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Swinging Success: The Quilled Charm of 4U Designs

Since its establishment in 2020, 4U Designs has swiftly carved a niche in the golf industry with its innovative approach to greeting cards. Founded by Nancy Hamson, the company was born out of a serendipitous moment when Nancy stumbled upon the art of quilling. Harnessing her background in stationary and fueled by a passion for creativity, Nancy’s vision seamlessly merged quilling with her love for golf, resulting in a delightful array of 3-D quilled cards. With a steadfast belief in the enduring power of tangible connections, 4U Designs continues to captivate hearts and spread cheer through its unique line of greeting cards.

AGM: What inspired the founding of your company?

NH: Believe it or not, the COVID pandemic! While in lock-down and going stir crazy I knew I needed something to keep me sane. I came across an art called quilling and ordered a kit that included small greeting cards and quilling instructions. Before COVID, I held a part-time job at The Paper Store, and became familiar with different card styles on the market that they carry.  Interestingly, sports-themed cards are a rarity. My aha moment put quilling and golf cards together and that’s how 4U Designs was born.

4U Designs golf-themed cards

AGM: What’s been your biggest learning experience in the golf industry?

NH: The PGA Show in 2022. I decided that to truly know whether greeting cards were viable for the industry, I had to test it out. “Go big or go home” kind of moment. Happy to say that one of your AGM members walked by my booth and said, “You need to join AGM and do notecards.” I joined at the PGA Show and the rest is “history in the making.”  

AGM: Can you explain the design process behind your products?

NH: I wish I could say I have the talent of the artist that has become my brand. By adding quilling and now beading, the cards have a 3-D effect so I guess you could say I’m enhancing his images. The inside sayings are quotes that I’ve found to be perfectly paired with the illustration.  To keep the line fresh, I’m always on the look out for new quotes and work closely with the artist to offer new designs.

AGM: How has digital transformation affected your business model?

NH: Call me ‘old-fashioned’ but I don’t think a text or email conveys the same emotion when someone receives a card or a tangible gift. Yes, it’s easier and quicker but there’s nothing like holding a card and reading the inside message to know that someone is thinking of you. 

AGM: How do you support golf retailers in marketing and selling your products?

NH: It’s not about what I have to sell. It’s what your members/customers want to buy. I encourage you to look at the images and the sayings that are available and then contemplate what would resonate with your client base. A perfect example of this is a conversation I had with a club in Florida. The buyer mentioned that there are a number of blonde members and that the outfit colors needed to reflect more southern colors. Working with the artist and getting feedback from the buyer we were able to create something specific to her clientele.

AGM: Can you discuss a partnership or collaboration that significantly impacted your brand?  

NH: My collaboration with the artist continues to evolve. Golf course facilities continue to expand and with pickleball taking over the sports world, many are building pickleball courts.  I’ve been asked a lot to offer pickleball but that wasn’t something he had in production. I worked with him by looking at some of his designs and asked him to make them pickleball specific. So now in addition to golf, we have tennis and pickleball greeting and notecards!

AGM: What feedback from a retailer has significantly influenced a product redesign or improvement?

NH: Retailing is a two-way street and I find it refreshing when I get questions that start with a ‘what if’?  Probably the best example is “you need to do notecards” and “you need to do pickleball.” I have been asked about holiday-themed cards and am working with the artist to come up with some designs.

AGM: Can you share a piece of advice for golf retailers looking to thrive in today’s market?

NH: Don’t be afraid to take risks and ask your customers what they’d like to see in your shop. I love the idea of a Sip-and-Shop night for your customers bringing in local artisans in a relaxed atmosphere in support of your community. Perhaps your chef could do a hands-on cooking demonstration. Think outside the box on how you can engage with your customers.

AGM: How do you educate retailers and their staff about your products?

NH: It’s a work in progress. My products are very different and may not be a fit for some retailers. Space is always an issue and that’s why I say start small and see whether these products appeal to your customer base. It’s also about exposure. Regional shows are on my to-do list. 

AGM: What message would you like to leave with AGM members about your brand and products?

NH: 4U Designs is evolving and with your help and feedback the products can be representative of your club and its members. I look forward to working with you to create a unique card or towel! We all need a little humor in our busy lives. These cards can help spread the cheer!

AGM members are encouraged to learn more about 4U Designs and explore their delightful stationary further. Visit their website at https://4udesignsonline.com/ or contact Nancy Hamson at nancyhamson1@gmail.com to stock up your shop, order custom pieces, or receive more information.

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