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Taking Care of Bidness Cards

Taking Care of Bidness Cards

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The inspiration of the card that I just had to have. This design is by Mandate Press.

I’ve never had a real business card. The completion of my education has taken up most of my adult life thus far, and though I was employed as a university instructor, you don’t get a business card from the University of California unless you have an official tenure-track position. Even if you are the instructor of record. Even if they pay you so little money that, hey–how ’bout being a sport, UC Regents? How ’bout letting your underpaid teaching force feel important? It’s just a 3.5″x 2″ piece of paper! Even a card that says “instructor” and not “professor” would be fine!

Nope. Nada. And though I know this shouldn’t be a reflection on my self-worth, it is. Sometimes.

As far as I know, people aren’t in the practice of passing out business cards that say “stay-at-home-mom.” Though I have heard of people exchanging cards for playdates, I’m not game for that one. I do try not to have issues with my identity that stem from having an official occupation that only exists in relationship to someone else (wife, mother), but my liberal mindedness only goes so far. Hi, I’m Anna, I’m Mini’s Mom. Here’s my card. Mini is available for parties and playdates! And I am his escort!

A business card should not be a big deal. But if you have never had one, it starts to seem like one. I know that anyone can make up their own business cards to say whatever they want them to say, but perhaps there was a part of me that felt like I would be officially of value to someone, somewhere, in a fiscal sense, once they had bestowed upon me my first business card. The BlogHer conference is coming up, and the business of blogging has been on my mind. This blog is less than a year old, and though I am pleased (overall) with the rate of its growth, I’m not (yet?) raking in the big bucks. And since I’m my own employer, it rests upon me to produce a business card, and I have to have one before the conference.

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Another super cool design. By Dependable Letterpress.

Here’s another example of where my ego, combined with my perfectionism, can get me into trouble with my finances. I needed to get a business card. It was to be my first business card! And even if it wasn’t going to feel “real,” since I’m making it for myself instead of getting it from some corporate entity, I was going to make it as “real” as possible for myself. I was going to design it and I was going to make it letterpress, because it’s beautiful and less common, and more impressive, and exactly the business card to which I feel entitled. I’m 35. I have two advanced degrees! Even if I make only $4,800 a year, I will have the business card that reflects where I’m going, not where I am!

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Look, if it’s good enough for her, it’s good enough for me. Via Fussy.

Mr. Right-Click is always supportive of me in my endeavors, but even he flinched at the thought of letterpressed business cards. Because he goes through business cards like water, and doesn’t see the point of spending that much on them. And in his line of work, it would not be a benefit anyway. I don’t know that it’s a benefit in my line of work, but I managed to convince myself it would be–because of the aesthetic element of blogging, the design part, you know–but the fact is, I just want letterpress business cards. And so, though Mr. Right-Click told me to make it as a “business decision,” I only half-heartedly did so. Mainly, I just decided I wanted my first business card to be nice.

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The proof of the business card Exquisite Letterpress is making for me.

So now it will be. And I’m supposed to come back from Chicago with no cards left, so you guys need to hold me to it. If you’ll excuse me, I’ll be getting back on the frugal horse now.

Comments (20)

  1. May 14, 2009

    I have a bazillion business cards from a bazillion employers, so have to admit that I’m a little amused that you are excited about them. To me they are about as exciting as socks.

    I absolutely LOVE the design though. Fabulous.

  2. May 14, 2009

    @Kerry, I know, it’s silly! But I’ve never really felt like a true “adult” or something because of the stupid business card thing.

  3. weezy
    May 14, 2009

    beautiful, cool design.

  4. May 14, 2009

    I admit I have had blog business cards for a few years now. Kind of embarrassing…..but I got them because it occurred to me that if I was going to possibly approach someone, “Hey, I write this blog, can I ask you about XXX?” (or even worse, take your picture) I wanted something tangible to show them. I thought it would lend me an air of legitimacy.

    So I got them from Staples and they look pretty lame and cheesy, BUT they messed up the order and it took a long time so they gave them to me for free. Woo hoo. They are the stock logo for “writer” – an bottle of ink on its side with ink pooled around it. I woke up the next day thinking I should have ordered their “holiday” icon of a pilgrim in a funny hat because of the name of my blog but I’m stuck with stupid ink bottle.

    Anyway…..pass them out in good health & ever-increasing prosperity. They are really beautiful.

  5. May 14, 2009

    I’ve always felt the same way about business cards, too, because for years I “couldn’t” have them at my previous employer. I was too low on the food chain to get them for free, so for a while I debated having some made on my own. Once I could finally get them, I was so proud of them, even though they looked like everyone else’s. I bought a cutesy Kate Spade business card holder for them and gave them to anyone who would take one.

