Card Isle Offers a New Way to Buy Greeting Cards

greeting card kiosks

Traditional greeting card shopping means going to a store and sifting through a wall of different designs. But the team at Card Isle thinks there’s a better way.

The company’s founders, Adam Donato, David Henry and Stephan Sabo, met in a class at Virginia Tech University where they were assigned the job of coming up with an idea for a new business. Sabo suggested the idea of creating greeting card kiosks for people to buy greeting cards. The team ran with it, and then continued even after the class was completed.

Thus, Card Isle was born.

The business provides more than just convenience to potential customers. Card Isle also allows the company to offer even more designs than customers can find in stores, with more customized options. And though customers can also go online to fill those needs, Donato thinks there’s still a need for Card Isle’s greeting card kiosks.

He explains to the Washington Post:

“We serve a niche that online-only greeting card providers can’t reach. We can serve customers buying one-off, last-minute cards. A kiosk is perfect — it gets you the card right when you want it.”

Currently, the team is working on getting their greeting card kiosks into grocery stores and similar locations where card shoppers are likely to be.

The one road block they’ve run into so far has been the length of time it can take to get approval from large chains. But they’ve decided to simultaneously target smaller partners while they wait on approval from the larger ones.

The company’s model has potential because of the unique way it delivers its product. But that potential can only go as far as the need.

The market for greeting cards is already well-known. But there’s also a market for greeting cards that can be both personalized and bought at the last minute. Since the other options tend to only offer one of those features or the other, Card Isle may be uniquely positioned. It just needs to be able to get its kiosks in front of the right customers. Donato says:

“This past year, we deployed 10 Card Isle kiosks in local grocery stores, independent stores, and on college campuses. We are planning to deploy 50 additional kiosks this year and we’ll continue to scale from there. To put the potential in perspective, there are more 40,000 Redbox video movie kiosks out there and the greeting card market is even bigger than the DVD rental market. There is a lot of opportunity.”

Image: Card Isle/Facebook


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

8 Reactions
  1. Great way to serve greeting cards. Sometimes, you just have to look hard enough for an existing market and once you find it, you’ll be amazed that there is profit in it no matter how small it is.

    • Very true! I’m sure there are lots of little niches like this that could use a little bit of a revamp.

  2. Are the greeting card preloaded into the kiosks similar to a Redbox or does the kiosk print the card on demand? I feel like the on-demand printing would allow for limitless selection and personalized cards.

  3. Robert, Our kiosks print the cards on demand. This encourages the customers to personalize the inside message and lets anyone offer awesome designs by signing up on our website.

    Annie, Thanks for the great coverage. Happy to follow-up on your interest in what we are offering if you would like to learn more.

  4. It is a discount card that you can buy before you come to the Isle of Wight or during your stay that will allow you to take advantage of offers, deals and discounts at participating island businesses.