In 1910, Joyce Clyde Hall left his hometown in Nebraska and founded a wholesale postcard business in Kansas City. He quickly became convinced that holiday cards might be a more profitable endeavor, so he began selling those within the first few years. In 1915, Hall's brother Rollie joined the company, and the name was changed to Hall Brothers. During the 1920s, the business grew from a few employees to more than 100. It also expanded its product line to include greeting cards and wrapping paper. In 1928, the company adopted a symbol that had been used by London goldsmiths during the 14th century, and changed its brand name to Hallmark (the company name followed suit in 1954).
Hallmark ventured into the entertainment industry when it began sponsoring TV specials on NBC in 1951. The series of specials would go on to become the Hallmark Hall of Fame and give rise to the Hallmark Channel on cable. In addition to distributing cards and gifts via major retailers around the world, the brand also sells its products at more than 2,200 Hallmark Gold Crown stores across the country. Still a family business more than 100 years after it was originally founded, Hallmark is currently led by Donald Hall, Jr. and David Hall--grandsons of the founder.
Though Hallmark is best known for its greeting cards to this day, the brand also manufactures a number of toys and gifts. Stuffed animals are among the most popular options, and some of them feature licensed characters from popular brands and franchises. Other toys include playsets, games, and puzzles. Home décor items include holiday knick-knacks that vary based on the time of year. You can also find figurines, picture frames, containers, throw pillows and more. Kitchen accessories like mugs, plates, tumblers, and baking supplies are also available in abundance. The brand's apparel selection is relatively limited, but it includes graphic tees, pajamas, and accessories like hats, scarves, and mittens.
Christmas is one of Hallmark's key selling seasons. You can find a very large selection of tree ornaments--many of which are collectible, with new entries in a series released each year. Household decorations are available for holidays throughout the year, including Easter, the Fourth of July, Halloween, and Christmas, as well as products that simply give a nod toward the four seasons. Some toys are also specific to current holidays and give kids a fun way to play and celebrate.
Few companies so thoroughly dominate their particular category as Hallmark does when it comes to greeting cards, gifts, and holiday memorabilia. The brand is a global giant, and it offers a wide array of popular products. While cards are essentially single-use items, Hallmark's toys, home décor products, and ornaments are long-lasting and popular options for secondhand purchase. The brand's wares are affordable without ever sacrificing quality, and it has more than a century of history to back up its reputation. We give Hallmark 4.5 stars out of 5.
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