WE'RE LOVING: Unusual Occasion Cards


1. How + when did you get your start?

Unusual Occasion Cards launched the pointed wit line in 2001, at The National Stationery Show in NY, winning "Best in Show". It has been in production for 17 years, having expanded from the original 28 styles to 100 today.

2. Where do you draw inspiration from?

We exist, to some extent, outside the typical greeting card industry, in that, the concept is profound; not marketing to trends or seasonal merchandise. The cards are "rebus" like, combining a picture with a word to form a modern slang that reflects popular culture. The graphics stem from classroom educational learning charts. On each card back, the pointed wit line is described as "nostalgic visual with a modern twist". The theme is carried thru with use of vintage handwriting tableture lines on the inside of the cards, and the custom report card style envelopes.

3. Why did you choose Austin, TX?

UOC is based in Austin, Texas and functions in a building separate from my home, but still as a home office. Austin is an oasis in our state. It's grown dramatically, but all the while, keeping creativity, diversity, music, art and progressive thinking as our mission and making "keep Austin weird" our motto. Unusual Occasion Cards fits that bill, we think!

There is a feeling here that some might call "laid back", others even say "slacker". The comfort, ease and livability, on the surface make Austin an attractive place to live and visit for sure. One shouldn't be fooled though into thinking there isn't a greater force stirring below. We exist on The Balcones Fault Line. I'm convinced that just as certain types of animals are drawn to fault lines, people are too! There's a synergy that connects this place and people.

4. Describe your perfect vacation

My perfect vacation is is a place where the potential is great to connect to the people and place visited. The goal is to be more visitor or guest than tourist. My idea of a vacation is to be where I can do as much or as little as I please...

5. What do you like to do in your free time?

I'm not sure I have free time! I love to cook and bake. I'm a sucker for all kinds of party, paper and ephemera, collecting tons of stuff like that over the years. In addition to the card line, people hire me to do specialty branding, invitations and such. When Laura Bush was first Lady, I did her birthday luncheon invitation. That piece is in The Library of Congress.

6. What is your ideal style?

I'm often pinned as retro. Honestly, my focus has always been more about the relevance of things. Both can be equally fascinating to me; good taste and bad taste. I published an article for Texas Monthly in 1978, titled "Art Yucko" exploring Post Modern American Consumerism. My own personal style is somewhat eclectic with always a modern edge.


Kevin O'Shea