Julie Reif Wants You to Send Someone a Card
Meet the founder of "The Good Snail"
It's impossible to know who was the first person to send a greeting card, but historians have evidence of early Egyptions sending notes on papyrus and ancient Chinese peoples exchanging New Year's celebratory messages. We have records from the 1400s of Europeans popularizing custom Valentine's Day missives, which really hit mainstream in the 1800s as mass production and standardized postal rates made cards more affordable. Today, Americans purchase approximately 6.5 billion greeting cards each year, with over 80% purchased by women.
According to The Greeting Card Association, 75% of consumers who send holiday cards do so because they
know how good it feels when they receive a holiday greeting. This feeling of goodwill, combined with an appreciation for the artistry that goes into every card, inspired Julie Reif to launch her company, The Good Snail. The Good Snail strives to make it as easy as possible to select, write, and send a card without having to leave your house. You may have seen Julie interviewed on Good Morning America, Cheddar, or on This Is It with Cheldin Barlatt Rumer. We caught her between media appearances to learn more about her passion and get some gift giving tips.
Julie, I first met you when we both worked at a large tech company, and now you're building a business that blends the convenience of tech with the joy of physical artifacts.
I love the building process behind any project I am working on. This one is no different -- in fact, I believe it has been the most joy that I have ever received from a product. This is because cards are something I have always been truly passionate about, especially when it comes to the community of designers. It has definitely been a process of unknowns. So many people have been receptive and I believe it’s because I am creating a product that has to appeal to so many individuals.
Why did you create The Good Snail?
I created The Good Snail because I knew that if I -- as an avid card buyer -- was having a difficult time sending them out, then others probably were, too. I wanted to put my two passions together: Meaningful ways to use technology and curating not-so-average cards for a larger audience. I wanted to make sure that we shared this convenience, without losing the quality and heart of these designer cards.
What I love about cards is that they are essentially little works of art with meaningful sentiments that are typically saved for a lifetime. Cards may not cure anything, but they do help us. Oftentimes, they share the sentiments that go beyond what we can typically voice on a day-to-day basis.
- Juile Reif, founder of The Good Snail
How does it all work?
For the consumer, we are working on building an extremely easy user experience so that all they have to do is make sure to pick the perfect card and focus on their message to their loved one. When they pick their card, they have the option to buy it blank and write out a message themselves or to pick out a fun font, write their message, and have us send it for them. We are so excited for our relaunch happening in June 2021 with many more treats!
What is your relationship like with your designers?
The designers on our site all bring a special point of view and brand story behind the cards we have selected from their collections that have resonated so much with buyers. I am very close with so many of these designers. I have known many of them for years and watched their work progress so I am so very honored to not only work with them, but also to know them on a personal level. Within the last year, I have bonded with so many new designers on our site and it has truly been a blessing in a very difficult year that we have all been able to create meaningful friendships.
This all [The Good Snail] began as a passion project. Curating my favorite cards. When my best friend passed in April, Her husband gave me all the cards she saved of mine. It truly made me realize how important cards are and how they are saved for a lifetime. Creativity is healing for me so I began again by talking to each of these designers to share my mission and it was a great creative healing process and in return I also gained true friendships. I expressed to them my mission of not just selling cards but showcasing the humans behind them and always adding their logos to the back of the cards.
What have been some of the challenges or learnings getting The Good Snail up and running?
On a good day, I can truly say that the challenges are the best part. I think we secretly create because we love the challenge. One of the main challenges has been: How do we get our brand out there as a small business without the budget of a large corporation? For me, I just have to stay focused, avoid getting too overwhelmed, and lead with heart. When you do that, your community forms. It’s quality over quantity.
What is your advice for other young women and aspiring entrepreneurs?
- You have to love the 90% of the journey more than the 10% of success. You will be living in the 90%. The 10% will be scattered throughout your career so it’s so important to enjoy the process of creating and filling in those puzzle pieces.
- No great idea has ever come from a perfect situation. It comes from looking at the needs of your community and the skills you have, along with what you are passionate to create.
- Nurture your community. At first, your community might just be your friends that you share your idea with, but they will help to hold you accountable to your ideas. Now, your ideas are out in the world and not just in your head. Reach out to your potential customers and get them excited about your launch. Nurture these relationships!
- Your environment will never define your creativity. Don’t wait to move to that big city or have the right amount saved to invest into your ideas. Be scrappy with what you have available to you.
How important are online reviews and customer feedback to the success of your business?
The most important! Our business is only as successful as our feedback. My goal has been (and will always be) to create a fun and heartfelt atmosphere for our customers. In order to do that, we are always building and looking into what our customers need and want. They are entrusting us with heartfelt messages and card options for the milestones of life and relationships with their loved ones.
For our Influenster members looking for a gift to accompany a Good Snail card, what are your favorite pairings or recommendations?
I love gift giving! Lately, I love a pick-me-up gift just as much as I love a “just because” card.
Other faves include:
- A Tata Harper facemask with the Let’s Be Fab When We’re Older card.
- A Starbucks or a Nespresso gift card with the 2021 Latte card.
- And Bala Bangles go great with an Oh My Quad card for a birthday!
You can follow Julie and The Good Snail on Instagram. For more gift-giving inspiration to go with your custom card, check out these gift guides for: Plant Lovers, Coffee Fans, Wine Drinkers, or for those of us stuck at home.
Do you save the cards you receive? When was the last time you sent someone a card? Let us know in the comments below!