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Bridging cultures through greeting cards

CCTV.com

08-26-2016 12:52 BJT

Full coverage: G20 Hangzhou Summit

The company Monikards sells Chinese holiday-themed cards. But what's surprising is the Mexican-American face behind it. Through artful designs, the startup attempts to bridge western and eastern cultures.

When Monica Le Baron first arrived in China, she fell in love with the country’s culture. Which is why she has founded a greeting card company that uses Chinese symbols and characters next to its English messages.

"The characters are amazing. Each character tells you a story. And like every character, it is artistic, they have such a powerful impact on people’s life," Baron said.
 
Two years ago, the company was launched, selling unique greeting cards through its website and in shops in Mexico and the U.S.

Like many startups, her company has been slow to gain a foothold in the markets outside of China but that doesn’t discourage her. -- Especially since she has had to do almost everything on herself.

"It requires you to have a lot of hats and not only have a great idea but also have the patience to continue on it every time…You have to be everything, the photographer and the marketer," Baron said.

But it’s not just greeting card companies with a Chinese twist that have a problem expanding globally. According to one analyst, companies big and small need to carefully study the market before launching their products.

"The opportunities are there but again you have to be very clear about the respective markets. And you have to topicalize the goods and applications services to their respective demands. This has been a very difficult and expensive learning process for Chinese firms," Dr. Enrique Dussel Peterw with National Autonomous University of Mexico said.

Some of the profits from Le Baron’s greeting card company will soon go to a new foundation she is establishing that will mentor young kids. It will also help fund trips for children to experience life in other countries. Like her greeting cards, she hopes the foundation will be a bridge to other cultures.

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