BLACKSBURG — Stephan Sabo, David Henry and Adam Donato wanted to go as far as they could with a business idea they initially conceived for a class assignment at Virginia Tech nearly two years ago.
Inside a Card Isle kiosk is a high-end art printer and computer. On the outside, there’s a touch-screen, a place to swipe a credit card and a slot that dispenses the final product.
The artwork for the cards is created by local artists who collect a small percentage of royalty each time a card with one of their pictures is bought. One benefit Card Isle hopes to create is exposure for the local artists who put their work on the greeting cards, Henry said.Buyers can write their own message, but Card Isle also offers its own suggestions.
Card Isle’s founders say the business aims to provide alternatives to the many generic messages found in typical card aisles.
The hand-delivered greeting card industry is still very lucrative, despite the introduction of Web cards more than a dozen years ago, Henry said.