Valentine’s Day cards have been shared in Europe for centuries, but the American tradition of sending Valentine’s Day cards was pioneered by one innovative and creative young woman. Esther Howland, “The Mother of the American Valentine,” was inspired by an ornate English valentine she received shortly after graduating from college in 1847. Determined to make beautiful valentines of her own, she ordered paper lace and floral embellishments from England, created a few samples and was overwhelmed by the volume of orders placed at her family’s Massachusetts stationery shop.
Operating during the height of the golden age of valentines from 1840-1860, Esther grew her business from a small valentine production line in her family’s home to full-blown flourishing and in 1879, The New England Valentine Company was created. Her business thrived until she retired in 1881, when she sold it to the George C. Whitney Company. Esther’s highly intricate and romantic paper lace designs, as well as many others, set Valentine’s Day cards trends in America for over thirty years.
Image courtesy of Donna Albino, http://www.mtholyoke.edu/~dalbino/
At Wedding Paper Divas we’re inspired by Esther’s dedication to creativity, romance and above all, innovation. As a modern tip of the hat to our pioneering, visionary sister, our state-of-the-art personalization options allow you to make our Valentine’s Day designs your unique cards. Newlyweds and couples can easily customize a quick, heartfelt thank you note to loved ones or transform a valentine design into a moving or marriage announcement.
With the Sweet Paisley Valentine Red Photo Card, choose to keep “Happy Valentine’s Day” at the top but incorporate “Your wedding date” where the family member names are. Like Esther Howland’s exclusive paper lace creations, our personalization options and designs combined with your sentiments and style offer the perfect opportunity to create your own exclusive and indelible Valentine’s Day card trends.