Cards of Wood is a third-generation, family-owned business in Belmont, Mich., that has been in business for more than 40 years. The company manufactures custom designed veneer card products such as business cards, postcards, holiday cards, wedding stationary, art prints and more.
“The products are appealing, unique and different to what is out there. They give people another substrate to print on. You can also frame them. They’re something to hang on to and show other people. They have a lot of staying power,” says owner Tate Lenderink.
Lenderink, who joined the business in 1988, says the company was started by his father and grandfather who were both in the hardwood, plywood and veneer production business. They made wooden business cards for themselves to promote their own products. Soon enough, their colleagues and friends and the general public began to express interest, so they began selling them.
Initial clients were mainly business owners from the furniture, sawmill and lumber industries wanting business cards as well.
“That is who we targeted because they were the easiest to sell to. They were always from a wide geographic radius. We shipped cards to them all over the country and overseas as well. We’re still making the same products, but we’ve expanded to do more items in the packaging industry, note cards, lots of wedding invitations, and other items.”
The company markets its products through its website, www.cardsofwood.com, as well as craft and bridal shows, all of which has attracted more individual consumers. The customer base is about 5,000. About 80 percent of the products ordered are custom designs. There are 25 wood species offered, the most popular being birch, maple and cherry. The shop has a total of 12 employees that are busy cutting on guillotine-style paper cutters or designing card faces on computers.
A box of 200 business cards sells for about $70. Lenderink says sales are currently the best they’ve ever been.
“Over the last two years we have increased business considerably. We were flat even with 2008 in 2009, but since then they have increased.”
Contact: Cards of Wood Inc., 7754 Pine Island Dr., Belmont, MI 49306. Tel: 855-211-7449.
This article originally appeared in the January 2012 issue.