Our story begins in 1910, when 18-year-old Joyce Clyde Hall stepped off a train in Kansas City, Mo., with nothing but two shoeboxes of postcards under his arm. He had little money – not even enough to take a horse-drawn cab to his lodgings at the YMCA – but he had an entrepreneurial spirit and the determination of a pioneer. Hall quickly made a name for himself with the picture postcards he sold.
Rollie Hall joined his brother in business, and the company was named Hall Brothers. On Jan. 11, 1915, a fire destroyed their office and inventory. They took the only salvageable item – their safe – and set up shop again. With $17,000 in debt, they decided to press onward. As postcard sales declined, they recognized the public’s desire for more privacy in their communication, so they started offering high-quality valentines and Christmas cards mailed in envelopes. The fateful fire resulted in the decision to buy printing presses and begin producing their own greeting cards in 1915.