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Old books form basis for new missives

BusinessSnapshot

Jennifer Doheny started out supplying her unique brand of greeting cards to family and friends. But two years ago, spurred by an entrepreneurial spirit as well as a desire to give her creative talents a broader showcase, she turned her pastime into her own company, Urban Bird Designs.

With a line of 42 greeting card designs, she and her lawyer husband (while on a sabbatical) hit the road. She achieved eye-popping results, reaping orders for her cards from a string of independent bookstores across the country.

Created in part from the pages of old shorthand books, some dating to the 1920s, her cards are treated with acrylic paint and oil pastels to enhance the images.

'I like to think that I bring new life to an old book that may have been otherwise destroyed,' Doheny says.

Sales have soared to a monthly high of 2,000 cards at $3 a pop. You wouldn't know from her bottom line that the economy is in the doldrums.

Ñ Daniel J. Curran