Our story

Second Story Cards is an award winning social enterprise that elevates the creative talents and voices of people who have experienced homelessness. We believe that no one element in our lives, certainly not our housing status, defines us. And regardless of our circumstances, we have the ability to change our situation, to change the narrative wrongly being used to define us. We can write a second story. 

In the dining room of a third-floor walk-up in our nation's capital, Second Story Cards was born in December of 2016. With a pack of white cardstock, some assorted inks and stamps, embossing powder, and an $80 black and white Samsung printer, we started producing cards. They were very simple, some of them were downright hideous. But the colorful envelopes and shiny plastic sleeves that they were packaged in made them look like legitimate greeting cards. Like the ones your mom used to buy - only better!

Our business model is simple: create beautiful greeting cards and help our most needy neighbors. The cardmakers receive 15% of each sale. Additionally, we donate 10% to a nonprofit of their choice in an effort to give back to the organizations that have helped them overcome the challenges they've experienced. 

We've grown a bit and enhanced our graphic design capabilities. We now use commercial grade printers for our standard cards and a vintage Heidelberg platen press for our letterpress cards. We've even won a coveted Louie Award - think the Oscars of the greeting card industry! And while you can now find us in shops across the US, we're still as committed as we were from day one about creating beautiful greeting cards and changing the lives of the inspiring makers we work with.

Here's a great video that shares the incredible backstory of how Second Story Cards got started.