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  • Writer's pictureJim Bessman

The Card Bureau embraces politics, feminism, and the experience of being a millennial

The Card Bureau's Alyssa Stanzione, left, and Janie Velencia at NSS

Plenty of vendors at this week’s National Stationery Show (NSS) at New York’s Javits Center showed Ruth Bader Ginsburg product, ranging from action figures (FCTRY), multi-ply paper busts (Wizhead), and screen-printed glass image (kiku handmade). But Washington, D.C.-based The Card Bureau had an RBG stand-up greeting visitors to its booth, which showcased a veritable line of Ginsburg merchandise.

There are four cards in Card Bureau’s RBG line (her stand-up is holding three of them, including one proclaiming “You’re just as badass as R.B.G.”) among a dozen pieces also including buttons, mugs, magnets, bottle openers, baby onesies, notepads, stickers, stationery gift box sets and enamel lapel pins.

“We’ve sold thousands of them!” said company founder Janie Velencia of the pins. Meanwhile, one Card Bureau button, “Nasty Woman,” will be included in a forthcoming Smithsonian exhibit depicting the 2016 election.

“It’s what Trump called Hillary in an October debate—‘What a nasty woman!’” said Velencia. “We heard it and made them up overnight!”

She’s since followed up the “Nasty Woman” button with a pair of “Nastier Than Ever” entries; Hillary Clinton is included in the enamel lapel pin collection with Ginsburg, Michelle Obama, Shirley Chisholm and Susan B. Anthony.

No surprise, then, that Card Bureau product is inspired by D.C. politics, pop culture, current events and common daily struggles that “speak to the times, provoke thoughtful discussion and make people laugh.”

No surprise, either, that Velencia is a former political journalist, for outlets including Huffington Post and Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight website.

“The Card Bureau started as a creative outlet for me when I was working in politics,” said Velencia, who launched the company two and a-half years ago but has only been at it full-time for a year. She characterizes it as “the intersection of politics, feminism, and the experience of being a millennial.”

Hence, one of her Love/Anniversary/Valentine’s cards reads, “I love you enough to take on your student loan debt.”



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