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Quirky card company pushes envelope

Quiplips say 'what you always wanted to but never had the guts'

Hobson
Bridget Hobson started Quiplip greeting card company in 2002.

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Quiplip cards
Anderson Cooper

(CNN) -- "This better be the only wedding card I ever give you."

That line is an example of the kind of biting humor you'll find in a Quiplip card. The greeting card company, founded in 2002 by Bridget Hobson, prides itself on being unconventional and unlike a lot of mass-market card lines.

Hobson's only experience in the greeting card-making business was handcrafting cards when she was 6 years old. The bug hit her again when she was in her 20s and frustrated when she couldn't find cards she could relate to.

"I was inspired to create Quiplip cards after ... my local card stores ... left me feeling pretty empty-handed, because they didn't really express my personality," Hobson said.

Not your average greeting card

The original line of cards, called Quiplip, allows the card-buyer to customize the lines in the card by checking off boxes and filling in blanks. They can choose whether they want the card to be sarcastic or sincere.

"My cards are unique because they say what you've always wanted to ... write but never quite had the guts to do it," Hobson explained. "I came up with the name "Quiplip" because quip is a witty retort and lip is kind of sarcastic back talk."

The first 10 stores that saw the line bought it, and the company has been growing since.

The former copywriter has since penned five card lines. One is Blunt, which has quick one-liners. The Graphitudes line contains everything from pie charts to line graphs that quantify a person's affection.

Quiplip cards cover traditional events and holidays, such as religious holidays and birthdays, as well as some conventional life moments, such as date cards and saying, "What's up?"

There's one topic, though, that Hobson won't include in the Quiplip line: "We don't like to do sympathy cards. ... Our cards are very humorous and very sarcastic, and sympathy cards are just one area that I just don't want to touch."

Quiplip's future

Quiplip has been enjoying steady success over the past four years, and the company's revenue has doubled every year.

"Our first year we started off in 100 stores, and now we're in over 1,000," said Hobson.

Ashley Uyeda, general manager of the San Francisco store Therapy, says that Quiplip cards sell extremely fast. The average price for a card is $3.50.

"People are constantly in the corner of the store laughing, having a good time, reading all the cards," Uyeda said.

Hobson hopes to continue to push the envelope in the card industry over the next few years and has dreams of incorporating other products with the cards.

When asked about the future of her company, the entrepreneur has a simple wish: "To keep the creative integrity in [the] line and keep it as high as possible, ... [and] take this company as far as I can go."

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