I am a fan of business histories and biographies, and I have to say that out of the hundreds of books I've read over the years, "When You Care Enough" is the best of the bunch. I think the folks at Hallmark should make a movie out of this book. This is one story that needs to be told. I read the book in just a couple of days and plan to read it again in the future. This is one book that will have a special place in my library!
Joyce C. Hall - hanpat
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 19 years ago
Joyce C. Hall's father left home when Hall was just nine. He was raised by his mother living in poverty and lacking any formal education. To help his mother he began selling perfume door-to-door at age nine. In 1910, Hall dropped out of high school, jumped a train and headed to Kansas City to seek his fortune and make his mark in the business world. He arrived in Kansas City with two shoeboxes full of scenic picture postcards he hoped to sell to dealers throughout the Midwest. And he prospered. He was a quiet, serious, highly sensitive young man. He went from jobbing postcards as a teenager to manufacturing and selling his own line in six years. A small room at the YMCA was where he lived and was what he used as his office. He had so little cash he couldn't afford to pay a horse-drawn cab to get him there. But, he had his dream and he had plans to make them happen. His plan...launching a mail-order program using the samples he stored under his bed at the Y. He printed invoices, and started mailing packages of a hundred postcards to dealers throughout the Midwest. Some dealers kept the cards and never paid. Some sent back the unsolicited cards with angry notes. But, about a third of the dealers mailed him a check. In just a few short months, the 18-year-old Hall had earned $200, enough to open a checking account for his promising new business.In a matter of a few years, his postcard business had grown large enough that he asked his older brothers Rollie and Willliam to join him and open a specialty store, the Norfolk Post Card Company, selling both postcards and stationery. Although they were doing well, he worried that postcards were losing there appeal and thought that selling higher end greeting cards, Valentines and Christmas cards with envelopes might be more profitable. He decided to call the company Hallmark, a play on his name and the word for quality which dated back to the 1300's, where gold and silver were "marked" for quality at Goldsmith's Hall in London. Coins and other items of high quality received a "Hall mark." In 1912 Hall added greeting cards and as business grew moved to larger facilities. In 1915, a fire destroyed the Hall Brothers' offices and all their cards. The company was left in debt. This did not stop Halls dreams. With a new engraving press, the Hall Brothers opened a new shop just down the street and began printing their own cards with the Hall Brothers insignia. The first Hallmark card appeared in 1916. It featured the greeting "I'd like to be the kind of friend you are to me." In 1923, Joyce C., and brothers Bill and Rollie Hall, along with their 120 employees, moved from tiny offices and rental space in four separate buildings into a brand new six-story plant. In 1936, Hall introduced display cases that allowed rows of cards to be displayed, that customers could easily browse on their own. Previously, cards were bought by asking a store clerk to choose an appropriate card for you.
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