2MyHero participated in 2 wholesale gift shows in 2023. Las Vegas Gift Show in January, and Dallas Gift Show in June. The 2 experiences couldn’t have been more different.
In Las Vegas, I shared a booth with 2 other fellow GCA (Greeting Card Association) members. We each had a roughly 6′ x 8′ wall to work with. In Dallas, I had a corner booth with 2 shelving units, a small desk, and 2 bar stools. A bright sign announced the business to buyers strolling the show. It was a great setup!
Everything truly is big in Texas
Instead of directly adhering cards to the back wall, 2MyHero put forward a patriotic display to attract buyers at the Total Home and Gift Show at the Dallas Market Center in Dallas, Texas. A very large American flag graced the back wall.
The flag used as the backdrop holds a very special meaning. It may look a bit tattered, and well, it is. But that’s because it was on display in the roundabout circle near the home of KIA Soldier Andrew Keller for several years. It weathered all the elements.
Army Pfc Keller served boldly and bravely in Afghanistan until his life was cut short in August of 2012. Devastating to all who knew him, but never forgotten. I didn’t know Andrew personally, but I work with his father at the USO in Portland. I’ve heard so much about him, I feel I do know him. It was an honor to be loaned this flag to use for the display.
It’s a sobering reality to talk with parents who have lost a child in military service. I have several friends and acquaintances who have lost a child. The pain is so real. Every single day. They long for their child to be remembered. They don’t get tired of talking about the memories they hold so dear.
Sacred Sympathy cards
At the Dallas Gift Show, I unveiled the first branch-specific sympathy greeting cards created by 2MyHero. Sacred Sympathy cards for the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and Navy were displayed front and center.
Sympathy cards are something I’ve been wanting to add for a while. Originally, I designed a few that were not branch-specific. Just like other cards I created that were not branch-specific, they didn’t sell well. Noted. Lesson learned. Military families are proud of their branch of service.
I took my time deciding what words I felt best embodied this tragic time for families. There’s no perfect phrase when expressing your condolences. But, after noodling with the wording for these cards for a while, I feel like the right balance of personality and respectfulness is achieved.
The sacred sorrow greeting card is blank inside. The idea is, to take the space and tell the family who will receive this the memories you have of their loved one. Even if you’ve told them in person before, they will still treasure reading the memory again. And maybe again and again.
Cards for active duty
The highlight for 2MyHero was being found by Sodexo. Ann, the Sodexo buyer, makes decisions for retail stores in the San Antonio area. She was thrilled to find the 2MyHero military greeting card line! She saw the sample that had been placed in the entryway display with other new vendors and made her way up to our booth on the 12th floor.
But Ann wasn’t the only one I met who was excited to learn about the 2MyHero military greeting card line. I also met 3 other wholesale vendors who are military wives. One is an Air Force wife, one is an Army wife, and the other is a US Navy wife. I also met an exhibitor who described herself as a “veteran”, but not a “US veteran”. She served in the Israeli army many years ago.
More than one buyer stopped by and shared their military connections. One is an Air Force mom, others had children in the Army, and others were veterans themselves. It was delightful to have the chance to talk with each of them!
Keeping families connected is our main mission
When a son, daughter, husband, or wife joins the military there are a host of people who love them and desperately want to keep connected. But, there aren’t a lot of options for them in the realm of greeting cards. I’ve lost count of how many of the people who left reviews of their purchases expressed having never seen anything like 2MyHero in the store.
Some people think that greeting cards are going away, but that isn’t actually happening. Certainly not for military families. In many situations, written correspondence is the only mode of communication open to them.
Of course, Facetime, and social media such as Facebook and Instagram keep information flowing, but nothing, and I mean nothing replaces the timeless handwritten encouragement from a loved one.
When in Dallas . . .
On a personal note, and just for fun, I wanted to show you how I got in the spirit of this special trip. I regularly have my nails done, mostly because I photograph my hands a lot for product photography. No, I don’t have a budget to hire a model with manicured nails. All 2MyHero product photography happens in my own home.
So, before heading to the Dallas Gift Show, I had my friend (who also happens to have a nail salon) do a special Texas flag version on my nails. It didn’t help sales but it was fun.
How does 2MyHero help you stay connected?
2MyHero customers, please comment below. Give a shout-out if you live in Texas!
Tell us which card you purchased and to whom you sent it. I’d love to hear your story! Tell a little something fun about your military member.
Military members, comment below and tell me why you buy 2MyHero military greeting cards. Your opinion matters!
Have specific questions or comments? Connect through our contact page on the website.