A New Marketplace Takes on Hallmark and Fills a Historic Gap in the Greeting Card Industry
Business Insider | September 6, 2020
Kutenda is an online marketplace platforming cards and gifts designed by artists and entrepeneurs from marginalized groups. The marketplace hopes to normalise the portrayal of the LGBTQ+ community, the BAME community, and those who identify as disabled in greeting cards.
Founder, Avila Diana Chidume says they hope to "create a sense of belonging in a world created to not adequately provide representation." The young entrepreneur named the company after the word for "thankful" in Shona, a language spoken in her home country of Zimbabwe. Alongside cards, the marketplace also sells gifts including mugs, stationery, and bookmarks.
Chidume was motivated to create the business by the cards she received growing up. "I could never relate to, or understand why, I never got cards or gifts with Black people on them," she said, adding that the first ever birthday card she got featuring a Black person was for her 21st birthday – and it was one of her own designs from her greeting card company Avila.Diana, which she launched in response to this problem.
Chidume isn't the only person to recognize this underrepresentation in greeting cards. Nearly 60% of respondents to a GlobalData survey in 2019 agreed that card shops should offer more gender neutral designs. But Kutenda is the first of its kind to act as a marketplace for marginalized artists and entrepreneurs to showcase their products.