It began with mermaids. This is kind of fitting because, at that point, finding a same-sex greeting card was more of a mythical possibility than a reality. As Nikki Love was browsing the card aisle, she came across the only queer greeting card in the store – featuring two women mermaids – and her reaction was probably like how the first human who discovered fire felt.
"Like that caveman eating his meat raw, I had been so used to adapting hetero-cards to reflect my relationship, I didn't even realize there could be any other way. That was the spark. But even after that, it became obvious that there still weren't a lot of options, and so I decided to fill that gap by starting my own greeting card company, Snik."
Snik is an LGBTQ+-owned greeting card company based in Kelowna that makes cards specifically for the queer community. All their designs are created by LGBTQ+ artists from around the world. They also send a portion of their sales to non-profit Egale, a company that advocates for LGBTQ+ equality.
As a new business, most of their product line is for queer women, but as they grow, they want to cover the entire LGBTQ+ spectrum because their whole endeavor is about inclusivity and love at the end of the day.
Snik knows first-hand that being accepted for who we are does not always come easily. So, Nikki wanted to create something for the LGBTQ+ community to feel loved and accepted. Their slogan is "You are loved" because we should all feel love in all its forms.
When asked about her motivation for starting her own business, Nikki says, "I grew up on a farm and was raised in an environment where life and work are almost synonymous. Which meant you worked until the work was done, but it was all for your own success. You didn't punch a clock or procrastinate or worry about impressing a boss. And that's because it wasn't "work" – it was a lifestyle. While farming wasn't for me, I always wanted that type of lifestyle. Being a business owner lets me have that."
Nikki chose to get into the greeting card business because she wanted to create something specifically for the queer community that lets them have and share and be proud of their love. Often, LGBTQ+ people are left out of the mainstream, and Nikki believes that holds the world back from being a better, more inclusive place. And that includes the card aisle - every time someone puts something out there for the queer community – it matters because it is a subtle societal acceptance of queer people and their relationships. It lets them know they belong.
"Also, I'm a hopeless romantic. And with a last name like Love, I was maybe a little destined to get into this business."
Nikki says, "My favourite thing about what I do is knowing my cards made someone feel good for being exactly who they are. People always feel special when someone gives them a card. With a Snik card, I like to think they feel extra special because not only do they get a card, but they get a unique one that's made specifically for their queer relationship."
When asked about advice for others wanting to start their own business, Nikki told us, "It is easy to get caught up trying to anticipate everything and get it all right before putting it out there, but you'll figure it out along the way. So just jump. You'll learn how to swim. Otherwise, you might end up standing on the shore forever."
You can purchase cards from Snik by going to their website snik.ca