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monsterFCA

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Taken from the (RED) Blog:

Here’s a little background on our guest blogger Sarah Mueller. She works at Hallmark as an editorial director, and you might just say she’s bursting with (RED) spirit. At Hallmark, she became inspired by (RED) and pushed the idea internally until it caught on and became what you see in the stores today. We hope you enjoy her story, and don't forget to check out HALLMARK.COM/RED! --bn

I just spent the day driving around to Hallmark Gold Crown stores looking at our first Hallmark (PRODUCT) RED preview offering. It was so much fun to see the products we’d been dreaming about for so long out on shelves. One store had just gotten their shipment in. An employee brought me back to the back and started ripping open boxes so I could see it. “I love this wrapping paper!” she exclaimed! “I know! Me, too!” I squealed. We were like the proverbial little kids in a candy store, and these were powerful sweets – every product takes us one step closer to the end of AIDS in Africa.

I first started learning about the AIDS crisis in Africa in 2004. I was in a band, and we had a vague idea of doing something “good” while on the road, but didn’t know quite what. I was a big U2 fan and had heard a little about Bono’s DATA, so I called up their office and asked if there was anything a tiny indie band could do. “Sure,” they said. “Take our new ONE Campaign pledge around and sign people up!”

So we did. And we learned a lot. I was shocked by how much I didn’t know: 5,800 people die every day from HIV/AIDS in Africa alone, and it only costs 40 cents a day to keep an HIV-positive person alive! Such a small cost… such big consequences: 13 million African children who have lost at least one parent to the disease; a continent with a huge shortage of healthy teachers, doctors, civil servants; countries devastated.

Well, the tour didn’t go so great, but the ONE pledge signing up did! The band broke up amicably, but I kept on volunteering for ONE, and brought that interest into my new job at Hallmark. I worked with an incredible group of writers called the Collaboratory, and we started kicking around the idea of a new card line that would give a portion of the proceeds to the Global Fund. We started talking it up around the building, trying to find the idea a good home.

You can imagine then how excited we were when we heard about (RED) when it launched in the UK in January of ’06. We rewrote our proposals to suggest a partnership with (RED) and kept on talking. More and more Hallmarkers heard about the idea and started supporting it. Lots of them had either been to Africa or had family and friends who had spent time there – and they all wanted to help!

When the time was right, art director Erin Dennis and I led a prototype project to dream up what Hallmark (PRODUCT) RED could look and sound like. More than 150 Hallmarkers contributed ideas, writing, illustrations, photography, and designs. At first we thought we’d have a few cards to show (RED) what we could do – we ended up with 200+ prototypes that filled an art gallery on the top floor of our headquarters. That show was the beginning of the products you see in stores today – and those coming when our full line rolls out in January 2008.

We can’t wait to see how far these cards will go.

--Sarah

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Gina

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Reply with quote  #2 
I was just looking at the line of (red) products and that mudcloth bag is pretty cute!

http://www.hallmark.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/article%7C10001%7C10051%7C/HallmarkSite/HallmarkRED/RED_GIFTS

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Criselda

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Reply with quote  #3 

that bag is really cute gina!!! it reminds of those converse shoes that were like that.


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adrnik

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Reply with quote  #4 
This news is so great. I'm going to try and get some of teh Hallmark stuff here in the UK (haven't seen it yet).

Even the RED was launched here it seems as if there is a better range in the USA as when we were seeing family in March GAP had a much bigger range (we don't normally shop in GAP but when the products are Fair Trade and 50% of the profits go to charity then there was no reason not to buy stuff).

I have a RED phone and Tubbs has a RED Ipod.

The RED Armani watch looks very nice though!!! 

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monsterFCA

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Reply with quote  #5 
beautiful ad, favorite part; landing in Africa...

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