Home Business makes custom cards By Judy Waggoner for The Post-Crescent
September 11, 2005

Who: Maureen Hermsen, 38, a Wisconsin mother of three, took her love of photography to a new level in 2003 when she launched a home-based business.

"My husband and I were both born in the Fox Valley, but we met in Minneapolis," Hermsen said. Hermsen said her business, Moe Mentos, started as a hobby using personal photos on note cards and birth announcements.

Family and friends who received the printed greetings inquired how they could buy the cards.

"I never intended to start a business but by circle of clients just grew," said Hermsen, who was an elementary school teacher for ten years.

What: Using a combination of her nickname and the concept of cards as keepsakes, Hermsen created a name for her business.

"I've had several people tell me they keep (the cards) and frame them," Hermsen said.

She accepts photos up to 8 x 10 in size that are sent by mail or e-mail, if they are scanned at a high resolution. Throughout the year, birth announcements and wedding announcements are most popular, but from Oct. 1 to mid-December, Hermsen said Holiday cards occupy most of her time.

Why it's important: Hermsen makes both customized cards using her clients' photos, as well as ready-made cards that can be purchased at retail outlets, such as Conkey's Bookstore and The Frame Workshop in Appleton.

Taking advantage of the Internet, Hermsen says she has customers in about 15 states that have ordered through her web site. She hopes to increase her corporate accounts that send customized birthday cards to employees and significant clients.

"I've always had a passion for art and I feel blessed and fortunate to be able to stay home with our children and create these cards," she said.

For more information: MoeMentos, P.O. Box 106, Little Chute, WI, 920-766-2523, or www.moementos.com. Judy Waggoner can be reached at pcbusiness@postcrescent.com