Instead of holiday notes that your loved ones might stick to the fridge for a week before chucking, Boston-based Lovepop peddles 3D pop-up cards that fuse sculpture, science and surprise. The cardmaker added a new dimension to the greeting card industry when it debuted in 2014, and now you can find the cards online and at specialty boutiques and retailers nationwide. Those Boston spots include South Station, a new CambridgeSide pop-up and Lovepop’s latest permanent kiosk in the Prudential Center, which opened earlier this month.
Despite its rapid expansion, the company didn’t pop up as easily as its products. Founders Wombi Rose and John Wise first landed on each other’s radars while they were studying naval architecture and later found inspiration during a Harvard Business School trip to Vietnam when they stumbled upon a street vendor’s handmade cards that boasted origami and paper-cutting techniques. Lovepop gained a boost from the Harvard Innovation Lab in late 2014, hooked a $300,000 investment from Kevin “Mr. Wonderful” O’Leary during a 2015 appearance on TV’s Shark Tank and, earlier this year, snagged another $12 million in funding.
The design team fields more than 100,000 customer suggestions each year to help them dream up new designs. Just in time for the holidays, you can find intricate menorahs, bottles of bubbly and a biker Santa. And new this year are two-foot Christmas trees with 50 separate metallic ornaments for those who want to spare themselves the hassle of vacuuming dried pine needles.
“We live for the reactions of our customers,” Rose says. “We love when people have that awesome ‘wow’ moment.”