Monday, March 17, 2008

Business Card 101

We had luggage clean-out last week. It wasn't pretty. When we were packing for Australia and pulling pieces from our version of Fibber McGee's closet, totes, carry-ons, straps, freebies, and old travel items piled up on the floor. I couldn't believe we had accumulated so much--and managed to get it into one closet--until we returned and I stuffed it all back in. Except now, the door wouldn't close.

Guilt took over and I spent one afternoon rummaging through a 25 year collection of travel gear. Large, small, under the seat, in the overhead, wheels, no wheels... whew! It was practically a museum collection. All this activity then culminated with going through the other luggage stash also. (Yes, we have two places to hide oversized and little-used items and I'm not proud of the fact.) This ended with a carload of merchandise going to the secondhand store. That I'm proud of.

But in opening all these pieces, I found a few surprises, some of which I could have done without. Travel size toiletries (really old toothpaste, anyone?), flaking soap, so many hotel shower caps I started throwing them away, multiple packages of travel Kleenex and crumbling breath mints. I also found my old business cards.

I can't say they've evolved into high art (quite the contrary), but my first ones are decidedly different from what I have now. Why I never thought to save examples, I don't know. I have to consider these a gift and a trip into the past.

The first is purple and green and professionally made for the 1997 RWA conference in Orlando. I was a Golden Heart Finalist and I proudly state so on the card. I gave my home address and phone number, something I no longer do, and while it was pretty, it was bit difficult to read.

Number two to surface was plainer and easier on the eyes. I had a publisher (now defunct) by then and their name and logo is on the front as well as the title of my first book. Address and phone number are still there.

By the third example, the address and phone are gone. I have three books published, my publisher has changed names (still became defunct), and I have a website. Plus, these I did myself. With information changing so rapidly, it no longer made sense to invest in a large number.

I think there's another one running around between example three and the current day. I don't know where it is, but I think I spied another pile of tote bags under the guest bed. Maybe I've found my cache.

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