Local writer makes cards worth giving

Jacksonville writer Sarah Gojekian launches a new local business providing handmade cards, Onlycardever.

The idea came in 2012 with a book full of poetry scribblings and a curiosity to showcase them in a new way. Sarah Gojekian wanted to put her poetry on paper and she wanted to turn her poetry into a product. At the time, she was working as the first intern of The Jaxson predecessor Metro Jacksonville and had recently co-authored Cohen Brothers: The Big Store with Ennis Davis. But would it work? How would it work? And most importantly – how would the intention in her head translate to others?

Now, almost 10 years later, with the pushing of friends and an arsenal of words to use, Onlycardever was born. And the mission is cut and clear: create a card line featuring minimal design, with a focus on raw, modern prose. “I believe people are looking for something more, that they feel deeper than they portray,” says Gojekian.

The 32-year-old is old-school. Every card is typewritten – yes, on a Smith-Corona typewriter, by hand. Every single one. Many would think (and many have told her directly) this is impractical, especially in the long term. But Gojekian believes its what makes the concept work. “You can see the imprint of the typewriter on the back of the card,” she says. “This is paper you can feel. These are cards to keep. You can’t cheat aesthetic.” In Jacksonville since 2007, working mostly in local media after graduating from UNF, Gojekian decided “it’s time” and is now one of the newest faces in a budding local art scene.

She uses Arches/Canson paper, and sources most of her materials from smaller, independent art stores. She uses a mix of ink stamping, faux flower appliques, and hand-designed embellishments for the card covers. The inside messages are of course all originally written.

Besides a core collection of cards and ongoing limited releases, Onlycardever specializes in custom orders. Single custom cards for any occasion can be done. And cards in bulk are available – think invitations, corporate or non-profit thank-yous, house closing cards – you name it, it can be done. The company even stretches to offer vow services: typewritten imprints, and custom vow writing.

The small business aims to stay entrenched in the community, as well. Portions of sales of her ‘Pride’ card go to JASMYN, an LGBTQ youth center serving NE Florida. She’s done work for local organizations and associations. And she has several collaborations lined up for next year.

Since all the cards are made by hand instead of printed, the company can offer expanded occasions, and the choice to have a custom message every time. Gojekian says she’s just in the business of helping people communicate. “Words matter. You may as well say it right. And let me say it for you.”

You can shop the card collection, inquire about customs or wholesale, and find out more at Onlycardever.com or on Instagram. To see the magic in person, you can find Onlycardever at the following holiday market events:

  • 12/3: Southern Swells Brewing Co. 530-830 p.m.
  • 12/9: Lightner Museum Holiday Market, St. Augustine 530-8 p.m.
  • 12/11: Crosswater at Pablo Bay public market 11 a.m.-2p.m.
  • 12/16: North Beaches Art Walk 5-9 p.m.

Article by Ennis Davis. Contact Ennis at edavis@moderncities.com.