Designer Profiles

August 30, 2021 •
Crafting the Perfect Envelope: Biely & Shoaf

{Sponsored} The collections Biely & Shoaf publish and distribute cover a range of styles that mimics the greeting card industry, from antique photography to iconography, humorous and quirky designs to watercolor with heartfelt sentiments. With the range they cover, they’re able to offer the styles each of their customers need, and every collection has its own envelope to set off the designs properly.

Biely & Shoaf started out four years ago, with two friends and industry colleagues, principals Glen Biely and Tom Shoaf, bringing together favorite and lesser-known collections into a collaborative setting where each line can shine. Notable lines they distribute are Shannon Martin Designs, The Biely & Shoaf Collection, which features Black Joy Paper among other lines, and A Smyth Co.

“Keep Blooming” card from Biely & Shoaf Co. with Leader Paper envelope

Shannon Martin pairs vintage sepia-toned black and white photography with cheeky captions about age or gentle reminders of where we come from. Black Joy Paper is a collaborative of six African-American female designers, which beautifully marries art and heartfelt sentiments that perfectly encapsulate the collective’s name in a variety of palettes, mostly with earthy and rich shades. A Smyth Co is iconographic and realistic, with designs saying exactly what the card-giver really means and no words minced. The line’s colors are suggestive of midcentury art, with solid fills and bold shades with high contrast.

With that level of variety, it’s no stretch of the imagination to figure out that more than one envelope was needed for the Biely & Shoaf collections.

Prior to their current set of envelopes, some of Biely & Shoaf’s lines had imported products and others were created domestically. “There is automatically some extra work involved in projecting what you need for supply, lead times, now tariffs and global supply chain issues, and I don’t think any of us saw that coming (at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic),” Shoaf said.

Shannon Martin Designs card from Biely & Shoaf Co. with Leader Paper Envelope

When Biely & Shoaf began looking for a new envelope supplier for their lines, having a domestic product was an important consideration, as was finding a reliable company familiar with the stationery and greeting card industries.

Through Greeting Card Association member Leader Paper, they found a kraft envelope from the Greengrocer’s Brown Bag Paper line that was perfect for the vintage photography featured in Shannon Martin’s line. Adding a small detail printed on the flap added a unique touch. For the other lines, a simple but clean style and neutral color allow the unique art and styles to shine through.

“It’s really great to have reliable suppliers. We have a good working relationship with Leader Paper, and we feel like they take care of us as a customer. They are always engaging with us in terms of looking at whatever the options might be. They understand what’s important and deliver on all of those things. We also appreciate their participation and support of industry as GCA members; we look out for each other in the greeting card business,” Shoaf said.

© 2021 Leader Paper


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