We are delighted to share with you features and essays written by super women with inspiring careers and businesses that are reshaping our economy and the way we consume. They share their journey, the process it took them to get to where they are now and what they’ve learnt along the way. Welcome to Modern Mentors.
I’m Angelica, the entrePUNeur and CARDist behind ACouplePuns. Ever since I was young, I have always been the comedian of my friends and family so for me to turn my love for laughter into a business comes to no surprise to those who know me. My obsession with puns came to life when my husband and I were dating long distance. We met on a dating app and he “swiped me right off my feet” so we ended up texting every day and then eventually face-timing. This all occurred while he was stationed in Japan and I was in Maryland! After months of being modern day pen pals we decided to meet in person.
A PUNtastic Beginning
SO… I did something crazy and flew to Tokyo for our first date and then we embarked on the long-distance relationship journey! We would communicate via puns throughout the day and it made the distance seem shorter because I was always laughing and seeking out fun puns or word play to share. When we would have the chance to see each other I would take photos of him and write a punny caption about what he was doing or an object he was holding. I shared these photos on Facebook and Instagram and my friends began to encourage my punny antics and share any sight of a pun with me. I realized how much people enjoy sharing puns as sentiments, so I began brainstorming how I could expand this network of fellow punny individuals beyond my own inbox. Home has always been where the “art” is for me so coupling my love for art and puns into something that allows people to share laughter was easy, it just clicked!
I officially started ACouplePuns in the summer of 2017 after moving from Maryland to Texas and felt for a lack of better words, homesick and displaced. I had to work a bit harder to make Texas feel like a home and really put myself out of my comfort zone. My husband is a Navy pilot meaning our life will consist of frequent moves so I sought to create something I could take with me wherever we go and I ended up with this amazing gift that is ACouplePuns. I began creating my cards and “drawing” inspiration from pop culture, things I love and places I travel. Sharing laughter and connecting people is what continues to inspire me. I remember setting up at my first market and seeing how many people came by and laughed with me over my cards and told me why one specific design is perfect for someone special in their life. We’re now living in Boston, MA and I’m happy to report my business successfully transitioned and is continuing to grow! It became more than just a card business to me. It’s my medium to connect with locals in my community, creatives and other brands.
I think there is a lot of value in forging connections with small businesses and fellow founders. My favorite thing about ACouplePuns is how many talented, driven and creative humans it has introduced me to and seeing how we use our shared entrepreneurial spirit to collaborate.Angelica Hanley
Working Towards the Dream
The ability to say yes to (expensive) opportunities such as attending the National Stationery Show or traveling all over Texas to Pop-up at markets was possible thanks for my full-time job at the time. I’d use the money I would previously spend on superfluous things and instead put it into my punny passion project! Yes, I was working full-time for two years while simultaneously planning trade shows, coordinating social media giveaways, product shoots, designing new cards, fulfilling all order (on time lol) etc. It required me to be consistent and make the most out of early mornings and my lunch breaks.
Although I don’t work full-time at the moment, I’m still working part time with a virtual team to ensure I’m able to pay myself and have the ability to flex as my business is now growing even more!
ACouplePuns has been featured in publications such as BRIDES Magazine, Bustle, and Business insider. I’ve collaborated with over 30 Female Founders to coordinate social media takeovers and Giveaways! I’ve had the opportunity to create custom cards for one of my favorite Jewlery Brands, Kendra Scott. In the past year we’ve opened up 100 wholesale accounts and even landed in a national retailer! I’ve made it my goal to be able to travel to any city and find a shop where I can go spot one of my cards. Slowly but surely this dream is becoming a reality.
Advice for fellow Entrepreneurs
I think a lot of my success is due to the experience I’ve gained from working within marketing agencies. I’ve always brought an entrepreneurial mindset to my jobs and taken from them as much as I can. I think it’s important for young professionals to focus on finding a job that not only pays the bills but pays them in experience and exposure. Invest in a good job, interview your future boss, do some research on the different teams they have working within the organization. I worked in production/ project management at two advertising agencies. My roles have provided me a birds-eye view into the day of the account executives, media buyers, creative directors, and clients allowing me to learn how ideas come to fruition and how to produce them and then how to share them. As a business owner, I often find myself wearing all of the hats as if I’m my own little agency. I would never be able to afford to hire someone as a marketing manager while starting my business, but I was able to tap into my own skill set based on lessons I learned through previous jobs.
My goal is to grow ACouplePuns to be more than just greeting cards but to be the go-to Lifestyle brand for sharing and giving the gift of laughter.
ACouplePuns is a pun-based brand delivering sweet messages accompanied by disarmingly darling drawings! All cards are illustrated by the owner and entrePUNeur, Angelica Hanley. She “draws” inspiration from pop culture, things she loves and places she travels. Angelica is a military spouse, married to a Navy Pilot meaning she moves around quite a bit. She was inspired to build a creative business she could take with her wherever she and her husband put down roots. She hopes to share laughter and inspire others to turn their dreams into reality no matter how silly (or punny) they are!