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postcard collections and postcard design-by Manu

Successful business with postcards in Romania

Some people who are passionate for postcards reach a point when they decide to turn the passion into a business. And some of them are doing good business with postcards. Their stories are successful stories and might even inspire other postcard passionates to start a small business.

Now I will show you a successful story what happened in Oradea – Romania, the city where I lived before.

 

Adrian Samoilă and his postcards

I remember when once… years ago, I’ve walked through the Oradea’s city center. There, I saw a stylish cargo bike with a mobile stand. At that stand, different postcards about Oradea were exhibited and sold. I’ve never seen so stylish postcards about Oradea before. This was one of the postcards, now it belongs to my collection:

old_oradea01

It represents a part of the Oradea’s city center, between the two World Wars. By the way, the steel bridge from the back doesn’t exists anymore. It was destroyed during the WWII and later, a new concrete bridge was built close to it.

Even the postcards based on actual photos have an own style:

oradea_artistic01

By the way, this photo was taken from the concrete bridge, which I have mentioned above.

I have searched for details and I realised that the postcards were produced by Adrian Samoilă, who has developed a business from his passion. I’ve tried once even to get hired to his studio, but I wasn’t accepted. But I’ve continued to buy his postcard collections.

In 2004, when Adrian was just a student at the Faculty of Arts, he has got an idea to create original postcards about Oradea city. He had the feeling that the citizens from Oradea don’t realise the beauty of that town. There are many historical buildings, the city has a rich cultural and historical heritage. But the local people, in the day-by-day life, they have forgotten to see the beauty of the city,

Then, Adrian began his project, starting from old postcards about Oradea, from the interwar period, and he has edited them using the modern technologies (image editing on image editor softwares). To be original, he had included different figures on the images: a little boy who smiles behind a photo camera (as you can see above), young girls, a white cat, stands with sellers from those times, etc. And, not at least, the old cars, old trams. All these postcards about the old Oradea, are grouped in a set called : La belle epoque.

Another set contains the postcards which show Oradea nowadays. But Adrian didn’t stop only at Oradea. Further, he has realised a postcard set about Sibiu nowadays:

sibiu_actual_podminc

and the postcard sets which shows the medieval towns from Transylvania, as they looked in the middle age.

 

This is a postcard about Sighișoara:

sighisoara_medievala_maxi

 

And Sibiu in the middle age:

sibiu_medieval01

All these „medieval” postcards were inspired from old drawings.

The small busines has grown, and it has more future plans.

 

I posted here some of the Adrian’s postcards which belong to my collection. However, there are much more postcards and more future projects.  The portofolio might be seen at this webpage: http://bornintransylvania.ro/portofoliu.

 

 

Tips for finding good postcards. Online and offline

If you are reading this article, I’m sure that you have got bored from the many ordinary postcards which you can find at the closest post office, in your town. You are looking to achieve better quality postcards, or postcards with stylish design, or about some themes. Nowadays, the stylish vintage postcards are so appreciated and more and more collectors want to get vintage postcards. Maybe you are looking for some thematical postcards, but there are no such postcards at the post office.

The postcard market has moved on the internet, that’s true, but not totally true! I will get you some tips to find good postcards on the internet, but first let’s explore the off-line world, the real world. It is true that it takes more time and investigation to find a place (off-line) where you can buy good postcards. On the other hand, buying postcards from the off-line market requires searching, travelling, and as a bonus, you may meet new people and build new contacts. The fact that I like at the off-line postcard market is that you have to search deeper in your city and other cities and that makes the hobby more interesting, more exciting.

So let’s get start.

 

Where can you find good postcards off-line

Go to the museums. When have you been last time at a museum? A museum is not just a building with a permanent exhibition inside. Nowadays, the museums make the best to offer interesting souvenirs to the visitors and… even postcards. The museums offer a variety of postcards, even thematic postcards. However, the museums can offer better postcards than the post offices. Last time when I bought from a museum was yesterday, when I went to Croatia, with my job. The organisers offered the lunch for us, in a restaurant which is established in an old castle, and on the other side, face to face with the restaurant is a museum. So, during the lunch breack, I went to the museum and I saw there a large veriety of postcards: from real photos, to drawings, different themes. I bought this postcard from the museum:

 zrinyi_castle_cakovec 

Besides the postcards based on real photos, I like so much the postcards based on monochrome drawings. Like that one. By the way, the postcard represents the Zrinski Castle from Čakovec, Croatia. I have to mention that at the museums, the postcards are more expensive than at the post offices!

