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Tue Mar 03 02:32:23 CAT 2015

Cashing in on the race card

CHARL DU PLESSIS | 31 January, 2011 22:50

Tired of choosing from greeting cards which depict only white people, a South African businesswoman is importing a range which features photographs of children of Asian, African and mixed-race descent.

Colorblind Cards was started in London by Jessica Huie when she realised most greeting cards showed only white people.

"My daughter was going through a phase where she kept saying she wanted to look like Barbie," she said. "I went looking for a card that reflects her own identity, but realised there was a complete absence of anything that represents the multicultural city that London has become."

Huie then teamed up with Anna Duncan, a photographer to Queen Elizabeth, to test 12 designs in stores in 2006.

The cards, depicting children and bearing inspirational quotes, took off.

Johannesburg businesswoman Nadia Kolia contacted Huie after reading about the cards in a magazine. She is now negotiating with several major retailers interested in stocking them in their stores.

"I like what it stands for, that the only thing that should be separated by colour is laundry," said Kolia, referring to the company's motto.

"It's just about giving people options. It's not about exclusivity, it's about inclusivity."

Huie, who has secured distribution agreements in the US, said she was thrilled when Kolia contacted her.

"There's no other territory that would mean as much to me," said Huie, who has visited the country.

"There are still divisions and it goes beyond business for me. Socially, spiritually it would mean the world to me."

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