In a small office on NW 23rd St. grows
an international company eager to greet the public.
Discards, located within the Kizer Design Group offices at 527
NW 23rd St., began selling greeting cards in November 1985 with a
$20,000 initial investment and a base of 25 designs.
In its first year, the firm has doubled in size and now offers
55 designs for general occasion, friendship and Christmas.
Discards has filled about 800 orders, amounting to a sales volume of
approximately $125,000, said Bill Kizer, who owns Discards with
partner Angie Minton. The cards retail individually for $1.50.
The company has established a sales force of 95 independent
representatives selling the cards to gift shops across the country.
Negotiations are underway to expand the network to New Zealand and
The idea for Discards started with an announcement of an
opening. Kizer, who also owns Kizer Design Group, designed the
invitation for a client. When the card was opened, confetti drifted
"That is how the idea got started," he said. "We (Kizer and
Minton) had the idea of going into the card business for a long
time. We were working on another idea for post cards - but junked
it to get into the confetti cards."
In a brainstorming session, Kizer and Minton narrowed their
ideas for designs down to 25, then began to build a network of sales
The 25 original designs were first shown in a catalog and sample
cards were printed for representatives to use in selling to
The network of independent sales representatives offered the
benefit of having sales people in the field, but not on the payroll,
Kizer said. Only three people are actually involved in the
management and day to day operations of Discards.
Minton said the greeting card business demands a lot of
creativity in order to stay in the market.
"The greeting card business is very competitive," she said.
"It's a fickle business. You have to keep coming up with different
ideas and the confetti card idea is different. There is nothing
else like it in the world."
The company is preparing for its second Valentine season, the
largest holiday for card giving during the peak buying season, which
runs from June to September.
"Much of the card business is based on how much you do at
Valentine's Day. It may determine how well you will do for the
year," Minton said. "We feel like it's going to be a good one."
"Last year was great even though, we had only been in business a
matter of months," Kizer said. …