2014

From the birdcage to Dragons' Den to a store near you: Hallmark launches Hand and Beak greeting card collection

Featured on last night's edition of CBC-TV's Dragons' Den

TORONTO, Sept. 27, 2012 /CNW/ - Today, Hallmark Canada is launching an original greeting card line created by a BC woman and her pet bird, Luigi.  Mary McQueen is the founder of Hand and Beak greeting cards - a unique line of cards featuring collages of various designs made from shredded paper.  Luigi is not only McQueen's beloved pet, but also her business partner - he shreds paper that she then uses to create the designs.  After a successful pitch on CBC's hit television show Dragons' Den,  Hand and Beak inspired greeting cards are now available at all Hallmark Gold Crown locations across Canada.

"After hearing Mary's unique story and seeing the detail and craftsmanship behind these beautiful cards, we immediately were on board" said Patrick Carr, President, Hallmark Canada.  "We are always looking for new and innovative ways for our customers to connect and we are excited to share Mary's story and her cards with our customers."

To create the cards, Luigi uses his beak like a sewing machine needle to shred paper into precision strips.  McQueen then crafts whimsical collages from his shredding and creates greeting cards from the original artwork.  The collection at Hallmark features six birthday card designs, each priced at $3.99.

Mary McQueen recently appeared on the seventh season of CBC's Dragons' Den to pitch her company, Hand and Beak.  She sought a $10,000 investment in exchange for 25 per cent of her company.  Mary's story, wit and product won over David Chilton, former stockbroker, author of the best-selling personal finance book The Wealthy Barber, and the newest dragon in the den.

"As Mary and Luigi took the stage, I was immediately intrigued," said Chilton.  "I think Mary is smart, witty and has a unique product.  Entrepreneurs get a boost in attention and interest after appearing on our show - the producers call it the 'Dragons' Den effect' - and I'm excited to see where we can take this together and the positive impact it will have on Hand and Beak."

As a proud sponsor, Hallmark will donate all of their proceeds from the sale of Hand and Beak greeting cards to Make-A-Wish Canada®, the organization that helps grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

"This whole experience has been beyond thrilling," said McQueen.  "I never dreamed I'd actually get a deal on the show, and now for my greeting cards to be carried in Hallmark - it's a surreal, but incredible feeling."

McQueen and Luigi appeared on the Sep 26 edition of Dragon's Den.  To view the show, visit www.cbc.ca/dragonsden.

For more information on Hand and Beak and to see Luigi in action, visit www.handandbeak.com.

About Hallmark Canada

Hallmark Cards, Inc. is the world's largest manufacturer of greeting cards and other personal expression products. Hallmark was founded by Joyce C. Hall in 1910 and currently employs more than 740 artists, designers, stylists, photographers, writers and editors, who develop nearly 20,000 products each year. Hallmark Canada is the industry leader whose products are sold through its 195 Gold Crown stores as well as select grocery stores, drug stores, mass-merchandisers and discount stores.  For more information, visit www.hallmark.ca.

About Dragons' Den

DRAGONS' DEN is the highest rated Canadian unscripted program on television, with an average audience of over 1.3 million Canadians each week. In addition to its success on-air, DRAGONS' DEN is also a hit online, boasting an active and engaged online community averaging more than 650,000 page views per month. Full episodes and exclusive behind-the-scenes content can be viewed at cbc.ca/dragonsden. DRAGONS' DEN is filmed at CBC Headquarters in Toronto, ON and airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) and Sundays at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT) on CBC Television. Tracie Tighe is Executive Producer and Lisa Gabriele is Senior Producer. Dianne Buckner hosts.

SOURCE Hallmark Canada



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