My first memory of collecting business cards was when I was thirteen years old. I was on the school bus headed to my elementary school in Sarnia when I heard one of the children on the bus offer to give something away.
The free loot was a bunch of used business cards tightly wound in an elastic rubber band.. I remember silence for a short while and no child wanted them so I accepted to take them home and keep them. That was the beginning to my life of collecting business cards. In Canada at that time all my friends were collecting O-Pee-Chee hockey trading cards. I didn’t have much money so I thought I might keep the business cards and continue to collect them. Acquiring business cards are free I thought to myself.
This small gathering of cards grew when my father sorted through his work cards and offered me his extras. The pile of collectable business cards grew but I had to think of other ways to increase my business card collection. I still have some of my original business cards, notes about my hobby and totals from the mid 1980’s.
I decided that there were more business cards in the area that needed to be collected and gathered to add to my collection. My next step was canvassing local companies to raise my collection count. My very first outing in the south end of Sarnia I gathered two or three hundred business cards in one day. Many secretaries and company owners were certainly surprised to see me arrive at their door and request any business cards they could spare. I received a fair number of questions and even a few raised eyebrows. Some local individuals were very generous after all. I remember one fellow handing me his entire rolodex and said “Enjoy Kiddo.”
It was then I decided to recruit friends and family to help gather business cards for me where ever they worked or travelled. I had great success convincing people that it was their duty to collect business cards for me. Many thought I had a chance to get into the Guiness Book of World Records but that never was my intention. I just wanted to see how many I could accumulate from all over the world.
The next step was designing my first business card. I spoke to my parents about making my own card. They supported my interest and I drew my first card when I was sixteen (1987). My father knew a local printer so I brought my drawing of Donald Duck holding a business card and I expressed to the printer that I needed my own card. Without too many questions he agreed. I paid full price for the printing of that card and I believe that Printer is no longer in business locally. The new collector card had a purpose. Its purpose was to disperse them to all my friends and families so they would go on collecting business cards on my behalf and mail them or deliver them to me. My plan worked. Soon cards came in from friends family and the odd time out of the blue.
For a very long time I went on my merry way organizing my 500 cards in various categories and also by geography.
I think it was Christmas time 1987 that my neighbour mentioned to me another local man collected in Sarnia. His name is Edward J. Banik. We became friends and collected business cards together. We traded and got to know each other. He shared with me the address for the American Business Card Club and I joined as soon as I could. I was sent a welcome note from Darrell Christopher President of the American Business Card Club and received my member number ABCC # 273.
Herb Gallaway, Ed Banik and I planned to put together a satellite club to the ABCC. We agreed on the name together and initiated the Bluwater Business Card Club. It is still going fifteen years later and one hundred and fifty members.
After joining all the Business Card clubs I learned quickly that the best way to meet new people and gather new business cards was to trade business cards through the mail. When a newsletter arrived I would write the new members and ask if they would like to trade. Business cards started to roll in quicker and at one point I think I had thirty regular business card pen pal traders.
It was always interesting to see what arrived in the mailbox. Some members offered trades and others you could purchase small lots with very little money. There were also the ABCC Auctions. That is precisely how I obtained my Donald Trump Business card. One of my many treasured rare business cards.
Almost twenty years later and I am still collecting business cards. Less than one month ago I categorized my 140,000th business card located in one of the rooms of my house.
Please if you are interested in finding out more about my hobby please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to forward business cards and would like the postage paid for please Email me to make arrangements.
Do you know another collector of business cards? Please have them visit my site.
Thanks very much for your interest.