Open Me

On a recent visit to Amplify, one of American’s startup accelerator partners, Innovators met the crew from Open Me.

Open Me is a new personalized greeting card company seeking to reignite thoughtfulness in the digital age. The company’s fresh approach is impressive. Innovators chatted with CEO Ilya Pozin to learn more.

Innovators: Tell us about Open Me.
Ilya Pozin: Open Me is a one-stop shop for personalized greeting cards from your heart to your loved one’s mailbox. People can forget about heading down the dreaded card aisle, trying to find a stamp or going to the post office. We’ve partnered with crowdsourcing-giant Threadless to hand-curate the best cards for every occasion. Open Me makes it simple to send and share thoughtful sentiments through email or with a real card delivered directly to someone’s mailbox. It’s easy to use. Just choose a design and font, add a message, upload a photo or two and pass it along for signatures. Our social signing technology allows the same card to be signed by anyone anywhere, so you can literally pass your card around the Internet.

I: How do you know each other and how did you end up doing business together?
I.P.: I founded Open Me with longtime friends Matt Winnick and Omri Agam. We’ve collaborated on ventures in the past, so I knew we’d work well together. I met Jake Nickell, the CEO of Threadless, through an entrepreneur organization. I told him the idea of Open Me and he loved it! We’ve provided Threadless with a completely new vertical of product for their brand. Their artist community of over 200,000 designers now have an additional canvas for all their amazing work.

Open Me is offering unlimited free e-cards for American customers. Visit www.openme.com/aa for more details.

I: Where did the idea for Open Me come from?
I.P.: As an entrepreneur, father and husband, I struggled to find quality time to spend with family and friends. As my Twitter name, @ilyaneversleeps suggests, I am a busy man. After getting in some serious trouble with the wife for forgetting our anniversary, I knew I had to come up with an easier way to be thoughtful and stay out of the doghouse. With that, Open Me was born. 

Store-bought cards seemed a bit stale. I knew with amazing designs and social features, Open Me could really change the way people go about being thoughtful. We help you use technology in a way that makes life easier and leaves more time with family and friends.

I: What makes Open Me different from other e-card services?
I.P.: Since Open Me is backed by the Threadless community, it gives consumers card options they wouldn’t find elsewhere. That means no more lame card aisles filled with boring ink and pulp. These unique and completely personalizable cards give you the option to customize by adding photos, a variety of handwriting fonts, and even the option to ʻpass the card aroundʼ to be signed by others. Our eCards are free and high-quality printed cards can be mailed to your recipient’s door for $4!

I: What’s on the horizon for Open Me?
I.P.: Inspired by my own mistakes (forgetting my anniversary), I wanted to find a way to protect others from going through the same thing [laughs]. No one likes the feeling of forgetting an important occasion. Soon, Open Me will launch functionality to help you remember upcoming birthdays and holidays and let you schedule auto-send cards for future delivery. The year 2014 also welcomed a charity platform allowing organizations to raise money and bring awareness to their causes. It’s a priority for Open Me to not only send thoughtful, but be thoughtful. We’re a company that likes to practice our own ethos.



Chris Johnson is co-founder of Wakefield Media. Wakefield Media is one of American’s many small business partners.
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