CHICAGO (CBS) — A Black-owned greeting card company has struck up a partnership with Jewel-Osco – becoming the first independent and Black-owned greeting card line to do so in the store chain’s 100-year history.
Lavenderpop Greeting Cards will be rolled out at 10 Jewel-Osco locations in Chicago and the suburbs.
Lavenderpop creator Otis Richardson is an artist and nationally-published illustrator based in Washington Park, and is behind all the greeting card designs for the company. Richardson’s paintings have also been exhibited in exhibitions sponsored by Stone Arts Supply, Stony Island Arts Bank, the Hyde Park Arts Center, and the Museum of Science and Industry.
His illustrations have also been seen in Sophisticates Black Hair Care magazine, the book “Out and Proud in Chicago,” and the Windy City Times LGBTQ-oriented newspaper. Richardson’s recent drawing of house music DJ Frankie Knuckles appeared in the fundraising color book for the Chicago Reader.
The Lavenderpop partnership was launched amid a renewed call for support, justice, and economic development for the Black community, particularly given issues of police brutality and systemic racism.
“I think it’s great that corporations and the public are being very intentional about supporting Black businesses. I want people to know that my deal with Jewel-Osco was confirmed in 2019, so Jewel was actually ahead of the game when it comes to supporting me as a Black entrepreneur,” Richardson said in a news release. “The executives at Jewel-Osco have been fantastic in assisting me through the process of becoming a certified vendor. The store managers and staff have really welcomed the card line and offered me a lot of support and encouragement.”
Richardson said his greeting cards feature Chicago-themed designs such as birthday cards based on Chicago-style hot dogs, Chicago mix popcorn, and house music.
Lavenderpop Greeting Cards will either be displayed in the floral section or the greeting card section in a standalone spinner rack in the following Jewel-Osco stores:
• 7530 S. Stony Island Ave., Chicago;
• 17705 S. Halsted St., Homewood;
• 3153 W. 183rd St., Homewood;
• 11730 S. Marshfield Ave., Chicago;
• 1220 S. Ashland Ave., Chicago;
• 87 W. 87th St, Chicago;
• 1655 E. 95th St., Chicago;
• 9400 S. Ashland Ave., Chicago;
• 443 E. 34th St., Chicago;
• 7036 Roosevelt Rd., Oak Park.