Greetabl—founded by 33-year-old CEO Joe Fischer and co-founded by 24-year-old Zoë Scharf—is a unique line of greeting cards that can be folded into small boxes to hold gifts. Since its online launch last December, the company has been picked up by retailers such as Lusso, Left Bank Books and STyLehouse, with more being adding every week. This year their goal is to roll out to retailers across the country.
COMPANY MISSION [Joe] We want to make social expression special for people. It takes 3. seconds to say “hi” to someone on Facebook, and that’s fine for 95 percent of your friends. But for a more important occasion or relationship, you want it to be special. That’s what we are providing people.
LAUNCH INSPIRATION [Joe] Two of my very good friends were getting married. My standard gift was always a handwritten message and a check, but I thought it’s more exciting to get a gift, and maybe I could make the message itself a gift. It came together after several months of playing around with it and people really liked the concept.
GETTING IT OFF THE GROUND [Joe] I selffunded all the R&D and product development. Then we did a small seed-round of fundraising in October, during which we raised $150,000 in about 2. weeks from friends, family and angel investors.
BEHIND THE COMPANY NAME [Joe] I had originally called the company greetingQUBE, but wasn’t happy with it. I started brainstorming ideas; it was adorable, it was fold-able. I was driving down the street one night—I remember this vividly—and I had this “greetabl” moment. And I thought, “I think that works.” It’s descriptive, unique and it fits the ethos of the brand.
TYPICAL DAY [Zoë.] There is no typical day. Joe and I are learning a lot about running a company. I am learning about the business side; Joe is learning about the creative side. It’s a strange blend of filling orders, talking to retailers, helping people understand our concept and figuring out the industry.
2014 GOALS [Joe] We’re exploring different ways of using the product, including different packaging options—like multipack options. We’re also looking into offering customized greetabls—so you could pull in your Instagram or Facebook photo to create something really personalized.
VISION FOR THE COMPANY IN 10 YEARS [Joe] I think today the average American receives 20 greeting cards per year. I’d love for the average American to receive 20 greetabls a year.
PROUDEST MOMENT TO DATE [Joe] My best day by far was Dec. 6. That’s the day we launched online. A lot of effort went into that. It was like clicking a big red button and being out there globally for the first time. [Zoë.] Ten days later, it happened to be my birthday. I had talked up greetabls. I had sold greetabls. On that day Joe gave me a greetabl. It was pretty cool.
Joe Fischer and ZoÌÇ Scharf
Photo credit: Attilio D’Agostino