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New Card Isle approach focuses on new collaboration

Card Isle is turning to another page.

The Blacksburg-based company that specializes in on-demand personalized greeting cards is collaborating with 1-800-FLOWERS.COM Inc., a leading provider of giftable items such as gourmet foods, gift baskets, floral products and personalized keepsake items.

BloomNet, a floral wire service and a 1-800-FLOWERS subsidiary, is offering its members exclusive access to Card Isle’s product via the collaboration, according to a recent announcement.

Stephan Sabo, one of Card Isle’s co-founders, said orders are placed on the 1-800-FLOWERS online platform, which partners with local florists to provide the products. He said Card Isle’s greeting cards are available with those floral gifts.

The collaboration with 1-800-FLOWERS marks one of the latest developments at Card Isle, which is currently based at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center and was founded during the early- to mid-2010s by a trio of Virginia Tech engineering students.

Card Isle made a name for itself via a network of strategically placed kiosks that customers used to design and print their own cards. The company touted its platform as a way to more conveniently and efficiently sell greeting cards.

Among the company’s early successes was being selected in 2015 to take part in a competitive accelerator program out of San Antonio.

About two years ago, the company began stepping away from the kiosks and shifted its attention to places with high online traffic. The company has pointed to challenges with logistics and hardware costs as among the reasons for the change.

“We had to really take a look at things,” Sabo said. “We were lucky that this business model works. Our technology was already developed.”

Gates Flowers & Gifts in Christiansburg was the first place where Card Isle began its shift. For example, when Gates customers checkout online, they’re presented with an option to add a greeting card to the order. If they select that option, they’re taken to a platform where they pick artwork or upload their own photo for the cover and type their own message.

To learn more, check out the whole article below.