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3 Questions for the Maker of Some of Our Favorite Funny Valentine's Day Cards

We are all too familiar with the make-it-or-break-it stress around Valentine's Day! It can really turn a good thing sour pretty quickly. Luckily, illustrator and brilliant card maven Emily McDowell is here to help. Her humorous and sharp-witted funny Valentine's Day cards offer something for those of us who like a little laughter with our love.
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Valentine's Day is one of those holidays that can really make you cringe. Like any of us really know the perfect thing to completely encapsulate our relationship?! And why stop there? Shouldn't the perfect cards exist to show our love for friends, frenemies, and pets? This Valentine's Day, illustrator and card maven Emily McDowell has you covered with perfectly funny Valentine's Day cards. Emily's cards are known for their humor and sharp wit, along with beautiful illustrations. When it comes to saying I love you with a good laugh, Emily is an expert. Lucky for us, she shares her thoughts on what makes for the perfect Valentine's Day card.

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Photography by Sarah Deragon

Valentine's Day is notorious for making or breaking new relationships. It can be a ridiculous amount of pressure for people to encapsulate how they feel in one piece of folded paper, but it seems you have found a way to keep everyone's expectation in check through humor. Why do you think people respond so well to your funny and honest love messages?


I think it's really powerful to see your own reality reflected in pop culture, whether it's a TV show or a greeting card. When something speaks to you in a personally relatable way, it's more meaningful, because you can emotionally connect to it. In a nutshell, my cards reassure people that their weird relationships are normal.

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What are some considerations we should make when choosing a greeting card? A Valentine's Day card?


I think it really all depends on the person you're giving it to. I always try to find cards that feel particularly applicable to that person or our relationship, because those feel the most special. If you're not good with words, there are a lot of great valentines out there now that can help you find the right ones. I also think it goes a long way to write something on the inside, instead of just writing "Love, (your name)." Even if it's just something simple like "I love you!" or "You make me happy."

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Any recommendations for going it on your own with a card? What do you think makes for the best sentiment?


"If you're making a card, I think the best sentiments are specific to your relationship and come from the heart. With a homemade card, you have the opportunity to say exactly what it is you like about the person, or an inside joke --something you wouldn't be able to find on a card at the store. Be yourself; don't try to be flowery if you're not flowery. If it's honest, the person you're with will love it, because it came from the person they love."


Thanks so much to Emily McDowell for helping us nail down the perfect Valentine's Day sentiment! You can find Emily's entire greeting-card collection along with hilarious totes and mugs at

About the Author

Lisa Anderson Shaffer

Zelma Rose was established in 2010 by designer Lisa Anderson Shaffer and inspired by the age-old Anderson Family tradition of skilled American hand craftsmanship. Lisa handcrafts all of their goods in a mountain top studio in Northern California. All of their products are made in limited editions to keep designs fresh, and they use the highest quality materials to keep you looking...


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