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Pitman alum starts up unique greeting card business
In Business pic
Esther Elia has started up her own business, making hand-made greeting cards that can be used for any occasion. - photo by ANGELINA MARTIN/The Journal

Type of business: Greeting card pop-up shop


Hours: DIGS – Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Carnegie Gift Shop – Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fridays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Location: DIGS – 310 E. Main St.; Carnegie Gift Shop – 250 N. Broadway Ave.


Contact information: Website under construction


Specialty: Hand-drawn greeting cards


History of business:


What began as a hobby has turned into a full-fledged business for 22-year-old Esther Elia, who is the one-woman team behind Camp Town Press — greeting cards that feature art created by Elia herself.


After making cards for her friends and family, Elia decided to start up Camp Town Press four years ago. Now, her cards are sold in the downtown Turlock store DIGS and in the gift shop of the Carnegie Arts Center. Elia, who is currently an art student, has always enjoyed drawing, but creating cards allows her to share her gift with more people.


“I like seeing how people end up using them,” said Elia. “I keep the drawings as vague as possible so they can be used for different reasons.”


Elia described her greeting cards’ art as “childlike,” featuring animals and people with humorous dialogue. One card, for example, features a dinosaur that says, “I’m sorry you’re sick, here’s a brontosaurus.”


To make each card, Elia draws each design and transfers it to a plate, which is then stamped onto the greeting card using a press. The process doesn’t take long, said Elia, and the feeling of seeing customers use her cards is priceless.


“It’s rewarding to see that people are using the cards for important events in their lives,” said Elia.


Elia is currently working on her website to sell more cards, but for now, interested customers can find her cards exclusively in the Carnegie gift shop and DIGS.