Please excuse the extreme delay between my last post, introducing our Empathy Cards, and this one, talking about the insane trip that was the Empathy Cards release. There were about two months there where I felt like I was living in a montage from Bright Lights, Big City. Everything was happening in fast-forward, and I was responding to so many things and talking to so many people and hearing so many stories and freaking out so many times a day that I wasn't even really able to process what was going on until it was over. Which really didn't happen until a week or two ago.
I honestly don't really have the words for how grateful, humbled and honored I am that something we made touched the lives of so many people. I realize that "touched the lives" is a stupid cliche, but that's what happened. The media picked up the story and ran with it, and I honestly lost count of how many places we were featured. "I never thought I'd end up on NPR" is a sentence that seems silly to write, because OF COURSE I NEVER THOUGHT THAT. Who thinks that?
The thing I was the most proud of, though, was that even with all the media coverage, the majority of our site visitors came from people's personal Facebook pages. That meant the cards and their message resonated so much with people that everyone was sharing them organically. I mean, it doesn't get any better than that. Not even when a TV stylist makes you a special appointment at a celebrity bra fitting place, so you can go on Good Morning America wearing something other than a Target bra from 2010.
If you missed this segment, you can click above to check it out. Robin Roberts was very nice.
We were blown away by the thousands of emails, social media messages, and letters we received from patients, survivors, caregivers, and friends/family of people going through illness or loss. I feel very lucky to have heard so many people's personal stories (and if you emailed us and somehow didn't hear back, I sincerely apologize).
I'd never claim to be changing the world by making greeting cards when there are people out there working at Doctors Without Borders, but I have to say it was incredibly rewarding to hear how one of those cards helped two people connect, or made a sick person laugh, or made a survivor feel like his or her feelings were normal. The first card I ever made was designed to help people find the right words for an awkward relationship, and I think my work is most successful when it makes people say OH MY GOD ME TOO. So I was really happy when a lot of the media coverage used the cards as a jumping-off point to discuss how we talk about illness in general (or don't talk about it); this conversation was our bigger goal in all this, because the more we're aware of this issue, the more we can support each other through our inevitable hard times.
Thank you all so much for all your support, shares, emails, suggestions, feedback, comments, and willingness to share your stories with us. There will be more Empathy Cards added as we release new products (our next release will be in early January), and there are some other, related projects potentially happening that I can't talk about quite yet. But it's all pretty exciting, and it's been a crazy couple of months. Thanks for hanging in through the craziness.
P.S. Next week, I'll be posting about all the OTHER changes that have happened around our office since May. Semi-spoiler alert: there are many of them.