Hallmark | KCUR

Hallmark

Segment 1: Making greeting cards more diverse.

Cards are about relationships. So if none of the greeting cards on the shelf represent the person you're reaching out to, or the occasion you're celebrating, it won't feel quite right. Hallmark's trying to make more communities feel "seen" in the greeting card aisle.

  • Monic Houpe, product director, Hallmark
  • Christy Moreno, editorial director, Hallmark

Segment 2: Why Kansas and Missouri astronomers are fighting to save dark skies.

Ben Schumin / Wikimedia Commons

Segment 1: Are lobbyists the secret to keeping local companies competitive?

Forbes Ranks Kansas City's Hallmark As No. 3 Employer For Women

Jul 26, 2018
Andrew Grumke / Kansas City Business Journal

Forbes has named Hallmark Cards Inc. one of the top places to work for women, the Kansas City Business Journal reports.

With help from market research company Statista, Forbes compiled its first list of "America's Best Employers for Women."

The rankings were determined by a survey of 40,000 Americans, including 25,000 women, who work for businesses with at least 1,000 employees.

Courtesy of Hallmark Cards

Elle McKinney has seen the Black Panther movie nine times and taken all seven of her nephews — in shifts — to see the mega-hit since it came out in February.

So, lucky for McKinney, who is black, that her job as a greeting card writer at Hallmark Cards allowed her to be a writer on the creative team for the launch of Black Panther cards.

Laura Spencer / KCUR 89.3

In the early 20th century, people didn't have a lot of options for making the tradition of unwrapping gifts more festive. They'd cover packages with brown shipping paper or newspaper, or sometimes wallpaper or fabric.

Kansas City-based Hallmark Cards, Inc., gets credit for starting the modern-day gift wrap industry 100 years ago, an invention created out of necessity during the holiday season. 

Tom Taylor / KCUR 89.3

Hallmark Cards and The University of Kansas Health System on Friday unveiled a first-of-its-kind Hallmark Gold Crown hospital gift shop.

"It's very important to us at Hallmark and at Hallmark Gold Crown that we present an opportunity to be a store of the community," said Jennifer Seyller, a vice president of retail sales at Hallmark.

The hospital views the partnership as an opportunity to work with a recognizable brand, said Jeff Novorr, vice president of support services at the KU Health System.

Brian Gordon / FowlLanguageComics.com

In his 18 years working for Hallmark, Brian Gordon saw plenty of people get fired.

Even so, he'd convinced himself that it wasn't his turn.

"Well, surely Hallmark thinks so highly of me they wouldn't dream of letting me go in a million years," he told Steve Kraske on KCUR's Up To Date.

But in June of 2015, he received an email informing him that his time with the company was finished.

"You would have thought I'd get a card or something," Gordon says.

Wikipedia--CC

Hallmark Cards Inc. announced a reorganization plan on Tuesday to create three new — and separate — businesses out of Hallmark North America. 

According to company officials, it's time to move beyond operating as "one big organization."

The move comes after hundreds of layoffs during the summer.

The greeting card industry is struggling to stay relevant in the digital age.

Hallmark has announced that it's closing its distribution center in Enfield, Conn., and cutting 570 jobs there, as it consolidates operations elsewhere.

For decades, the greeting card maker held a reputation as the type of company where good employees had a job for life.

Julie Elliott, Hallmark's PR director, says layoffs, like the ones announced this week, are especially painful.

Wikipedia-CC

Hallmark Cards Inc. announced plans on Tuesday to transfer 400 jobs to Liberty, Missouri, from a distribution center in Enfield, Connecticut.

The East Coast site, open since 1952, currently employs 570 people. 

Nayukim / Flickr -- Creative Commons

For a number of years the greeting card industry has seen a drop in revenue. Hallmark, including its subsidiaries, had sales of $4.4 billion in 2007, but as of 2012 their revenue had fallen to $4 billion.

On KCUR's news program KC Currentswe took a look at some of the inventive ways Hallmark is trying to shore up it's declining greeting card sales and we discussed the impact Hallmark continues to have on Kansas City.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Crown Room Chocolate Crinkles

From Marg Wagner, wife of Hallmark artist John Wagner

My husband John worked at Hallmark for 40+ years and these were one of my favorite cookies at Hallmark’s cafeteria, the Crown Room. When I asked for the recipe, it came in volumes of 20 or 25 dozen. Efforts to reduce the quantity and a few adjustments produced these cookies and we've been enjoying them ever since.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Since the mid-1960's, Hallmark Cards Inc. employees, past and present, and their spouses, have gathered each year - not for an exchange of greeting cards, but of cookies.

Hallmark, the 103-year-old Kansas City-based company, has about 11,000 employees around the world, including just over 3,000 in the metro area.

Donna Moore, a former employee, began working for Hallmark in 1962. She recalls how the event became an annual tradition, mostly for women.

Hallmark Cards has announced plans to eliminate as many as 250 positions, the Kansas City Business Journal reports. The article says 100 of the job cuts will come this year.  The staff reductions involve "the greeting card development process" and an exit from the party goods market.

Hallmark Petitioned For Hospice Cards

Mar 26, 2013
Photo courtesy of Regina Holliday

It seems like there’s a greeting card for everything these days: for going back to school, for anniversaries, and yes, even for losing your job. But what about a card for being in hospice or at the end stages of life? That’s the idea of a high-profile patient advocate who recently turned her attention to Kansas City.  But as KCUR’s Elana Gordon reports, such a concept is not so easy to materialize.

This story was originally published online last month. Below is the audio and transcript for the radio version that aired on KC Currents March 24.

Photo courtesy of Regina Holliday

When Regina Holliday’s husband, Frederick Allen Holliday II, went to the hospital in 2009, he was already at the end stages of kidney cancer.

The next two months were “a roller coaster,” she recalls. But during that time, Holliday remembers receiving a lot of cards from friends and loved ones.

Mostly of the “get well” type.

Remembering Adele Hall

Feb 1, 2013
Courtesy: Hallmark Card, Inc.

This past weekend, hundreds of Kansas Citians paid their respects to the family of community leader Adele Hall, who died January 26 at age 81.

On Monday's Up to Date, we'll be talking about memories of Adele Hall and speaking with people whose lives were affected by her work in the community.

Courtesy: Hallmark Card, Inc.

Adele Hall, civic leader and wife of Hallmark Cards chairman Donald J. Hall for nearly 60 years, has died. She was 81.

Missouri-Kansas Jobs Poaching On The Rise

Jan 24, 2013

Missouri and Kansas are using eight- and nine-figure economic development subsidy packages to steal jobs from each other. A new study finds no abatement.

Hallmark Cards, Inc. today announced the consolidation of its manufacturing operations in Kansas to two locations: Lawrence and Leavenworth.