Thursday, June 24, 2010

Calling cards for parents & parent bloggers

When I was poking around Amy Adele for my review of children's stationery, I was seized by an idea. It wasn't, to be fair, my idea. It's Amy Adele's. But I love it, so I'm running with it.

Calling cards for parents!

Check out this action:

Playground Calling Card

How many times have you been in a social or potentially social situation, like dropping the kids off at dance class, or hanging at the play gym, or browsing through the kids' section of the library — where you could be making friends and gathering a tribe around yourself — but you chickened out in terms of connecting? Or you chatted a bit with another parent but then left the playground or story time or whatever it was and realized, "I have no idea what the person's name is or how I can ever get in touch again."

The answer? (I'll say it again.)

Calling cards for parents!

It's brilliant, really. Just plop some of your most essential info onto a cute little card. Depending on how you like to be contacted, maybe it will have your name, your kids' names, your email address, and your cell phone number. And then hand them out like candy to anyone who looks likely to be a friend to you or to your kids.

I bet you'll be remembered!

Calling cards for children!

As your kids get older, they might appreciate having their own calling cards as well. I thought this idea of a camp card was really clever, because I remember scrambling to write down my camp friends' addresses and phone numbers on the last day of summer camp. How much easier would it be to just hand over a card?

Tent Calling Card

I was also thinking of another magnificent use:

Calling cards for bloggers!

With BlogHer coming up, plenty of bloggers who are going (boohoo, leaving me behind) have been talking about getting business cards made up. I can totally see the need for something professional and businessy if you're going to a conference or other professional event and want other writers, PR reps, potential clients or employers, etc., to take you seriously.

But I could see more casual occasions when you might want a blog card to hand out. Something … like this:

Amy Adele lily of the valley calling card for blog

And wouldn't it be ├╝ber-adorable to get the real, live Amy Adele to draw a custom design to match your blog's theme? Like a mama and baby nursing, or I would love to see representations of Mikko and me snuggling.

True story:

Once, about a year ago or so, I was at the pool with Mikko. We were hanging in the hot tub, and there was a mama there about my age with a baby a few months old. We, too, started bringing Mikko to the pool and hot tub around that age, so I already felt a camaraderie, but I'm not always comfortable launching into conversations in hot tubs. Then she stretched her arm out along the side of the tub, and I saw she didn't shave her armpits. And, seriously, my next thought was, "I bet she might like my blog!"

Yes, that's how I picture my dear readers, or at least a solid 40% of you. Cute, with a cute baby, and natural pits. (Raise your hand if this description fits.)

And I kept obsessing about it the rest of our swim, wondering if I'd have the nerve to approach her with my site's name. But telling someone a URL is invariably awkward. Even though mine's thankfully not too long or with a tricky spelling, there's always the chance for a game of Operator to take place in the communicating. ("Oboe Mama?") She left the pool before the swim hour was up, and I imagined her nursing in the locker room, where I could give her a not-at-all-creepy smile of encouragement, but when Mikko and I went in, she and her baby were gone.

Now, I can see where you could point out the one fatal flaw in my story: Even if I had calling cards, would they be waterproof? Would I have tucked them down the bodice of my swimsuit just in case I happened upon a kindred spirit in the hot tub?

So we'll let natural-pits girl go. But the principle remains, because there have been so many other instances where I've wanted to or have told other people of my blog but didn't have a handy piece of paper to write the address down for them.

But if I had a blog calling card, I'd be all set! Can't you picture something like this with a URL below your name?

You could also use blog calling cards to tuck into packages you're sending to readers, such as if you're sponsoring a giveaway or if you sell handmade items on Etsy.

Amy Adele discounts & plug

You don't have to order your calling cards from Amy Adele, though if you do:
  • First of all, you get your pick of two nice discounts right now:
    • Calling cards are currently on sale for a whopping 50% off until this coming Sunday, June 27. That means they start at under $10 for 20, or just under $14 for 40, and the price gets cheaper and cheaper per item the higher the quantity.
    • Typing in hobomama gets you 15% off your order. (I honestly don't know if the discounts combine or not, but I don't see why not. ETA: They don't! But if you're buying something else at regular price, feel free to use this discount code to help you out there! Also, shipping is free over $50, which I forgot to mention.)
  • Secondly, you get an adorable and high-quality product, I get a nice little commission, and Amy Adele gets support for their lovely and eco-friendly company. Win-win-win, all around!