    Right before I received a big promotion (necessitating another, new set of cards, whoo-hoo), a co-worker was told by someone that she had a lock on the job, so she went out and had business cards made with the new title on them. And that even after I got the job, she was using them! It was a huge mess, and since she was sabotaging me in several other ways as well, I finally had to blow her in about the cards, since not only had I seen them, but I was dealing with people on the phone constantly who would say, “Oh. I thought So-And-So was the editor.” The wackiness culminated in seizure of the fraudulent business cards and this nutjob weeping at her desk, swearing over and over that she didn’t have a stash of them at home.

    Your cards are lovely. Very smart design. I am also readying cards for BlogHer but I’m sure they won’t look as great as yours.

    By the way, have you heard about this Poken thing? Supposed to be the hot thing at BlogHer.

  6. May 14, 2009

    Oh, and funny factoid – There is a very awesome Thai restaurant in the strip mall at 1338 South Foothill Drive that I have been to many a time, most recently about two weeks ago. I didn’t notice if suite 230 was a UPS store or somesuch, but I’d be willing to bet it is.

  7. May 14, 2009

    One more thing … What were your thoughts about including your Twitter handle or LinkedIn user name? What criteria did you use to determine what would go on your card? I’m dithering over Twitter. I sure as heck wouldn’t direct anyone to my Facebook page on a business card, but including one’s Twitter handle seems … I dunno … hip right now. Is it necessary to portray oneself as a social media madwoman?

  8. May 14, 2009

    @eliz, wait, you’re from Salt Lake City? Or you were visiting there, I guess? She has said that it’s a mailbox place that she uses. My address is not my real address, either, by the way. I mean, it’s not my house or anything. that is a psycho story about the woman with fake business cards! OMG.

    I don’t know about Poken, no. I’m totally disorganized about BlogHer at this point. Re: what to put on the business card, I thought about a phone number but decided nobody really needs to call me, ever, since I prefer email. I can always write my number in for people I really like. 🙂 Re: twitter, it didn’t even occur to me, but I think if you really use twitter a lot it’s a good idea. I always think of the blog first, that twitter is in service of the blog, so I don’t care about it. I didn’t even put the actual blog address on its own, because I figured that my audience would be able to figure it out from my email address and the fact that if you put “abdpbt” into google, you get me.

  9. May 14, 2009

    oh yeah, and “Mini” gave me a Tiffany business card holder for Mother’s Day this year. LOL

  10. May 14, 2009

    What a sweet gift from Mini.

    I was sort of thinking the same about Twitter. But maybe LinkedIn wouldn’t be a bad idea. The crowd at BlogHer would obviously know how to reach someone by various methods, but I will probably end up giving cards to less tech-savvy people at some point, too.

    I was in Salt Lake visiting family, not solely to stalk Dooce.

  11. May 14, 2009

    What is Poken?

  12. May 15, 2009

    @Kerry, looks like Poken is a little jump drive thing that you have on your keychain, that carries all the info a business card would carry, and you can just touch pokens with somebody else and share all the info.

    The info is tracked via their website after you plug your poken into your computer.

  13. May 15, 2009

    I don’t know how I feel about this development. They only cost about $20, but they’re all Hello Kitty looking and I’m not sure I’m ready for having that on my keychain.

  14. May 15, 2009

    I looked at the website.

    Oh my gawd.

    Can you imagine a conference full of businessMEN touching those little things together? No. You can’t. That looks like it is made for 8-year-old girls.

    I think I’m really starting to get old, because lately some new technology stuff is just irritating instead of exciting. Especially stuff like this that is meant to help you collect “social network” people instead of actual friends. I miss the days when we didn’t know thousands of people, but we actually KNEW the people we knew. Y’know?

  15. May 15, 2009

    Every BlogHer conference has a gadget or site everyone gets excited about. In ’07 it was Twitter – every speaker mentioned it, everyone was all abuzz over it. It would seem that the Poken people are trying to make a big push at BlogHer this year.

  16. May 16, 2009

    Ahh, I see. Are you going to get one? I looked at them, but I don’t like the designs. It’s not something I would get ordinarily but I’m wondering if I “need” to get one.

  17. May 16, 2009

    Love the ABDPBT proof. Very smart. And you know? Times have changed–I got business cards from the U of C just for being a grad student. And it does somehow make me feel more legit at conferences. Too legit to quit, in fact.

  18. May 16, 2009

    Okay and I’m commenting again because I just looked at the playdate cards that you linked. Those are a little too cute, and I get your ambivalence about the whole “I’m a mommy!” identity, but I have to say, I got some family contact cards made up a few years ago when we moved to suburbia, and they are handy as hell. Around here they are called “mommy cards,” or just family cards, and I use them all the time. They just have all our names, plus our address and my email/cell, against a white picket fence. I betcha when Mini gets older, you might find them useful.

  19. May 18, 2009

    @becky, wow! That is very cool that you got business cards from them. I’m jealous. And I think you’re right about the playdate cards–once I’ve had my own business cards for a while, I probably won’t mind using them and they would be convenient.

  20. Mar 3, 2010

    Glad you liked the business card!
    Great article! I’ve done business with Mandate as well as Dependable, and their quality is very high.

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