Before I worked on the Trends team, I was the art director for Hallmark’s Signature Collection and a few other collections, like these hangable (and mail-able!) mini-canvas cards we created called Art From the Heart. One of my favorites was this “In this home…” quote. I liked what it said about living life with the people you love. When I moved to the Trends Studio, I found out my teammate Sarah Magill wrote it several years ago! I wanted the story behind the words, so I asked her a few questions.
Jen: Tell me briefly about your experience at Hallmark. Where are you working now?
Sarah: I’m working with you, silly! I’m in the Trends Studio now, as the group’s writer and editor. There’s never a dull day here, and I’ve really loved getting to work closely with art directors and designers. You all have been teaching me new ways to see the world. I’ve spent most of my 10 years here working as a writer in a few different studios, but I’ve had some fun non-writing gigs, too: Being the editorial director for the first round of Hallmark Product (RED) greetings and gifts, doing R&D on socially-aware products, helping with Hallmark.com’s user-created contests, and leading a DIY short-film bootcamp for Hallmark creatives.
In this 36-card canvas collection, one of the best selling cards is “In this home.” I’ve seen versions or variations everywhere. When did you write this?
I wrote the original version of this piece back in the summer of 2005. I hadn’t even been here a year at that point, which is kind of funny because I think it’s the most popular piece of copy I’ve ever written…and may ever write. It was originally put on a big printed canvas and was sold with a line of gifts with other statements about life and home and love. Since then, we’ve put authorized versions of “In this home…” on about a dozen other Hallmark cards and gifts, but we’ve seen it pop up on hundreds of other products around the world. That’s technically illegal, you know, because people are “stealing” a Hallmark-owned quote, but it’s flattering that so many people have identified with what the piece is saying. The legal department has sent out all kinds of letters asking people to not use the original “In this home…” copy on things they are selling, but the quote is unstoppable on the Internet now. Sometimes I search for “in this home…” on Pinterest or Etsy to see how it’s being used; the paraphrases people come up with are really entertaining. One of my friends found a pretty gory version for a family who loves hunting; it made my vegan self laugh—and cringe.
How did you feel when you saw your writing come to life?
It still feels really surreal to see something that was originally just some scribbles on a notepad pop up on a friend’s Pinterest. It’s an honor to be a part of people’s lives and hopes in that way.
I especially loved this latest canvas card version with Hallmark artist Amber Goodvin‘s lettering. I am so in awe of her skills; she has this uncanny ability to give words a whole new layer of emotional meaning. It was a special treat for me to see the “In this home…” quote come to life through her hand-lettering.
This displayable canvas card is still in Gold Crown stores. Hurry and get yours before the Christmas season, when the line will be replaced with holiday products!