Huong Wolf’s Handmade Greeting Cards Double as Cherished Works of Art


huong wolf holding quilling card

huong wolf keeping quilling card

Courtesy of Quilling Card

Have you at any time questioned how to change your goals of owning your personal organization into a reality? We can help. Each individual 7 days, as portion of our Self Built series, we showcase feminine entrepreneurs—as well as their excellent handmade goods—and share their best assistance similar to commencing, maintaining, and expanding your have company.

Huong Wolf experienced created an complete occupation in world-wide promoting, performing for major multinational models, in advance of she stumbled upon a new undertaking that inspired her to pivot her route. While residing in Vietnam with her husband, Raphael, a job entrepreneur, she immersed herself in the world of quilling wall art (she preferred to uncover parts to beautify their household)—and, coincidentally, all-around the identical time, a buddy asked her partner to check out a nearby quilling manufacturing facility that was up for sale. “[Raphael] truly misunderstood and thought it was quilting!” Wolf remembers. “He assumed it may possibly be appealing, mainly because he was in the textile small business for a lot of many years, but when we arrived and figured out about the intricate artwork of quilling, we have been instantly intrigued.”

Quilling, they have been taught, involves chopping prolonged, thin strips of paper, rolling them, pinching the patterns into styles, and gluing them down. On the heels of their go to, they determined that handmade quilling cards could be a worthwhile idea—and that really identical night, the spouse-and-wife duo created Quilling Card to merge their passions for quilling and entrepreneurship.

That passion endures currently Wolf is now celebrating 10 decades in business enterprise. “I appreciate producing greeting playing cards out of quilled artwork for the reason that each individual card will become a compact piece of art to cherish—we have a lot of clients who preserve them without end and frame them,” Wolf claims. “Coupled with a heartfelt, personal sentiment inside, we truly feel that our quilled playing cards are genuinely products that individuals can cherish and that enrich their life.”

After she and her husband—her enterprise husband or wife (he is the co-founder and president of Quilling Card)—recognized their mission, they set their sights on setting up their have manufacturing facility, developing the brand name, and production the playing cards with their possess artisans in Vietnam.

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A Decade in the Building

Wolf officially released Quilling Card in Could 2012 all through the Countrywide Stationery Exhibit at Javits Heart in New York Metropolis. To access this position, she still left her company occupation. “I will never ever overlook my boss’ reaction: He laughed at the idea that I was heading from internet marketing enormous multinationals with big budgets to making greeting playing cards,” she says. “But I realized it was time for a adjust, and I was excited to create anything significant for other men and women.” Her aim was to encourage and maintain the Egyptian art of quilling and coach and make use of individuals from her native place, all though retaining whole possession of her business. “We are a grassroots business founded in our humble condominium in Saigon and are entirely self-funded, with a couple of family and buddy loans below and there,” Wolf claims.

The business enterprise has developed organically by means of its lover foundation more than the a long time, selling thousands and thousands of greeting playing cards all over the world. “Every single card sent out was [found] by term of mouth,” Houng claims. “We’ve also experienced results in positioning Quilling Card as art and a gift—we retail quite effectively in museum, backyard, and present suppliers (we have a great deal of back garden-connected styles and they’re excellent to pair with a plant).” Wolf and her staff have also carried out non-public collections with international greeting card companies—and are now concentrating on a direct-to-client design dependent on spikes in card profits about the COVID-19 pandemic, as people today searched for new ways to link with each individual other.

houng wolf quilling card guinness world record

houng wolf quilling card guinness earth report

Courtesy of Quilling Card

History-Breaking Company

“We follow our hearts and do bold points,” Wolf suggests of her major internet marketing system. “For example, we just gained the Guinness Globe Report title for our get the job done producing the biggest quilled paper mosaic.” Her group designed a 15-by-19-foot duplicate of Van Gogh’s Starry Night, which won them the recognition they gained a next title for most men and women (300) quilling at the same time. Not only did Wolf see this as a huge accomplishment—she and her workforce labored throughout two continents, utilized over 40 miles worth of paper strips, and took 3,399 several hours to produce this piece—but she also viewed it as a group building practical experience and an prospect to deliver the art of quilling to an solely new viewers.