 

Explore the book shops. The book shops are like a kind of… surprise rooms! Besides the books, the bookshops use to sell different souvenirs as well. Search for the bookshops in your town, and explore them! Spend time at a bookshop to search for postcards. You may be surprised on what did you find there! And also, when you are in a new town/city, search for bookshops to buy postcards from.

 

Antiques shops. That is exactly as at the bookshops is. Go to an antiques shop and explore around. Sometimes you can get very attractive offers. Once I was on an antiques shop in Rzeszów, Poland. I found there postcards older than 100 years, at a low price. There I’ve bought this postcard from:

acropole_01

There is no such rule that in the antiques shops the postcards are cheap. It depends on the postcard’s age, how rare is, and… on the shop. That’s why you should explore more antiques shops, to find the best offer for you and … for your wallet.

 

On the touristical attractions. There are various touristical attractions: maybe a town center, maybe a cathedral, maybe a building and so on. Visit the town center or the streets which are most visited by the tourist. Even in the streets you can find souvenir sellers where you can buy postcards from. And, I remember when I bought postcards from the Cathedral in Prague – Czeck Republic and from the Stephansdom Cathedral in Vienna, Austria. Are you sure that you know all the touristical attractions in your town and in the surroundings? Have you explored all of them?

 

At the hotels. Not every hotel sells postcards to the visitors. Maybe the most of them don’t sell. As I remember, I have found just two hotels which had postcard for sale. And one more, which had very ordinary postcards. Maybe that’s not the best idea to explore each hotel and guesthouse from your town and from the surroundings. Use this tip rather when you are planning to travel somewhere.

 

Visit different fairs. The fairs give you a great opportunity to look for postcards. There you can find even rare old postcards, from professional collectors. Professional collectors? Yes, there is a chance to meet them, to buy from them, even to ask from them, to get tips from them. I have visited more fairs and there, besides the postcards which I’ve bought, I’ve got business cards from the sellers, so I have their contacts to keep in touch with them. The fairs are excellent place to find good postcards, even old postcards, even new stylish, vintage postcards. Apart from this, there you can build relations with the professional collectors.

 

These were the off-line places where you can buy good postcards, better then what the post offices offer to you. Now, let’s go further to the online market.

 

Where can you find good postcards on-line

I observed that the online world is not just a market for buying (ordering) postcards, it’s also a mrket where you can swap postcards. If you have a postcard and you want to change it for another one, then you have better chances to do it online.

www.postcrossing.com – is probably the most popular website for postcard sharings. If you don’t know how the system works, I’ll explain you: create an account. Next, you will see your profile on the webpage. You will see on the profile a link: send a postcard. Follow the instructions and you will get a random address where you have to send a postcard. If you send a postcard to a member, another member will send a postcard for you. The more postcards you send, the more postcards you will receive from other members from all-over the world. I like postcrossing so much, through this site I received postcards from various countries. And also, on postcrossing you can find members interested in direct swapping, from all-over the world. That’s amazing!! I’ve got many postcards from Brasil, from a member interested in direct swaps. And once, I was interested to obtain a postcard from Chernivtsi, Ukraine. Through postcrossing, I’ve found a member from Chernivtsi who has sent me a stylish postcard. So, explore the postcrossing.com website for more beautiful experiences!

 

www.postcardunited.com – this site is very similar to the postcrossing and it uses the same system. You may try this as well.

Join the Facebook groups. Just type in the search box the words „postcard” „swap”, and you will get more groups where you can swap postcards.

Sites where you can buy postcards:

You can find postcards on e-bay, or by searching on Google. There are many sites where you can order postcards, just search for them on Google. I will write just one more site, where I used to order postcards from:

www.delcampe.de – This is a German site, but it has also an English version. It contains a large variety of postcards, from all the times, all-over the world.

 

Conclusion

If you have a passion, go for it, follow it. In our case, the postcard collecting is about travelling and searching. Now you can go to search according to the tips. I hope you will find nice postcards and I’m waiting to read (below, in a comment) your experiences.

If you know other sources for postcards, please write them in a comment!

