Women of Wednesday: Crystal Hudson on Spreading Love and Representation One Greeting Card at a Time
WOMEN OF WEDNESDAY is a bi-weekly micro-interview series featuring women of color in various industries and walks of life, focused on highlighting their pursuits and making it easy for readers to support their endeavors. If you would like to be featured, please submit your answers to the below five questions here.
Crystal Hudson, Founder and Creator (New York)
1. Tell us about the work you’re doing and why it’s important.
I make greeting cards for the LGBTQ community, our families, our friends and our allies. I’ve always had a deep appreciation for the practice of buying, writing, and sending greeting cards; when I couldn’t find cards that addressed the experiences of LBGTQ-identified folks, I decided to make my own.
The notion of expressing support, encouragement, humor and love with greeting cards is not a new one. And although greeting cards are ubiquitous, they have not traditionally been all-inclusive. (Until Hallmark created their Mahogany & VIDA lines — which I have opinions about, but will save those for another time — you couldn’t even find folks of color on greeting cards.) Since the 2015 Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, you can now find same-sex wedding cards. But they’re based on hetero-normative notions of gender expression and rarely feature people of color. So while there is some representation, many of us — along the LGBTQ spectrum — continue to be marginalized, which makes the greeting card industry no different from any other. Further, we share experiences far beyond getting married. I started gaygreetings. so that folks coming out could feel supported, and so trans and gender non-conforming folks could feel strengthened by their community, and also so that parents and families of LGBTQ folks could know that they’re not alone. I started gaygreetings. because I believe that all people — not just some people — deserve greeting cards. I’m just trying to spread love, one greeting card at a time.
2. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in pursuing the work that’s important to you?
Honestly, the biggest challenge for me has been building a company and a brand while also balancing other professional and familial responsibilities. It isn’t always easy, but when you believe in something, you find a way.
3. What do you need in order to continue your work in the way you envision?
One goal I’m working towards is to get gaygreetings. in stores across the country — big box stores, stationery stores, local bookstores, gift shops, etc. I’m in one store in Brooklyn now, and hope to be in at least a couple other local shops by the end of the year. The more hands my cards can get into, and eyes they’re in front of, the closer we’ll be to having a more inclusive greeting card industry.
4. Where and how can we support you to make #3 happen?
Since I can’t make everyone develop a passion for greeting cards as deep as my own, it would be great if folks could visit getgaygreetings.com, buy cards and tell everyone you know to do the same! You can also follow us on Instagram and Twitter, and like our Facebook page.
If you know of any stationery stores, gift shops, or other spots in your communities that you think would like to sell gaygreetings. cards, please let me know! I can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. What is your favorite quote?
“The people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do.” — Steve Jobs