MNi Cards, Hirsch’s business which launched in March, sells small cards with hand-drawn designs on the front. He’s rolled out seasonal designs so far, but has included a Rosh Hashanah card as part of his fall line.
“I grew up in a Jewish house household and that’s something that’s very important to myself and my family,” Hirsch said. “And then we also have a big love for challah, which I’m sure many Jews have too. We felt like we needed to get a little card out.”
Hirsch said the name dictated what the product was going to be.
“One day I was at a brewery with a couple of friends and mini cards just kind of came to me in my head,” Hirsch said. “I’ve always liked to draw. I’ve always liked colors. I’ve always liked cute and quirky things, if you will. I loved this idea of capital M capital N and lowercase I, so MNi Cards kind of just emerged and had its product name.”
The concepts start with Hirsch, which he draws on paper. He also works with friend and illustrator Emma Johnson, who tends to start her drawings digitally on an iPad. She’ll take his ideas and refine them for the finished product. All past creations are up on the MNi Cards Instagram feed.
“We kind of tag team the drawings, but I would definitely say Emma has more of that ability to bring it to life on paper,” he said.
Even though he had launched the website in March, he had registered the LLC 18 months earlier. But it took Hirsch until quarantine – once he wasn’t traveling all the time for work – to get things rolling.
“I was always on the road, didn’t have time for anything, and when I was home, I just wanted to relax,” he said. “I was talking to a friend who said ‘just do your website. It takes 20 minutes and it’s not that daunting.’ But being home has really just allowed me to work in my day job and then shut that computer and open up my personal computer and work on MNi Cards.”
The old-school idea of a greeting card is one that, even in the digital age, still has a lot of value.
“I think right now, it has become a popular pastime for the simple fact that life for people has kind of slowed down,” he said. “Now even though everybody’s home and is using their digital devices it’s really an opportunity for people to kind of pause and send their loved ones some of that traditional snail mail. Because even though it might be analog, it still doesn’t discount how important it could be for somebody to receive a handwritten note.”