It was a catalog from a scrapbooking company that launched Cindy VanMeter's growing business in Burke.
VanMeter started her career as a secretary, and took time off to raise her first child at age 31. After her second child was born, she began working at Lake Braddock Secondary School as a clinic room aide but then had to quit to take care of her elderly mother.
Like many women, VanMeter found that between working, raising kids, and taking care of family members, she was unable to make the time to pursue outside interests, like stamping.
About six years ago, VanMeter said, a close friend retired and began working for Stampin’ Up, a company that sells scrapbooking and crafting supplies. VanMeter’s friend sent her the Stampin’ Up catalogue, and she was hooked.
VanMeter purchased supplies and started making cards for friends, and branched out to holiday cards. Soon after, she founded Cindy's Custom Cards from her home in Burke.
VanMeter makes cards for a wide variety of occasions, from 'thank you' cards to cards congratulating new Eagle Scouts. Her cards are all handmade, hand-stamped or computer generated. She uses photos given to her by clients to make blank cards.
VanMeter enjoys making cards and considers it an outlet for creativity, a chance to escape from everyday worries.
“It’s totally absorbing,” VanMeter said. “You cannot think about or worry about anything else. It’s very fun to create cards.”
VanMeter’s big passion is making holiday cards. VanMeter sells Christmas cards, Kwanzaa cards, Hanukkah cards, and winter-themed cards. Her handmade cards with snowmen are popular, and are very labor intensive.
“It’s an outlet for creativity and the satisfaction of making a beautiful card and having someone say, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s a wonderful card, I have to keep it,’ is special,” she said.
To learn more or inquire about ordering cards, email firstname.lastname@example.org.