Sometimes something really amazing can arise from something really horrible. Just ask Daniela Garcia Allie from Amador Collective, who started designing greeting cards in 2009 late one night after a fabulous date with her now-husband.

“I was inspired to stay up for hours making him a card,” she recalled. “It was incredibly satisfying and I began doing it for every single month anniversary and holiday possible. Much time passed, our love continued to inspire me and I continued to make cards.”

During the ensuing years, Daniela developed her card-making muscle, starting to really believe that “I could make cool art for the world.” When she got married, she designed and constructed her wedding invitations with the help of her local Paper Source.

Then came a “brutal” 2016/2017, which kicked off with Daniela having mysterious health issues that resulted in a Hodgkins Lymphoma diagnosis at 29. “My cancer diagnosis was a relief to me and I got a new sense of purpose and lightness,” she explained. “I had the feeling like I was going to make it beyond this bump in my story and create something big. I began to ponder what I’d ideally like to do once done with chemo and decided I’d like to create art in the form of a tangible product.”

Daniela started researching the greeting card industry and “reading the success stories behind other companies got me through the post-chemo blues.” Post-treatment, she polished some designs and reached out to like-minded makers — Good JuJu Ink and Warren Tales — “and within months I was walking in the path I’d been dreaming up.”

She booked a booth at last year’s National Stationery Show and debuted with 34 designs, all inspired by pop-culture and California vibes. She got some orders, met more like-minded stationery peeps and continues to connect with “rad stores all over.” Amador Collective is now in a dozen stores, but of course Daniela isn’t slowing down. “My goal is to appeal to a younger audience and get them to connect in a more real way.”

Amador’s screen-printed and letterpressed offerings definitely have a freewheeling and rather intoxicating left-coast mood — but I’ll let you draw your own conclusions! What’s up next for Daniela? She’ll be releasing holiday soon, and has already booked her spot at #NSS2019. “I am a believer in persistence and positive thinking — we all have the choice to channel our inner power and share our talents with the world!” she finished. You can shop her work here in the meantime!Photographs courtesy of Cheyenne Arnold

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