survive the century mark do so not only because of incredible foresight and a grasp of innovation (Hallmark was one of the first companies to license Disney characters and one of the first companies to advertise on TV), but also because they realize the importance of the past.

We founded Beekman 1802 on the ideas of artistry, craftsmanship, community, and seasonality.  These are elements that we believe create the tangible and ethereal heirloom narrative that adds value not measured in monetary terms.

We were thrilled to be asked to speak in front of the creative departments at Hallmark recently (the company hires more creatives than any other in the Unites States).  Here’s what we saw on our tour of one of America’s great companies.

Click on the first picture below to being the slide show

 

Brent’s grandmother used to save every card she ever received.  Josh’s Aunt Zelda only sent Hallmark Peanut’s cards.  Do you remember a Hallmark card that you received?

 

by Josh and Brent

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Elissa

I was part of a Lucky few Hallmark designers in that NYC signature store in the 1960's, where we dreamt up new ideas, new products…and built the most beautiful and inspiring exhibitions around Themes, such as: BREAD&WINE, KITES, THE ROSE, THE OCCULT, and famous Christmas Tree designs created for the Fashionable and the Famous. Truly an ideal job.

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Gabrielle

D'oh…the photo of the water droplet was the inspiration for the Hallmark "crown"?

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Doris Briggs

In a small town drugstore in Western Nebraska, i discovered Hallmark Cards. The window display had paper doll cards of women characters dressed in old fashioned dresses. I'm not sure what they were called but at the time I was hooked on paper dolls. I had to have them all! My mother thought otherwise. Sixteen years later I was hired as a designer for Hallmark. I'm still working there part time. I have to think that it was kismet.

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Roger

I have often been filled with awe and amazement by the beautiful photography on your website. I have suggested before but will say it again – these would make beautiful greeting cards! I'm guessing that both of you are the photographers. You certainly have an eye for composition, color, and capturing the light / dark / and shadows of the seasons and the beauty of nature. I'm hopeful that a relationship with Hallmark might result in a "Beekman 1802" division of a successful company. And if Hallmark doesn't bite — don't let that stop you from going forward on your own! A card display should become a part of your mercantile store and your online store!

Good luck!

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Jo

Peanuts cards were so mid-twentieth century! Here in the 'aughties we have MAXINE. Three cheers for Maxine and Shoebox Greetings!

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teri tighe

I saw you mention that before and I went to see it. I LOVED the way they did it, I just haven’t bought it, yet.

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André du Broc

I want to echo what Alicia said. It was such a treat to have met both of you and listen to your terrific and funny presentation. I think the work you are doing at Beekman is remarkable. Not just your entrepreneurial spirit but your dedication to breathing life into a town by awakening its culture and engaging the artistry of its citizens. We were very lucky to have you share this story with us and I wish you both the best of luck.

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Dr. Brent

Hi, Andre. Great meeting you, too. Good luck with the cookie project! (and the post-cookie project exercise regimen). I'd never make it past the cookie dough

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Alicia Thomas

I loved your presentation the day you came to Hallmark. We were

so lucky to have you be a part of our trends week. Thanks for coming!

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Lois Mapes

I remember a Snoopy Mother's Day Card.

Front shows Snoopy standing next to a pile of dirty plates with the words "I arranged for someone to do your dishes this Mother's Day."

Inside, Snoopy licking his lips and all the dishes are clean.

Loved that one!

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Cindy

I too have saved every card I have ever received. I also have many Hallmark Christmas tree ornaments. Now I give my children ornaments every year. It is a great tradition and so much fun putting them on the tree every year especially after the children have grown and now have families of their own. There are many memories.

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Nicole

What? No photos of Josh presenting or the auditorium full of people who came to hear about your wonderful story? Who took these pictures? 🙂

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Andre Jones

My first Hallmark card was from my Swedish Grandmother. It was a beautiful Easter card with a decorated eggs a bunny and baby chicks. She would always send me white gloves, and a new purse so that I would go to church in style. But the card's glory with the colors and content, herald in the spring.

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Peg (Nacrelli) Graha

Betsey Clark cards….my Mother gave me as a child for any occassion.

Mom and I consider ourselves to be Hallmark 'vets'. We have spent many moments side-by-side reading, laughing and even getting 'teary eyed' picking out cards in our local Hallmark store.

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paula

My Aunt worked at Hallmark for over 50 yrs! She loved her job!

Are there going to be a line of Beekman cards thru Hallmark?

If so, cool!

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MaryA

I'm on Twitter, Facebook and constantly on the internet but still save every card that I receive. I also have cards that my mother and grandmother received & saved. I have several boxes full! I'm sure many of the earlier cards were Hallmark.

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Keith

Come back to KC soon. Awesome to have you at Williams-Sonoma and so cool that you got to tour Hallmark!

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Linda

I have been keeping greeting cards (mostly Hallmark) forever including cards from my childhood and both of my daughters. I feel like these are wonderful keepsakes to pass down to my grandchildren.

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MARY SPEERS

I love Hallmark. I own so many of there ornaments since 1965 and they are all in the original box have so many series.

Each year my collection grows.

I love there cards also.

Thank You Hallmark.

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Patsy

I love Hallmark cards. There is a look and feel to them that no other greeting card has. Also a certain elegance.

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Chris

Loved the pictures and article! I have always bought my parents anniversary cards from Hallmark. My mom still has some of those cards and the ones given to her by my dad.

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Sue

Thank you for sharing this, it was wonderful! hmmmm I'm envisioning a Hallmark Christmas ornament of that trend-setter Polka Spot -it would be a sellout!

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Anne

My mom has been hooked on those Hallmark Peanuts cards since forever – especially Snoopy. An occasion doesn't feel quite complete without one.

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Tresa

Just recently I decided to go into my husband's closet and take out the wooden box where we keep the cards we have given to each other. The many Hallmarks were a conduit to the shared moments of love and contentment, our limited lifetime together. These memories of heart meaning are treasured pieces in the midst of agony and loss since my husband died some months ago.

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victoria

Love the photos of the valentine's cards…beautiful. Brent must have been so giddy with organizational excitement, with the archives + glitter and such. 🙂 Wish all my spaces were that tidy.

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Megan G

Fascinating. Had no idea Avon and Hallmark were/are related. Very interesting peek into the greeting card business. Thanks for sharing!

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