For Snowlight Editions, a break is in the cards
Armed with a stable of the Roaring Fork Valley’s best photographers, a Marble-based greeting card publisher continues making headway in a highly competitive industry.
Snowlight Editions, owned by Aspen native Valery Kelly, won a Greeting Card Association LOUIE Award in 2000, beating out a New York Museum of Modern Art entry in the process.
In January of 2003, the busy Christmas season is over, and several cards sold out, including Ken McGraw’s winter image of Maroon Bells.
“Christmas is the biggest sales season,” Kelly said. “Things are quiet right now, but in the spring I’ll start creating new cards for next summer’s sales season.”
Kelly and her clan – a 7-month-old daughter, Wren, husband Kearns, a big dog named Yogi Bear and a yellow cat named Rabbit – live in an 1,800-square-foot straw bale house above Beaver Lake. They built the home in 1998. Approximately 900 square feet are in a downstairs basement, which serves as Kelly’s office and warehouse.
Tibetan prayer flags waved in the breeze above the Kellys’ front door Friday morning, and two pairs of Nordic skis stood ready in the snow next to the front gate. There was a foot of snow on a picnic table in a side yard, and a neighbor’s dog, Harry, patrolled back and forth.
“He’s Yogi’s best friend,” Kelly said while whipping up a pot of coffee in her sunny kitchen, which connects to a small greenhouse. “Those are our winter plantings,” she said, motioning to foot-tall plants. “We get a lot of solar gain here.”
Kelly started Snowlight Editions in 1999, and now offers more than 80 greeting card designs that include nature scenes and landscapes, Colorado history and Western lifestyles. The cards are printed in Grand Junction.
In 2001, the company sold about 12,000 cards. That dropped to 2,500 in 2002, and she points to her infant daughter as the reason. She has no doubt the card sales will bounce back in 2003.
The cards are blank inside and sell for $2.98. They’re available at the Book Train, Carl’s Pharmacy and Explore Booksellers.
She’s still jazzed about the eight historic images from around Colorado that she added this year. A lot of the fun was in handling and choosing the pictures at the Colorado State Historical Society archives in Denver.
“I got to look at the old pictures, and pull them out of boxes where they were stored. It was really cool,” Kelly said. “I’m fascinated with history.”
One of the historic cards shows the Hot Springs Pool in Glenwood Springs. “I’m really excited about that line,” she continued. The Tattered Cover in Denver bought four cards from the line.
Dozens of stores across Colorado carry Snowlight Edition cards, but the company’s future is more and more linked to the Internet.
“Getting out selling to stores is exhausting,” Kelly said. “But with the Internet, I can market the site, and get myself established that way.”
The Snowlight Editions Web site is http://www.snowlightcards.com
Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 534
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