Q & A: Karla Ebrahimi
Sky of Blue Cards
Menlo Park, Calif.
Q. When and how did you start working in this business?
A. I worked as a graphic designer doing software package design when the company I was working for laid off almost the entire creative services department, which included me. I continued doing design for my corporate clients, but my favorite projects were custom invitations and announcements. People kept asking me if I had stationery or greeting cards they could buy, so I finally decided it was time to offer my designs to the retail market.
A few years ago I expanded into the wholesale market in order to get Sky of Blue Cards and products in stores all over the country. It’s so ironic because years ago before I moved to San Francisco my career got its start at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City, so it’s like I’ve come full circle.
Q. What is your signature style?
A. Clean, unfussy design. I put almost as much emphasis on the negative space created on a card as I do the design element I’ve illustrated or the text treatment I’ve incorporated. I love chic, modern style with a touch of whimsy and fun.
Q. What are your most popular stationery offerings?
A. Our birthday line is very popular, and our giftwrap is also selling very well. Something that has been continually selling out recently are our bookplates for kids. Before I designed them I read an article that said children’s books are the one category of books that are not necessarily giving way to the e-book readers. I think that parents love buying actual books for their kids and kids love putting their names on their stuff so our bookplates just seem to be a natural fit — especially in bookstores.
Q. Please share the direction your line will be taking.
A. We are expanding our everyday line with new friendship, encouragement, sympathy and congratulations cards. We are also adding in more everyday celebrations such as new baby, wedding, anniversary and more birthday cards.
Q. If you couldn’t do this, what would you do instead?
A. I absolutely love what I do, but here’s how it would go: my husband and I would own a cozy little wine bar, where I’d spend my days discovering lovely new selections of wine to offer our patrons. There would be a small area in the corner for live music where my family could play their music and live out their own rock star fantasies.
All the wall space would be devoted to exhibiting the paintings of all my wonderful artist friends and the artwork of my own two kids. The food menu would include just three things: cheese, bread and chocolate. Seriously; doesn’t that sound like a place you’d want to hang out in?!