...in the beginning
From the time she was very young, Kimberly enjoyed filling journals and blank books with her original poems and writings. She would present them to her parents as gifts on special occasions like their Anniversary or Birthday. When her mother, Georgia, couldn’t find a greeting card to purchase that was just right, she’d look in one of Kimberly’s books for a poem or verse and she would surround Kimberly's word with her own original artwork. Recipients of these special handmade creations would often tell the mother-daughter duo that they should start a greeting card company.
With just 24 greeting cards in hand, Kimberly Rinehart and Georgia Rettmer arrived at the Atlanta Gift Mart for their first gift show in September of 1984 to see if their unique blend of colorful art and original verse would sell. That first show confirmed what friends and family had been telling them for several years ; there was not only a place, but a definite need for their unique blend of art and verse in greeting cards.
as we grew
“The business pulled us more than we pushed it in those early years,” said Kimberly who oversees the day-to-day operations of it takes two. “What we were doing wasn’t based on research, but on what we believed was a real need in the greeting card industry for something different.” In spite of many changes and challenges in the paper industry and in the economy, it takes two has remained true to its look and content. Products and marketing plans have been tailored to fit a changing industry without compromising the company’s heart and soul.
A number of additional artists have joined the it takes two family through years. They have added a wonderful blend of complementary styles and art mediums. The it takes two creative family has grown to be a marvelous combination of creative spirits and forever friends.
a whole new market emerged quite naturally in 1997 when the scrapbooking industry started to boom. This opportunity for growth prompted the company to introduce a new division and a whole separate catalog filled with papers and stickers. The artistic creativity and original words of it takes two have flowed effortlessly into products manufactured for the scrapbooking industry.
Since the very first card was created and printed in 1984, it takes two has grown significantly. From initial facilities in a spare garage, the company now houses daily operations in a 22,000-square-foot office and warehouse complex. Inventory has grown from the original 24 greeting cards to over 5,000 items including cards, note cards, stationery, scrapbooking papers, stickers, and unique gift items.
“At the very core, we’re in the business of helping people communicate with each other both visually and verbally – whether it’s sending a card, preserving a memory, or encouraging a relationship.”
Today, it takes 12 fulltime employees and 50 independent sales reps across the country to create, produce, package, sell, and ship the product and run the company. But through all the years of growth and change, it still only “takes two” to enjoy an it takes two greeting card…the giver and the receiver.
From the Rettmer family’s wooded back yard near the small garage that first housed it takes two – to our spacious corporate headquarters now serving customers from coast to coast, our lives have been touched by countless gifts and blessings.
As we prepare to celebrate it takes two’s 35th anniversary we find ourselves filled with gratitude for each of you, our customers and friends, who have supported and encouraged us along the way. And, we trust that God will continue to use us and our creative gifts to share messages of hope, comfort, and joy all around the world.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. – Colossians 3:17 (NIV)