Greeting card designer finds niche in minority market

WILLINGBORO, Pa. John Erving, a greeting card designer, has found success in his line of black-themed greeting cards that have made their way, according to published reports, into 50 CVS stores located in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Pemberton and Westhampton.

Erving started designing greeting cards 13 years ago, realizing through research that they were in high demand. After training himself in manufacturing these greeting cards, and from prior sales experience through his job in the greeting card industry, he created JonMar Creations.

Erving started Jon Mar Creations as a line of 32 greeting cards that were sold at Lomas Pharmacy in Willingboro, Pa., and a few additional Thriftway supermarkets. After CVS acquired Lomas, Erving persuaded the chain to keep his greeting cards, significantly expanding his business, and what began as 32 cards has today become 200 cards. The popularity caused Erving to hire merchandisers to make sure that the greeting cards are always available, and has also become a distributor for other black greeting card designers.

He now has help from such artists as Cal Massey of Moorestown and Ben Jefferson of Philadelphia to design his cards but still paints about half of them himself. His success has come as a surprise to him, he recently told a local publication. Occasionally, he’ll have one of his own cards delivered to him as a gift. “It’s a good feeling,” Erving said. “You know somebody’s out there buying them and it’s working.”

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