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Crafting greeting cards brings second career
When Gail Round was laid off from her job in 2009, she went back to school. She began taking classes at then Bellevue College in the evenings, both to retool herself and in the hope of keeping busy. She already had two degrees, an MBA and a BA in business with 35 years in the field.
Using Illustrator, Round began designing greeting cards – bright, colorful cards featuring plants and animals with ink that popped.
“I spent hours learning how to do it,” Round said. “It’s not something they necessarily teach you in class. It’s your style; how do you make something glisten on the page? How do you make a flower look like it’s a real 3-D flower?”
When she showed her work to a friend, she challenged her to make a batch of 50, and Round quickly rose to the occasion.
“I was so much happier,” said Round, who was rehired in the interim, but kept returning to card-making.
Now she is a contender for WalMart’s “Get on the Shelf” competition, which merchandises local talent after asking the public to vote on their favorite products. Round’s cards are eco-friendly and made entirely locally. She has all-occasion batches ranging from Mother’s Day to Birthday cards, and just about everything in between.
Round, who runs operations out of Bellevue, is no stranger to business. She was a program manager for Microsoft and an accounting manager for Matsushita Avionic, a subsidiary of Panasonic. Round, who says she'd never seriously considered herself an artist, drew when she was younger. But crafting greeting cards, she says, combines both of her loves: the start-up nature of a new business and the left-brained creativity of designing.
Early on, she sketched designs on the page first. Because ideas came so freely and easily to her, she carried a notebook around with her. But as Round became more adept at Illustrator, she took her designs straight to the computer.
“It's a combination of everything. I feel like I have been able to keep learning, growing and doing in my life. All things that I truly enjoy” says Round. “I never planned on greeting cards...but I love making these designs.”
To see Round’s work, visit her website at artsyicons.com. To cast a vote, visit getontheshelf.walmart.com/product/1e6f/Greeting-Cards.