See you soon

Manu

 

Interesting and unusual postcards 2

Hello and welcome to the „interesting and unusual postcards” series. In this article I will show you another interesting postcard.

I’ve scanned the postcard, and normally, it looks like this:

cluj_10pin1

Do you see something in the middle?

In the middle, this postcard has a kind of „pocket”. If you open the pocket, you will find another photos. By the way, the postcard, with all the photos inside, is from Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

And here is the postcard, unfolded:

DSCF3685

DSCF3684

And closer:

DSCF3686

And… why not, I will show you the back of the postcard:

cluj_10pin1_back

 

That was the „surprise” for today, and I hope you liked 🙂 If you have also an interesting or unusual postcard in your collection, let me know! Maybe the next article will be about your postcard!

See you next time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A successful story with postcards, from Moldova

I use to look everywhere around and search the internet to find new and useful information about postcard making, collecting, and others. One of my searches leaded me to a successful story, from Moldova.

Postcard business example in Moldova

First, let’s see where is Moldova. That’s a small country, in Eastern Europe, between Romania and Ukraine. During the WWI, the Romanians took Moldova back from the Russians, and they have attached it to Romania. During the WWII, the Russians took Moldova from Romanians and the Russians have included it in the Soviet Union. In 1991, after the fall of USSR, Moldova became an independent country. The majority of the Moldavian people have voted against the unifying with Romania, so since then, Moldova remained a small independent country.  The capital of Moldova is Kishinev (Chișinău).

Ok, enough with the geography and history lesson. Now let’s go to the story with postcards.

In Kishinev, lives the Crani familly who began a small business from postcard designing. Anna Crani is a postcrossing member and she likes to send representatives postcards for Moldova. The problem was that she couldn’t find easilly representative postcards for Moldova, for Moldavian traditions. Then, Anna together with her husband Stepan Crani, have decided to design their own postcards. Stepan is architect from proffession and he makes the drawings. By time, the Crani familly turned the hobby for postcard making, into a small business.

The postcards made by Crani familly are based on drawings, they contain traditional Moldavian food recipes explained in a funny way, or a representative figure for Moldova. Their first postcards have been sold during a local fair, and later on, they have sold postcards through bookshops, and even through a webshop.

Here is the webshop where you can find the Crani familly’s postcards: http://shop.marawoman.org/collections/monstrcards

„Due to the fact that nowadays is easier to write or send a greeting card through e-mail or social media, where you can even add an image, many people see in the printed greeting cards an echo from the past. I’m sorry that it happens. Only a greeting card with image and some words written by the sender’s hand offer more special feelings to you.” – said Anna Crani.

The Crani familly produces greeting cards as well, which you can find on the same webpage: http://shop.marawoman.org/collections/monstrcards

The goal of this article was not to advertise a business. My goal was just to bring an inspirational story to you, a story about how can you make money from postcards. For sure, there will be more successful stories on this blog.

What happens if you tell about your hobby to the others?

Nice to see you again!

As I wrote somewhere earlier, I collect postcards for over than 10 years. As I remember, I bought my first postcard for the collection in 2000, when I was in a trip to Sighisoara, Romania. In 2003 or 2004… I don’t remember exactly, I have visited a postcard exhibition in Timisoara, the city where I lived. That exhibition was an inspiration point, and a strong stimulus to develop my hobby.

Since I use to collect postcards, I have met many interesting people, I have learned about new places, new facts, and more ideas… even ideas for the smal business which I plan. So, you can see where can you drive a hobby, if you are open minded. But what I want to mention is about when I have spoken about this hobby to the others.

It was written in a book about succes, that when you have a real passion, you will tel to the others about it. And the others will listen to you, ‘cause they will be attracted by your charisma. But what happened in reallity? Not everyone was curious about my passion for postcard collecting and making, but since I have spoken about this passion, I have met people who offered me postcards (great!) and helped me to make my first postcard series (so great!).

Today, I have got some postcards from England, and one from Malta. All of them were sent from England, from my colleague’s daughter, who lives there.

postcards from England and Malta

Thank you, Melinda for these wonderful postcards!

And you can see what happens when you communicate and speak loud about the postcard collecting hobby.

Do you have a similar story? Please leave me a comment with your story, your experiences when you have told about your passion to the others.

See you next time!

Manu

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