Local company makes cynical, personalized cards for everyone 

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“Money.”

That’s the lone reason local writer Greg Elwell gives when asked why he decided to start his own greeting card company, The Folded Paper Co. At least he’s honest, which is fitting, because his cards are even more so.

“I had recently seen ... some clever handmade cards, but a lot of that stuff is very flowery and overly sentimental,” Elwell said. “So I started thinking about what sort of cards I would like to receive, something a little more realistic. I started sketching some ideas and showing them to my friends, and they laughed and kind of got into it. And then, somewhere along the way, it became a joke that went too far.”

Best known in the metro for his biting food critiques, Elwell has been able to transfer that sharp eye for culinary quips to sarcastic quotes for the company’s first line of cards. They range from Valentine’s Day and romance to birthday cards that prominently feature Death saying, “You’re getting old.” The cards are mostly featured and for purchase at thefoldedpaper.co, but Elwell is hoping to get them into some local shops soon.

In addition to the pre-made cards, what Elwell believes makes his company different is that he will work with customers to tailor a specific and personalized card, no matter the subject matter.

“I have a lot of friends who have dirty minds or are kind of cynical — not that they aren’t emotional people. But at some point, you look at all these ... cards and you’re like, ‘Okay,’ with a little bit of an eye-roll,” Elwell said.

He believes it’s sweet but most people have a sense of humor and want to laugh and reserve the romance for real life and not a card made for mass consumption.

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“Ideally, though, [my] cards will appeal to everybody who has money and likes to buy things,” Elwell said.

Each pre-made card retails for $5, while personalized cards will run about twice that.

The art on the cards is black-and-white and utilizes a “childish and rudimentary” style that seems to make them edgier and funnier.

“They come in a nice, black envelope just like my shriveled heart,” Elwell added. “I just hope that somebody thinks this is funny and people enjoy them and like me personally. That’s what this is really about. I mean, the money’s nice, but I’m really just seeking people’s approval and desperately hoping somebody loves me.”

Print headline: Seasoned greetings, The Folded Paper Co. has cards for the cynical jerk in each of us.

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Louis Fowler

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