Once upon a time...
It all started with a guy looking for thank-you cards for some friends who had thrown him a birthday party (thank you cards from a guy - questionable, but true). J-Dig co-founder Peter Henry was the grateful card-seeking guy, and everything he saw was too flowery and overdone and didn't appeal to his sense of humor. Shortly after that, Peter's brother, Josh, gave their mom a hand-drawn Mother’s Day card that cracked everyone up. The card was simple, but funny.
Thus J-Dig Cards was conceived. (*For the record, we do not condone incest.)
After a world-record gestation, J-Dig was born (without pain meds!) at the 62nd Annual National Stationery Show in New York City, weighing approximately 245 pounds.
Each J-Dig card is conceptualized by Josh Henry, and then given to Peter Henry, sometimes on a bar napkin or scrap of paper. Peter, a professional graphic designer, then turns the concept into a visually interesting piece. The well-designed cards contain simple and straightforward graphics that don't compete with the message. Once a finished product is ready, Peter’s wife, Cathy Henry, a sales and marketing professional, presents the line to retailers and stationers.
J-Dig Cards is headquartered in Dallas, TX.
Incorporated, biatch! Plans begin in earnest to spank the greeting card world for being so bad.
February - April
National Stationery Show logistics. Freight. Booth Design: drapes + fireproofing, shelving, tables & chairs, flooring, order forms, samples, and lights. Pre-show mailing: retailers and reps. Press kits, PR push, marketing roundhouse. Legitimizing.
On our mark, get set, Launch! Leave NSS with a handful of orders, and a new respect for all the folks that pimp their goods at trade shows. [RELEASE #1: 32 Cards, including perennial favorite "Candles Old" and future Louie award winner "Tits the Season".]
First big print run. Order fulfillment. Continued connection with contacts met at the show. Sit on our hands and wait for the orders to flood our fax.
July - December
Adorned with paper ponchos, and feeling a bit like a bamboozled Noah in the face of no rain, we realize that the torrent expected is not going to come. More direct outreach to reps and retailers alike with some success right around the corner.
Company milestone: our first Rep! Sales start to roll in at a steadier pace.
[RELEASE #2: 10 Cards, including company favorite "Saved My Ass" and future Louie award winner for "Special Bus".]
Pick up our first Louie! Competition was stiff (the MoMA and a William Arthur card designed by Vera Wang), but so was our resolve to manhandle the Seasonal Boxed Card (Above $1.25) category. Another company platform unveiled in the form of our self-award winning blog: Dig on Deez.
Good news keeps on rolling. J-Dig Cards wins 1st Place in an Intuit Small Business contest, netting $15K and beaucoups of credit. Qualifications for victory: essay, video, and divine intervention (Peter was addicted to candy, and a God-like entity assured a win if he could keep his hands off sweets for the month of June).
Hometown heroes crowned with the mantle of "Best of Big D". Parade cancelled at last minute due to over-capacity crowds. Fire codes must be upheld.
[RELEASE #3: 12 Cards. This class will always be remembered for it's heart-warming rendition of "Balls to the Wall".]
Oops, we did it again. Louie two years in a row. Undefeated. Rising Star. Prestige and celebrity clip our heels on the way out of NY.
J-Dig Headquarters moves to an actual office! Spikes in productivity and inane office banter follow.
[RELEASE #4: 12 Cards with so many goodies to choose from. Greatest hits include "Deck the Balls", "Missed You", and "Want You Inside Me".]
Side project gets promoted to full-time gig. Josh ends school and starts to frequent the office on a daily basis. Good things around the corner.
J-Dig going International, biatch! Canadian representation secured. Largest print run to date converts office into faux-warehouse. Floor to ceiling. Construction of swimming pool filled with greeting cards conceptualized. Fear of drowning very real.
MAY!! The Turning Point. Staring Nick Nolte.
[RELEASE #5: 16 Cards. Strong Ass Release (SAR). Instant stardom: "Favorite", "Bum in the Oven", "Feel Butter", and "Rusty" (aka the promise keeper)]
J-Dig dons a robe and slippers for the Booth (of the Century?). Big orders. Big contacts. Little sleep. Lots of beverages lead to headaches the next day (blame to Bald Guy, OTF, and HardCards). We got Made in Manhattan.
We almost turned into magma! The summer brutalizes. J-Dig's city sees 70 days with 100-degree heat. That's a record. However, the inferno doesn't prevent team J-Dig from peddling goods across the Atlantic. Look who's in the UK!
A J-Dig Jr.
Company's best year is capped by champagne bath. In a bathtub. Them bubbles tickle the belly button.
Rumor surfaces that the mounting success may change everything. Company keeps poise.
March. The Stranger
[RELEASE #6: 13 Cards. Sex and Sweetness. Release spawns a new card category: Seedy. If it has a reproductive organ (referenced or actually portrayed) or the word f_ck, it's Seedy. Highbeams: "Hay", "Sex Doll", "Shorty".]
A J-Diggette Jr. Company's generous paternity leave policy temporarily turns the Dig into a one-man show.
Reinvigorated! Company plows ahead to ransack the rest of the year.
August. Most Likely to Succeed
[RELEASE #7: 10 Cards. 8 Birthday. Fan favorites: "Finger in Your Hole", "Dominate", "Who's the Daddy?"]
Our card total now tips the scales at 103. Centennial celebration leaves office in ruins. Archeologist called in to make sense of it all.
Peter Henry: Brother, Husband, Graphics
Peter Henry, a self employed graphic designer who has operated Rojo Creative, LLC, since July 2006, oversees the creative design and production of J-Dig Cards. Prior to starting Rojo Creative, Henry was employed by Publicis, an international marketing, advertising and public relations agency for six years where he oversaw the creative direction for local, national and international companies. When he is not listening to music too loud, you may find him digging up art and other treasures at a second-hand store. "Pete Dog" (boy & canine?) graduated from Texas Christian University. He has abnormally high arches.
Cathy Henry: Sister-in-law, Wife, Sales
Since J-Dig Cards "sell themselves," Cathy Henry only oversees sales and marketing for the company in title. Before beginning a career in medical sales in 2003, she practiced public relations in Dallas for more than 5 years. Cathy was also employed by Publicis, which is why she is now Cathy "Henry" and no longer Cathy "Cooper." When she is not walking her beloved dachshunds, Bella and Zuzu, she is asking Peter to turn his music down so she can concentrate. "Coop de Ville" graduated from Texas Tech University. She is older than Peter.
Josh Henry: Brother, Grazer, Ideas
Josh Henry, whose nickname, "J-Dig," provides the company's namesake, is the creative farce behind the company's cards. He oversees all card conceptions and copywriting for the company. In his spare time, he tutors high school students in science and math. He is an avid reader, artist, musician, soccer player and connoisseur of all things hip and hop. J-Dig graduated from The University of Georgia. He takes a nap every day.