Business Cards from one generation to another - Tiny Town
Growing up, I was lucky enough to have the experience most kids only dream of - my grandparents owned a toy store. Not just any toy store, the largest children's specialty store in the southeast and it was quite often my own personal playground of awesome: Fleishman's Tiny Town.
The store was started by my dad's parents, Herbert and Marilyn Fleishman, in 1951 in Fayetteville, NC. It's still in business today, with my dad Michael managing the store and my aunt Marcie as our buyer. You can read more about that story here.
So having grown up running around Tiny Town, volunteering to draw caricatures of customers, and other such creative pursuits, I have been really excited to play a part in writing Tiny Town's story as an adult.
A New Challenge
My dad has a background in advertising and brand marketing with experience in New York. A few months ago, he came to me wanting a fresh look for Tiny Town's business cards and refreshed branding based on their logo. You can see the refreshed branding in the new website I designed and wrote the copy for here.
Looking at business cards, you can see in the first photo the original design created by my grandfather probably 20-30 years ago. My grandfather would take this card to trade shows to communicate the size of the store to vendors and the promise of what bringing their toys and other goods into our store could hold.
Crafting the Next Chapter
The way I saw it, there was so much more story than the building itself, which is all you could get from the original design. So to tackle this project, I actually began looking at the store through a new lens, taking upwards of 300 new photographs of Tiny Town.
My overall approach was to play up the whimsical, nothing-quite-like-it atmosphere of the store. Having watched it evolve over almost three decades, I feel like I can at least start to appreciate what's special about it and how it continues to evolve into a unique place - somewhere you look forward to taking your kids and that maybe one day, they'll take their own. Such places I feel like are few and far between the in the world of Amazon Prime and others.
The cards had to feel like that experience, be inviting and fun, and feel like the amazing, long-time family owned and run business that it is.
What emerged was not one business card design, but several. Printing via moo.com, I created multiple iterations of the same card. They sit at the store now in a charming tiny wagon toy and in an interactive way, invite long-time customers and brand-new ones to "choose their own adventure" and pick the design they like best.
Each photo showcases something special, beautiful, or creative about Tiny Town.
As you see below, the design for the back is the same across all the cards but still has some fun and whimsy to it compared to its predecessor. And hey, now it's even got email listed!
I posted this project today thinking about my grandmother, Marilyn. She turned 83 yesterday and is as whimsical and fun as ever herself. Could she have imagined the story Tiny Town would have all these years, more than 6 decades ago, when her and Herbert started this business? Would she ever have thought that family would have supported it in the ways that we all have with our love, our talent, and our time?
I'm not sure, but so grateful for small businesses, family businesses, and my family. Tiny Town and the stories of the generations of children and parents will always inspire me as these chapters continue to be written with each new day.
Through Greatest Story, Annie creates compelling business cards, other collateral, new or refreshed branding, and can even write copy for your website or social media pages. For more information or questions, contact her and see the Business section of the site.