'Buying for Equality' in Kansas City: Hallmark Cards
Welcome to the second installment of the Kansas City GLBT Business Examiner's 'Buying for Equality' series in which we shine the spotlight on another company that calls KC home. Listed as number 93 on the 2008 list of Forbes 200 Largest Private Companies, Hallmark Cards, Inc. has also received a perfect 100 points on the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) Corporate Equality Index for both 2009 and 2010, making every effort to increase their already commendable score of 90 points from 2008.
Hallmark Cards has been a Kansas City mainstay since 1910 when it was founded by Joyce Clyde (J.C.) Hall as "Hall Brothers." The company formed during the postcard craze of the early 1900s, but J.C. Hall held the correct opinion that greeting cards, not postcards, would become more popular, saying that "they were more than a form of communication -- they were a social custom.”
Starting with just 4 employees creating Valentine's Day and Christmas cards, according to Hallmark's corporate website, the company quickly grew to include Holiday and everyday greeting cards, and they are even credited with the invention of modern day wrapping paper. Hallmark has grown today to include the famed Crayola company, its own cable network, the Hallmark Channel, and they are the makers of the classic children's toy, Silly Putty. They employ over 13,400 full-time people worldwide, of which about 3,700 are here in Kansas City, with about 700 artists, designers, stylists, writers, editors and photographers creating more than 18,000 new and redesigned greeting cards and related products per year. The company offers more than 65,000 products in its model line at any one time.
Hallmark Cards celebrates its 100th birthday this year (2010), and we celebrate them for their progressive non-discrimination policies, domestic partner benefits, transgender benefits, diversity training, external GLBT engagement (marketing), and internal GLBT employee support, along with their high quality products for "when you care enough to send the very best."