A Greeting-Card Line for Millennials

Small Business Spotlight: Punch Street

Who: Keisha DePaz, @Punchstreet

What: A greeting-card and invitation line that appeals to a younger demographic

When: 2013

Where: Queens, New York

How: Founder Keisha DePaz says she was working as an attorney in Manhattan, when she started watching HBO’s drama The Wire on Netflix. DePaz says one of the episodes inspired her to follow her dreams of writing and create a greeting-card and invitation company that would appeal to the millennial generation: “Most traditional card lines are either kid-friendly or grandma-friendly,” she says.

DePaz’s goal is to make Punch Street “pop!” with bright colors and designs and messages that resonate to a younger demographic. “Customers come online, choose greeting cards or invitations, and then we personalize at no extra cost. Then, we do the printing, addressing, stamping and sending, so it’s no more difficult than just sending an email,” says DePaz.

Biggest challenge: “Our biggest challenge thus far is marketing – letting customers know we exist. With the ease of starting a company, and the amount of information out there, it’s very hard to rise above that and get focused. It takes a lot of clever marketing and hunger!” says DePaz.

One moment in time: Two weeks after Punch Street launched, a Forbes writer published an article detailing how The Wire inspired the company. DePaz tweeted the article at all the stars from The Wire, and the actor who played “Omar” on the show retweeted it.

Best business advice: “There’s a quote, ‘If it’s supposed to hit you, it will never miss you.’ Trust that it will happen and keep working hard!” says DePaz.

Most influential book: DePaz recommends the book “You Are Not so Smart,” by David McRaney, which discusses the beliefs that people have that trick them into feeling wiser than they are.

Quote from the owner: “We’re taking a grassroots approach to marketing, because we don’t have a big budget.”