All my life people have commented on the way I speak. My parents are from New Orleans and Mississippi and contributed to the southern twang in my accent. However I attended primarily white institutions and then went on to work in majority white spaces. All of these factors contribute to my tone, witty sense of humor, and word choice.
As you may know, I started making greeting cards because I was having a hard time finding cards that reflected me. However, when I began taking my hobby more seriously - I had an even harder time finding my audience. My greeting card humor felt incredibly specific. Its definitely not for everyone. Now speaking of not for everyone, I am reminded of an experience. I was selling this particular card which reads "Issa Birthday" on the front. The market I was participating in was in a predominately white area, marketed to a predominately white crowd. A patron saw my card and exclaimed, "Oh I know Issa! From that show right?!" It took me a minute but I realized what she meant. She was referring to Issa Rae from Insecure.I felt forced to explain that this card references a different version of the word "issa". Not going to lie, this was a pretty cringeworthy moment for me. My explanation was incredibly awkward because I was so caught off guard. Never mind the fact that I am sort of awkward even when I'm not caught off guard. While she was definitely attempting to relate to me, her comment made me feel incredibly out of place. Unfortunately that is a feeling I know all too well in the world of stationery.
It is my wish that my cards fill a void for those who find joy in words and have a hard time finding words and images that offer an accurate reflection.
Now that time has passed and I have been exposed to more information. I appreciate the many different contributors to my speech patterns. I find comfort in my cultural jokes and colloquial speech. I hope you do too.