July 2, 2012
WomensNet.net is proud to announce our Amber Grant Winner for June, Nicole Shellenberger, from Allentown, NJ. Nicole and her sister are co-owners of Better Half Bitter Half (www.bhbh.biz), a small business that creates greeting cards focusing on the bitter or more challenging parts of life. We hope you love her story below as much as we did. Also, a friendly reminder that we’re now taking applications for the July WomensNet.net Amber Grant. Please take a few minutes to tell us your story if you would like a chance at winning
WNN: Our judges were charmed by your business. Tell us about the inception of Better Half Bitter Half.
NS: Our stationry business started when my sister went through a divorce and I couldn’t find a funny card for her. We talked about how there aren’t cards to help you through the bitter times in your life and make you laugh when you want to cry. Hence we came up with Better Half Bitter Half. We focus on humorous cards for the better half of your life with engagement, marriage, pregnancy and then break up, divorce, plastic surgery, unemployment, coming home from war, battling cancer and much more. After we printed our first round of cards, our mother was diagnosed with stage 3C ovarian cancer. We have focused our business on the cancer cards, car magnets and t shirts –and have been partnering with foundations so we can raise money and awareness.
WNN: Who comes up with the copy for the cards? Is it a brainstorm session? Any alcohol involved?!
NS: Gina and I write the cards. Sometimes we will think of something randomly throughout the day and call the other person, sometimes it is over drinks and sometimes it just comes when we least expect it! Gina’s daughter (my Goddaughter) is 17 years old and our artist.
WNN: Which card is your favorite and why?
NS: Our favorite card is the Birthday card with the cake on the front that reads, “I order shots in honor of your birthday” on the outside and “Please select from the menu” on the inside and gives choices of cheeks, eyes, forehead and lips. We like it because we are in our early 40’s and this is when you start to feel like you look older and make jokes about getting botox. We also love our two cancer cards because they are now close to our heart since our Mom was diagnosed.
WNN: Do you sell your cards anywhere other than online? What is your marketing plan at this point?
NS: We sell our cards in several local stores as well as in Colorado, Virginia and Georgia. We went to the National Stationary Show in New York City in May and had a great success. Our marketing plan is to focus on the cancer aspect and to work with non-profits. We are currently partnered with the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, the Sarah Parvin Soccerfest and Girls Love Mail. We bought the domain sites www.knockingcancerout.com and www.knockcancerout.com. We want to get these up and running and offer cards, t-shirts, journals and car magnets to create our business and to also give back. We will also continue to sell our thirty other cards that focus on the Better and Bitter times in life.
WNN: Do you envision your business turning into something bigger than Hallmark?!!
NS: We want our business to be huge and mostly because we want to bring a smile and some hope to those battling cancer. We want our boxer character to be associated with “Knocking Cancer Out.” We want to work with non-profits and to have our boxer become a logo that is recognized and associated with cancer and beating the disease. Our idea is to eventually change the color of the boxer so it will be teal for ovarian cancer, pink for breast cancer, etc.
WNN: How is your mom doing?
NS: Our Mom will get her 6th and hopefully final round of chemo at Fox Chase in Philadelphia on July 11th. Our Mom is a beautiful woman inside and out. She has been an amazing role model our entire life but the way she has handled this disease is remarkable. She has lived her life and stopped in for chemo when needed. The battle became a bit harder after her 4th treatment but she is determined and doing well. We are encouraged by her strength, inspired by her attitude and grateful that she is our Mother.