Amy Adele has a whole section of calling cards categorized as "Distinct Designs" that is a selection of more adult-style drawings, such as a house, a palm tree, or simple floral accents, so whatever you choose can fit your own aesthetic.

Calling cards the cheap and easy way

You could also easily make your own calling cards — they wouldn't need to be fancy.

You could seriously just print your info on a slip of paper and repeat, or you could go photocopy an original a bunch of times. How many you make depends on how much use you think you'd get out of them, and how much space you have to store them in your bag or pocket. If they're not printed on cardstock, you might give some thought to making them a little case or tucking them into a wallet or similar to keep them uncrumpled.

Or you could design something cute on the computer with your blog's logo or your child's picture and print it at home, then cut it out. You can even buy business card printer sheets that are pre-perforated for you for just that purpose.

And if the target audience for your blog is the same as the target audience for potential friends, you can combine both sets of information and save yourself some effort!

Something like this:

Amy Adele sunflowers calling card for blog

Oh, the cute!

How do you connect with new parents you want to befriend?

Disclosure: Amy Adele links are affiliate links.
I did not receive any calling cards from the company
(and images with my URL are from the site's preview function),
but I thought it was an awesome idea when I was poking around
the site for my thank-you notes review and wanted to share it
with you as a fun and achievable way to start building
a community
around you. It's time to stop being lonely, yes?
See my full disclosure policy here.


Rachel said...

I need calling cards for your blog. It would be so much prettier than scribbling down your URL on a piece of scrap paper when I find myself in conversations saying, "you should check out my friend Lauren's blog. She has some really helpful things to say about [natural birth, bilingual parenting, whatever other topic is under conversation at the moment]."

Jenn said...

These are adorable. What a fantastic idea.

Jenna said...

That's an awesome idea. I'm just wondering though, no matter how cute the cards, if the same social anxiety that prevents me from making new friends by talking might also set in about handing out cards..

Anonymous said...

This is brilliant! I have a ton of my business cards but I don't have my personal things on there, just my Twitter accounts and all that jazz. When I meet a mom at school or at a park and we get along, I feel odd writing my number on a card because I'm not sure they'd still want a play date with me after reading my blog lol. This would be perfect for me!

Kristin @ Intrepid Murmurings said...

I've been wanting to do this for awhile, and was just remembering it again this week. Thanks for some fun ideas!

Inder-ific said...

I'm just chuckling over your target audience being mothers who don't shave their pits. Too funny! (FYI, I shave, but I was so totally natural back in my obsessive-Ani DiFranco-fandom days.) But, I can whip out a boob and nurse my toddler with the best of them. Or so I would like to think.

Lindsay said...

Yeah after I left a garage sale this morning after meeting a cute mom with a cute baby about the same age as mine who lives less than a half mile away, I realized, crud, I should've asked if she goes to the park regularly, or something. Stupid me. (kicks self)
now I know the real problem was my lack of adorable cards :). Makes me think of Victorian days when ladies would leave their cards and you then had to visit everyone who'd visited you and left a card to reciprocate...a never ending cycle!

I guess I'm in the 60% who shave, except baby doesn't like me to shower without him so I only get to do it like once a week when hubby watches him (I don't keep my razor in the bathtub when baby is in there!) so really I have disgusting stubble. So stupid question but how do you control odor with natural pits? When my pits get stubbly I smell much worse! I think a post on the topic of natural pits may be in order here! Lol.

Momma Jorje said...

I used to carry "Calling Cards" with the first name and email address of each family member. I wrote my number on the back if I felt comfortable sharing it / on a case-by-case basis.

What a cute idea for making Mommy friends, though!

BTW, I shave my pits, but only when I get a chance. Sasha showers with me usually so I also don't do it terribly often. I think perhaps a POLL may be in order here! lol

Taking Time said...

I am in love with this idea! Even if I don't feel shy or lacking confidence at a mama group so often we all rush off, busy with our babies and never exchange info. What a cute way to do it!

Anonymous said...

This funny. Did you read my blog? Only the other day I wrote my own details on an old business card (not mine) and gave it to a random women that I saw in the supermarket... she just looked like the type of person I could be friends with!

Anonymous said...

Two comments in a row.. I am feeling excited.

Just made my calling cards!

Now to find someone to hand one to.

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