Red Stamp is a stationery company dedicated to strengthening relationships. That’s what co-founder Erin Newkirk will tell you. She’ll also tell you that in 2008, after being in business for three years, she was forced to rethink her company’s relationship with print.
“We were having a meeting, and we were looking at a new e-commerce platform with the chief technology officer. We had been playing around with the iPhone. It was the 3; that was how long ago it was. We thought if we could only put what we were working on into the iPhone, we would really have something. We could say to consumers that we can help you and you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars with us to buy paper.”
Newkirk saw how this change could impact her own life.
“I’m a mother of an 8 3/4-year-old. All of our family is scattered around the world. I constantly felt like I have this stationery. I want to write thank-you notes for gifts, but we get gifts for back to school, gifts for St. Patrick’s Day. I remember wishing that everyone who cared about my child so much could see how happy these gifts make him. What if I could take photos and send them to my mom or whatever? But at the time there wasn’t a way to combine the photo and the text. So it was in that moment, in that meeting, where we realized this is the next platform where we need to be.”
So they designed an app that would allow users to create templates to personalize digital communications and send customized photo cards, notes, and invitations via email, text, Twitter, Facebook, or traditional mail. This was a new way of sending a “Thank you for the sweater, Grandma!” card. This was cutting edge. It appeared in the iOS app store in 2010 with a lot of free features, as well as design collections sold for a fee. Newkirk couldn’t be more pleased with stationery in the digital age.
“We’re a top-1-percent app in the app store now, and we often float within the top 200 lifestyle apps. There’s a million and a half users now,” she says. “We do particularly well on Valentine’s Day. That day is huge for us.” [See infographic.]
The app allowed Red Stamp to have a pivotal stage 2 to its company arc. And others took notice, including Taylor Corporation, which bought the five-person company for an undisclosed amount earlier this year. Taylor is one of the state’s largest private companies, renowned as well for its printed products. This allows the company to get into the digital realm.
Newkirk and four other Red Stamp team members joined Taylor’s Occasions Group, although the Red Stamp website, app and branding will remain the same. Newkirk, for one, is excited about the move.
“It’s been a really busy time for us, but if we’ve learned anything, it’s that a business needs to keep evolving. And we’re excited about this next chapter.”