A Braille Technique

As an qualified in the card business and as a buyer, Wolf has also observed a absence of Braille—a tactile composing system focused to those who are visually impaired—cards on the industry. Very last yr, she designed it her mission to generate the Quilling Card Braille Selection, showcasing a quilled graphic on the front of the card—which is raised and absolutely tactile—in addition to a quilled Braille message she felt that the 3D mother nature of quilling also lent itself fantastically to Braille. The Quilling Card staff partnered with Perkins Faculty for the Blind to make the playing cards, these types of as the Quilled Braille “I really like You” Card ($12, the college provided suggestions and client insights by their collaboration. “We also have dozens of our deaf quillers at our factories—they are our finest fingers in the dwelling,” Houng claims. “Our deaf artisans use their palms to make the cards, and our blind buyers use their palms to examine the cards. This is a beautiful palms to hearts link.”

Doing the job with Environment-Class Artisans

According to Wolf, her artisans are the coronary heart of Quilling Card. They are family, too—both practically and figuratively. “My brother and sister-in-regulation have been our enterprise associates in Vietnam when we initially opened our factories,” she states. “We gathered uncles, aunties, cousins, neighbors, mates to be part of the enterprise when we started off it, and we are now expanding beyond.” When she welcomed her initially staff members, it did get some convincing to get them to continue to be on as component of the crew, as a lot of affiliated quilling with a pastime or seasonal function rather of a occupation with job development possibilities. Wolf trains all of her company’s artisans from scratch above the training course of six months: They discover about paper specs, the “quilling alphabet,” which are fundamental designs utilized to make a quilled card, and style work. They also have a sign language translator on personnel to make sure all of their workforce get equivalent education. “By the sixth thirty day period, they will be equipped to operate on all of our patterns, quilling at an extraordinarily high talent level,” Wolf states. Now, they have artisans who have been promoted into learn quillers, trainers, designers, and administrators.

quilling card design and tools

quilling card design and style and tools

Courtesy of Quilling Card

Setting the Normal

Wolf’s main intention is to continue to be genuine to her inventive vision as an entrepreneur. “I consider we broke the paradigm of the greeting card industry by launching a ‘non-greeting’ greeting card line,” the co-founder and CEO points out. “Every will come with a blank insert for prospects to produce their own message in any language that they want.” Even with original pushback from merchants, she retained the location empty to enable people to publish heartfelt phrases as an alternative of defaulting to a concept printed by makers or created by copywriters. “We also elevated the greeting card field by introducing costly handmade greeting cards working with historical crafts,” Wolf adds. “Searching back 10 yrs ago when we very first released our line, most shops were worried that they could not promote $9 to $10 cards, because the ordinary retail value for their stores was $4 for each card.” This benefit has stood the test of time, as customers handle the cards as keepsakes.

Sincerely, Quilling Card

There are two key elements Wolf has homed in on all through her entrepreneurial journey: Goals and tough do the job. She tells other business owners to initially imagine in their small business, but to try to remember that it normally takes perseverance to make it. And as soon as the success you request does come, make absolutely sure to lead with enthusiasm and compassion. “We preserve our success by currently being open minded, but not getting rid of our focus,” the co-founder suggests. “We are always open minded with customers’ comments and suggestions, and pay attention to our staff members and personnel for new and better ways of carrying out points.”

In the limited phrase, Wolf aims to access extra millennials and Gen Zers through new types and by manufacturing good quilling artwork. The entrepreneur hopes that, over time, Quilling Card preserves and advances the art variety for the following couple of hundred a long time: “As the chief in quilling, we experience obliged not only to share this stunning artwork in concluded items, but to also teach people today and provide them tools to apply quilling.”


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