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From 24 Original Greeting Cards to Thousands of Products
From a young age, Kimberly loved to fill blank books with poems and verse and give them to her parents as gifts. When her mom, Georgia, couldn’t find a greeting card at the store, she’d look in one of Kimberly’s books for words to accompany her own original artwork. Recipients of these special handmade creations suggested the mother-daughter pair go into business.
With 24 greeting cards in hand, Kimberly Rinehart and Georgia Rettmer arrived at the Atlanta Gift Mart in September of 1984 to see if their unique blend of creativity would sell. The show confirmed what friends and family had been telling the pair for years – there definitely was a place for their original handmade greeting cards.
“The business pulled us more than we pushed it in those early years,” said Kimberly who oversees the day-to-day operations of it takes two. “What we were doing wasn’t based on research, but on what we believed was a real need in the greeting card industry for something different.”
Despite changes and challenges in the paper industry and the economy, it takes two has remained true to its style and message. Products and marketing plans have been tailored to fit a changing industry without compromising the company’s heart and soul.
Several additional artists have joined the it takes two family over the years, adding a wonderful mix of complementary styles and art mediums. Drawing from such creative resources allows the company to branch out in many new paper categories and markets.
Scrapbooking, a division added to the company in 1997, is a great example of this. It takes two’s art and poetry have flowed effortlessly into that creative and exciting industry.
Since that very first card in 1984, it takes two has grown considerably. From original operating facilities in a spare garage, the company is now located in a 21,000-square-foot office and warehouse complex. Inventory has grown from the original 24 cards to over 5,000 designs of cards, papers, notes, stickers, gifts, and more.
“At the very core, we’re in the business of helping people communicate with each other both visually and verbally – whether it’s sending a card, preserving a memory, or encouraging a relationship.”
Today, it takes 16 fulltime employees and 80 reps across the country to create, produce, package, sell, and ship the product. But, amazingly, with sales to over 5,000 shops worldwide, it still only “takes two” to enjoy an it takes two product…the giver and the receiver.
From the Rettmer family’s wooded back yard near the small garage that originally housed it takes two – to our spacious corporate headquarters now serving customers from coast to coast, our lives have been touched by countless gifts and blessings.
This year, we celebrate it takes two’s 25th anniversary at a time in our nation and world when challenges abound like never before in our company’s history. We find ourselves filled with gratitude for each of you, our customers and friends, who have supported and encouraged us along the way. And, we trust that God will continue to use us and our creative gifts to share messages of hope, comfort, and joy all around the world.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. – Colossians 3:17 (NIV)