Erika Burnett

Marissa Dick | March 22nd, 2021
Erika Burnett

Erika Burnett

Handmade, the word, is an adjective and it means not made by machine and typically of superior quality. Most handmade items are crafted in small studios or people’s own homes. Having something handmade affords you the opportunity to work directly with the artisan to customize your purchase. Because you are dealing directly with the artisans when you purchase handcrafted products, they might be open to tweaking certain aspects of their product specifically to fit your needs.

Meet Erika Burnett, founder of A Single Suggestion, a one-of-a-kind handcrafted company where cards and stationery are made that puts a smile on the faces of many people and happy memories in their hearts. A Single Suggestion is a business located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that is dedicated to rekindling the lost art of handwritten notes.

Erika shares here story, “When I first start working at the University of Pennsylvania, my former manager was making cards as a hobby. She took me to a card marking and I have been hooked ever since. I used most of my paychecks to buy supplies and sit at home on the weekends making cards for family and friends. I did that for 12 years just for fun. I had no idea I would ever start a business until I attended a networking event for women. My cousin encouraged me to go so when I got there and displayed my handcrafted cards everyone fell in love with them. I was told that I should have been in business a long time ago. I was humbled that people actually appreciated my work. Those women gave me all of the support I needed to get started. A business coach, accountant and mentor nurtured me with knowledge and information I needed to be successful in my business. My business opened its virtual doors six months later in June 2013.”

You may be asking yourself, what is so exciting about a card when you can go to Hallmark and buy one. Erika shares, “My business is handmade stationary. I make one of a kind note cards. There are no sentiments on the inside, but the card itself, says it all. Because they are one of a kind, once a particular design is sold, I don’t remake it unless a customer happens to see it on my website and really wants something similar to it. I also carry handmade gift card holders, handmade bookmarks, journals, gift pens and gift sets. My online store contains over 400 stationary items and they are all one of a kind.You know when I first started working at the University of Pennsylvania my former manager was already making cards as a hobby. She offered to take me to class with her; I went and have been hooked ever since. I would buy my supplies and sit at home on the weekends and make cards for family and friends. I did that for 12 years just for fun. I didn’t know I would enjoy creating cards.”

One reason people purchase handcrafted goods is because they like having something unique and they find satisfaction in knowing that having a handmade creation means that there are fewer of them on the market. When you make a purchase from A Single Suggestion, you are receiving a unique item. Erika only makes one-of-a-kind cards so that means that the purchaser of the card will be the only person with it or the recipient, of that card, will have something special. Of course, there are others who make cards by using computer programs but Erika’s cards are handmade down to the paper. She shares, “I cut the paper myself. I do all of the hand stamping using ink and rubber stamps, the old fashioned way. My cards are not mass produced and I don’t sell them wholesale. My cards and other stationery items are authentic and made with high quality products.”

Often, Erika will receive solicitations from other merchants to carry her product in their stores, but she is adamant that her creations are not going to be mass produced. “I do want to see my cards and stationery in stores, but what I don’t want to do is lose the concept of the handmade component. Often times when you are picked up by a store, they begin mass producing your work and they want to change things. That’s not what I want to happen. I will turn something down if my cards don’t have the same personable affect.” For those consumers who appreciate one-of-a-kind designs, A Single Suggestion is especially for you.

We all know that the pandemic has severely crippled socialization. Some people are suffering with depression because they are unable to see their family or very close friends. Erika understands that this season in America calls for creative ways to share your love. For that reason, she created, Handwritten Love. She shares, “Every month, I send love to individuals through cards or letters.
Life can be tough sometimes and not everyone has someone to show them love when they need it or give them a little inspiration when they’re thinking about giving up on their dreams or life in general. Everyone can use a kind word or two. I love to see people happy and if I can’t see them happy, I know they will be when they open the envelope and see that card in their hand. You know, God blessed me with all of this. He blessed me so I can be a blessing to someone else. Doing this work brings me peace and it relaxes me. In this day and time where everything is digital, we’ve lost touch with the social aspect of sitting down and having a conversation. The intimacy between person-to-person communication is almost obsolete. My goal is to rekindle handwritten notes,” she says.

If you are having an intimate gathering of not more than 25 guests and you want to impress them from the onset, then let Erika create beautifully handcrafted invitations especially for your occasion. Your guests won’t toss these cards away. You can see her many creations by going to www.asinglesuggestion.com and you can call Erika at (267) 702-3138 to speak with her about her designs.

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