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For this stationery retailer, it’s been a sympathy card kind of year

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A greeting card with the message: "We are in this together"

"Our 'Thinking of you' or sympathy cards just took off," Annie Lang Hartman said. "Ours are kind of more cheeky and funny, kind of like 'We're in this together.'" Courtesy of Annie Lang Hartman

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My Economy” tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only numbers that really matter are the ones in your economy.

Annie Lang Hartman, owner of Compass Paper Co. in Leland, Michigan, describes stationery trends over the last year and how she’s preparing for a busy summer.

We are thinking about pent-up demand a lot. And I’ve actually added quite a few products for our product line this year just because we also have a physical retail space that’s opening up in May. In northern Michigan, we did have a busy tourism season last year, and knowing that people are going to feel a little bit more comfortable being out and about this year, we have focused a lot of energy into adding new products.

Birthday cards and our love and friendship cards, which would be, like, cards for friends or cards for anniversaries, those sell well all year. But last year, our “Thinking of you” or sympathy cards just took off. I know it sounds really bad, but ours aren’t like, “I’m sorry for your loss.” Ours are kind of more cheeky and funny, kind of like “We’re in this together” or that kind of thing. So we saw a huge bump in that for direct-to-consumer but also for retailers. So we’ve been sending out thousands of those. I don’t see that trend going away, you know, anytime soon. But yeah, that definitely changed this past year.

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