Best-selling Christian author Karen Kingsbury uses excerpts from her stories to inspire the words of others through a unique greeting card and gift line.
By Elizabeth Bonner
It all started five years ago with a simple mother-daughter stroll during a lovely late-spring visit to New York City. While perusing shops in the SoHo district, author Karen Kingsbury and daughter Kelsey Kupecky spotted a set of cards in a window display.
Kelsey stopped, struck by the idea of creating a greeting card line with her mother. The words could come from Karen’s books, Kelsey thought, and she could do the design work. “We talked for a little while longer, dreaming about the possibilities,” Karen says. And through that dreaming, DaySpring’s Possibilities card and gift line was born. In this web exclusive, Karen gives us a behind-the-scenes look at this journey.
SL: Can you tell us about the design process and the different products offered in the line?
Karen: I choose the book quotes, and Kelsey chooses the images and edits them to create a design that works with the quote. At the end of the process, we work together, making sure we have the right quote with each edited and finished image. We also work together to find just the right Bible verse for the inside of each card.
At this point, we offer a 42-card line, covering topics that include birthday, thank you, thinking of you, praying for you, and other key times to give cards. We also have an offering of Mother’s Day and Christmas cards. The product line includes journals, desk calendars, wall calendars, coffee mugs, plaques, refrigerator magnets, and gift bags. We also have a line of office products.
SL: Tell us about the most memorable moment of this journey—the one that stands out to you as a turning point.
Karen: The Possibilities line took a lot of work up front. I pored through dozens of my novels to find quotes. Kelsey went through tens of thousands of images, looking for the exact emotive photos that resonated with her heart. We had to pare down our choices, and then eventually, there came a day I will always remember.
We met at my house and spread the final 42 images across the dining-room table. Then we took the quotes—written out on index cards—and matched them with the images. A few minutes later we were both wiping tears. We knew right then that these cards would have a powerful impact.
SL: What inspires your cards and gifts?
Karen: I’ve always been a poet at heart. I wrote poetry from an early age, and I still do. But since books of poetry would never be enough for me as an author, I incorporate my poetry into my novels. Sometimes I’ll be writing, and a character will say something poetic—something that poured from the quiet places of my heart. Those are the types of quotes I gather when we’re choosing what to say on the Possibilities cards and gift products. We also pray about what images and filters and what lighting and look will inspire our fans.
SL: Tell us about the creative process of working on this line compared with the creative process of writing your books.
Karen: When I write a novel, I’m locked away in a quiet place, headphones on, instrumental music filling my heart. It’s me and the story. Period. And I ask God to help me, so nothing gets in the way. With the Possibilities card and gift line, it’s collaborative in the best possible way.
SL: What is it like to work with your daughter Kelsey on this venture?
Karen: Working with my only daughter is a dream come true! We’re both very deep. We laugh and cry so easily, cherishing the time together and the impact the Possibilities line is making in so many lives. I’m so proud of Kelsey. God has gifted her with an exquisite eye for design. We are so enjoying this season in the stories of our lives.
SL: What do you hope people take away from your cards and gifts?
Karen: Kelsey and I are trying to create a moment between two people. Card-giving is an old-fashioned idea, but it really does create a moment. When someone sends me a card, I have their precious handwriting on the inside. It’s something I will save forever, a reminder that I am loved and that someone cared enough to think of me at a deep level.