From a manufacturers perspective with Susan January from Leanin’ Tree

It was so great to interview the sharp and sassy Susan January from Leanin’ Tree . Leanin’ Tree is a large national greeting card company that produces a LOT of product (1, 500 to 1, 800 new skews a year!) and Susan is a decision maker! You need to hear from her and get her perspective. I really loved to hear how the owners of Lean’ Tree are passionate about art and how supportive they are of artists. They want to see you succeed and the fact that they think like that is so nice and so refreshing. You will learn quite a bit about their production process and get a glimpse at the best way to submit art to Susan and her team. Susan is also the president of the Greeting Card Association and the mother of twin girls and a boy (Wow!) AND she does it all in high heels, priceless!

You can  keep up with Leanin Tree on Facebook here.

P.S. Forgive my rant about photo Christmas cards! Oh my!

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  • It’s so wonderful to see Susan January on Smart Creative Women!

    My husband Drew and I toured Leanin’ Tree’s facility in Boulder Colorado last November. It is an amazing tribute to art and you can see their dedication; they have a beautiful sculpture garden outdoors and an impressive art gallery inside.

    We met with Susan and her team there, and were so excited to sign a license for some of Drew’s designs on Leanin Tree greeting cards.

    Thanks, Susan and Monica, for the inside scoop on how things run at Leanin tree!

  • Thanks for this Monica! My “customer retention strategy” was to send out a Pixie Postcard in a matching colored envelope to my students 1 month after they purchase a Kids Sewing – Pixie Projects DVD. They are not hand written because that would be hard to duplicate, but they are hand addressed (like all our packages)and say “To: my pixie friend”. I thought a child ages 5 and up would really enjoy this since it’s coming from one of our 7 pixies here. I’m glad you re-affirmed that. And BTW…I’m am helping to keep an artist fed and the post office alive, because we are even doing picture stamps on everything. Creatively, Katrina Marie

  • Thanks so much for this interview, Monica & Susan. It was wonderful to have this kind of insight. Leanin’ Tree seems to have a wonderful relationship with their artists. I am a big time card giver and I’m glad to see it’s not a dying art.

    Thanks again!

  • This was a very informative and fun interview! Nice to “meet” you Susan and thank you for sharing such important details about the cards business and your company’s values and perspective about art and artists. Monica a big thanks to you too for hosting such great interviews 🙂

  • You guys have SO much fun! Seriously loved this interview. Susan is so wonderfully forthcoming about how things work, and speaks with such fondness for artists…very welcoming and encouraging! Thank you, Susan, and thank you, Monica, once again for a thoroughly informative and engaging and FUN interview!!


    • Monica Lee

      Pattie! Thank you so much for your kind words! Susan is a fun, isn’t she!? It is nice to see her point of view and how fun she is.

  • I really enjoyed hearing your informative banter with Ms. January. Especially glad to hear about the “soul” of this company through Ms. January’s words. Wish I could tour their facility, maybe some day. . .
    Re: Photo cards Monica, once while in Greenwich Village I passed a second-hand store that had a big basket on the street with a handwrittend sign stating: “INSTANT FAMILY”. It was filled with photos-especially holiday photo cards. . .I come from a small family and actually considered buying a few.

  • Thanks Monica and Susan! This was very helpful. I am getting ready to dig in deep and get some new work done, I will keep Susan’s advice in mind.

  • another great interview monica!! wonderful to hear Susan talk about their artist friendly company philosophy! I wish more licensing companies shared their views on valuing the artists!!