A new company is diving to new depths to break into the holiday greeting card market.
Home Town Greetings By Hurley, a family start-up from Pittsburgh, is channeling its collective love for scuba diving into a new holiday greeting card business.?? The company has created a series of cards that features "ScubaClaus" — Santa Claus submerged underwater in scuba diving gear.?? The cards will be available for Christmas 2002.?? Home Town Greetings is expecting to expand into other greeting card categories in the future.
Beth Hurley, President and Creative Director, first conceived the idea for Christmas cards with a scuba diving Santa Claus while talking with some fellow diving diehards.
"Many dive shop owners send their customers a traditional Christmas card as a way to thank them for their patronage throughout the year, but I thought it would be fun to receive a special card just for divers," Hurley said.?? "And the more I talked to other divers about it, the more I found they thought it was a great idea.?? I also discovered that very few diving specific cards exist; I found none that utilize photography."
Hurley solicited opinions from divers across the country and found that a significant demand existed for such a unique greeting card.?? So after establishing a target market of dive shops and individual divers, Hurley set out to create the images for the cards.??
After a photo shoot on Grand Cayman Island, she returned with the images that would comprise Home Town Greetings’ product.?? The photos depict Santa Claus, with full scuba gear strapped to his red suit, diving around colorful corals and fish in picturesque blue water.?? The company has created eight different versions of the cards, each with a different photo of ScubaClaus spreading holiday cheer.
Home Town Greetings is a family affair made up of Hurley’s brothers and sisters:?? Kathi is Vice President and Creative Director; Bill is Chief Financial Officer, Jim and his wife, Lucy, and Mary Anne and her husband, Allen, are General Partners. Hurley’s friend, Ian Phillips, a scuba instructor who currently lives in Germany, took on the challenge of modeling as ScubaClaus, while Dave Read, a scuba instructor from Austin, Texas, proved to be a very patient photographer.
"We think divers will enjoy these truly unique holiday cards," Hurley said.?? "It’s something special that divers can send each other and share with their families and friends."
In addition to direct marketing, Home Town Greetings will sell cards via its Web site, www.hometowngreetings.com.?? Interested parties also can purchase Home Town Greetings cards by calling 1-800-606-8839.