Celebrations

Do these luxury 3-D greeting cards justify the cost?

As seen on Shark Tank

LovePop cards are more than your average greeting card. Credit: Matthew Pavlos

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Picture this: The year is 2015 and I’m flipping through channels on my TV when I notice Shark Tank is on. I’m a big fan of the show, so naturally, I tune in. I don’t remember exactly what products were showcased during that episode, except for one. One brand and one product stuck out in my mind so much that six years later, I’m still buying it. Enter: LovePop.

What is LovePop?

3-D cards
Credit: Matthew Pavlos

LovePop cards put standard greeting cards to shame.

LovePop is essentially a greeting card company—but these greeting cards put store-bought cards to complete shame. The company was founded by Wombi Rose and John Wise, two friends from Webb Institute who were training to become naval architects. They went on to study at Harvard Business School where they went on a trip to Vietnam together and discovered the paper art of kirigami.

Rose and Wise leveraged everything they learned and created what they call “Slicegami”, which, according to the website, is “an art meets science approach to design that incorporates the sliceform structure ship design technology as well as the beautiful paper folding traditionally used in Japanese origami and kirigami.” Put more simply, they took standard greeting cards and transformed them into 3D pop-up masterpieces.

What I like about LovePop

People receive sentimental cards dozens of times throughout their lives, but there are few cards that leave a lasting impression. LovePop cards do just that.

It has cards for every occasion
LovePop carries cards for just about anything you could think of. Every occasion, every recipient, and every pop culture reference—it’s covered. I’m particularly intrigued by the Marvel cards. Plus, its website is super easy to navigate, which makes finding the right card for your needs a breeze.

The cards are truly unique

Golf card
Credit: Matthew Pavlos

This golf-themed card is perfect for Father's Day.


I got two cards to test, and also to use in real-life events coming up. The first one is a golf-themed card for Father’s Day for my dad who is an avid golfer. He watched the Shark Tank episode with me all those years ago, so I can’t wait to see the look on his face when he sees it. The card I received is vibrant and intricately detailed on the inside and tasteful and durable on the outside. It was exactly what I was expecting and hoping for. It comes with a solid white envelope and has a convenient tab on the inside of the card that pulls out to reveal a blank page for writing a message.
Wedding card
Credit: Matthew Pavlos

This wedding card is the most intricate card I've ever seen.


The second card I got is for my sister’s upcoming bridal shower (shhh...don’t show her this review). LovePop doesn’t have bridal shower-specific cards, however, there’s a whole wedding section on the website that more than suffices. I like the card that I received—it’s very elegant and finely detailed, but it’s not quite as vibrant as the golf card, particularly because of its muted background. That being said, it’s the most intricate card I’ve ever seen. I’m still very impressed.

LovePop has more than just cards
Though I have only tried cards from LovePop, the company has many other products available as well, from giant pop-up cards and bouquets to paper toys for kids, 3-D stickers, even ornaments. It seems like the Slicegami method works for just about anything.

What I don’t like about LovePop

It’s expensive
Depending on what you’re in the market for quality-wise when it comes to card shopping, you can get a card at your local grocery, drug store, or gas station for as little as a dollar. It makes spending over $10 on a LovePop card, excluding shipping, feel very excessive. The cards that I received were priced at $13 each and while they were beautiful and ornate, it’s a lot for cards that are going to be appreciated for all of five minutes and then inevitably make their way to the garbage.

The cards typically come with a blank area for writing a message as I mentioned, but if you have poor handwriting and you want to get a message printed on your card, it’s an upcharge of $5. Though LovePop offers free ground shipping in the U.S., you may need to pay extra for expedited shipping if you're a Last-Minute Lucy like me. When you add everything up, you could end up spending over $20 for a single card. A way to get your card delivered sooner, I found, is ordering through Amazon Prime. This allows you to get free shipping (with a Prime Membership) in 1-2 business days, though you won’t have access to the message printing feature and it’s unclear if there is a smaller selection of cards to choose from on Amazon.

The cards aren’t as convenient as store-bought alternatives
I’m not much of a planner when it comes to buying cards in advance for occasions. You can find me in the card aisle frantically searching for a good card on the morning of a big event. If that sounds like you, it might not be in the cards for you to buy a card online, wherever it may be from. You have to take shipping time into account, which has been seeing frequent delays since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Plus, picking out a card in person is just more practical. You can find them just about anywhere and ensure that the quality of the card you’re choosing is up to par.

That being said, Lovepop does sell cards at select Barnes & Noble stores, Kohl’s, and even The UPS Store. Additionally, the brand has retail stands scattered around the country. Several years ago, I purchased a LovePop card from a stand at Boston’s South Station before getting on a train. While these locations are probably not as convenient as the nearest greeting card aisle to you, they make a great option if you can find a participating location nearby. This allows you to see LovePop cards for yourself, pick them out in person, and most importantly—avoid shipping expenses.

Are LovePop cards worth the money?

Cards
Credit: Matthew Pavlos

On the outside, they may look like standard greeting cards. But on the inside, they are so much more.

My experience with LovePop was very positive overall and I can see why Mr. Wonderful invested in this company. The shipping was fast, the cards are beautiful, and I know they’re going to delight my family members when they open them up for the big reveal.

I would say that the value of LovePop cards really depends on the occasion. My sister is only getting married once, so I’m happy to splurge on a luxury card for her. Who knows, maybe she’ll even put her card in a wedding scrapbook. Buying a LovePop card to enhance a once-in-a-lifetime occasion or special experience feels worth it to me. For other events that come and go annually (not that they’re not special), you’re probably better off buying a card that won’t break the bank and buying it somewhere that’s convenient for you.

Buy pop up cards by LovePop

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