Seas and Peas is a local Seattle-based greeting card company started up by Chad and his partner Claudio! Owner and operator of Seas and Peas, Chad, joins Junior Buyer Chloe Harris to tell us more about his company. Standard Goods is lucky to carry such a wonderful and hilarious brand, and are excited to share with you another of our favorite local makers.
First, please tell us a little bit about yourself and your brand!
Hello! My name is Chad and I own and operate Seas and Peas, a Seattle-based greeting card company. Seas and Peas was established in 2009 by myself and my partner Claudio. We create original and funny greeting cards, birthday cards, pop culture-inspired cards, and button and magnet sets. All of our cards are printed on 100% recycled cardstock and all of our products are proudly made in the USA. Our work has been featured online on Buzzfeed, HuffPost, Jezebel, DesignTAXI, and HelloGiggles and in the print publication Rue Morgue. Select designs can be found at Urban Outfitters and Paper Source locations worldwide.
Your products and company have such a fun ideology about them, where do you think you got your sense of humor?
Thank you for saying that! First, I think where and when I grew up has had a lot of influence on my sense of humor. As a chubby gay kid growing up Mormon in a 1980s Nebraska football town, I needed all the humor in my life that I could get! Humor is a great defense when you are a kid with nothing else in your arsenal and I used it in that way, to disarm people and make friends. People like to laugh and I was able to figure out how to make them.
Secondly, I feel my sense of humor has been shaped by the movies and television that I watched, the music that I listened to, the magazines and books I read, news and politics, even the fashion. Movies in particular were a huge part of my life from a very early age and as a latchkey kid with a single mother, I had a lot of freedom to watch what I wanted to watch, for better or worse. Of course as a 12 year-old watching “Porky’s” or “Friday the 13th”, I thought it was great!
What was your inspiration for starting Seas and Peas?
In 2009 I graduated from film school and I was working on films here and there in different capacities. One of the jobs that I had during that time was to procure for the costume department of a feature film a large number of punk rock buttons for people to wear during a concert scene. Claudio bought me a button/magnet press to make my job easier, knowing that I would use the press after the film project was complete, and he was right. I started making buttons and magnets out of anything I could find and eventually started making original designs under the name Seas and Peas.
During this time I also worked at a video store on Capitol Hill and I started selling my buttons and magnets there, where I found the response very positive. In 2010, Claudio and I launched our Seas and Peas Etsy shop, where we initially sold just our buttons and magnets. After a few months we started making greeting cards because I felt that there was an untapped market for pop culture-related cards. Since the beginning, I have been chiefly responsible for the content and design of all of the cards, while Claudio contributes artwork from time to time and elbow grease constantly.
People often ask how we came up with our business name, so I may as well mention it. The name of our business comes from the first names of both of our moms—Claudio’s late mother Carmen is the C in our name (Seas) and my mother Patricia is the P in our name (Peas). You can’t go wrong naming something after your mom, right?! And that goes double with two moms, I would imagine.
I know you are originally from Nebraska. What is your favorite part about living in Seattle?
I love the climate in Seattle, year-round; it is as beautiful in the winter as it is in the summer. I appreciate how moderate the climate is here. Even when it is hot, it really isn’t that hot. The cold isn’t too cold. Every day I walk from my apartment on Capitol Hill to my office in the SODO district and back again, and every day I think to myself how beautiful, rough-around-the-edges, and varied this city is. Really just a stunning place.
Most importantly, I love that Seattle is a progressive city, politically and socially. People are free to be who they are here and there are so many diverse people in this city and that really appeals to me. For the most part, people mind their own business and let you mind yours. I love this city and wouldn’t choose to live anywhere else.
Are there any products you would like to expand to? If so, what?
Oh yes, I have so many plans for new products and so little time! Particularly, I am really excited to put our designs on t-shirts. Designing t-shirts is very exciting to me because they would allow a new freedom in our designs that we haven’t had with greeting cards, both in the scale of the design and in the fact that unlike greeting cards, t-shirts do not need to be tied to an occasion. That is really a different ballgame. I already have a few really good t-shirt ideas and cannot wait to see them finished. I have a very good feeling about Seas and Peas t-shirts; I think we could kill it. J
I would also love to create some fun movie and/or television promotional items. Working at the video store for many years, we would often get really clever promotional items from the movie studios, like “The Fight Club” bar soap or “Funny Games” gloves or “Resident Evil” hand sanitizer. I would love to do something like that, but coming from a fan-art point of view. “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” erasers, “Memento” jigsaw puzzles, or “The Miracle Worker” water bottles?
Seas and Peas has really taken off in the past few years, do you have any goals next?
My biggest goal in the next year is to really up our online presence and get better at the social media part of running a business. That is really something that has been hard for me to do, and I need to get better at it. Marketing is a big part of that as well; I have never been great at selling myself, so I am learning as I go along.
In the long, long term, I would love to move to Florida with all of my best girlfriends, where we would hang out on wicker furniture on the lanai during the day and eat cheesecake together at night. Much like “The Golden Girls”. Okay, exactly like “The Golden Girls”.
What is your favorite product and why?
Wow, that is so hard! I would have been able to choose one when we had 50 designs or even 100 designs, but at this point we have over 500 card designs so it is really hard to pick a favorite! That said, I do personally love all of our horror-themed cards, of which we have many. “The Shining” and “It’s Alive!” have provided inspiration for a few of my favorite horror-inspired cards. As far as collections go, I think we have a very original Christmas & Hanukkah card selection. Where else can you go to get a “Brady Bunch”-inspired Hanukkah card or a “Silence of the Lambs”-inspired Christmas card?
Also, as far as favorite products go, I really should give a shout-out to our “Rosemary’s Baby” Mother’s Day card design, which has always been one of my favorites and I apparently liked it enough to get tattooed on my arm (!) a few months back. Seriously. Pic attached!