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'Hello From Grand Rapids' postcards send a new message

February 15, 2013
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'Hello From Grand Rapids' postcards send a new message
Courtesy Hello From Grand Rapids

Paul Jendrasiak, Josh Depenbrok and Wynnona Francis have just the thing for people looking to share their pride in Grand Rapids: “Hello From Grand Rapids” postcards.

The trio created a line of postcards displaying prominent and historical landmarks in Grand Rapids. The photographs were taken by Jendrasiak and Depenbrok, and the cards were designed by Francis.

“Josh and I built up a lot of photographs that we’d taken over the years of the city and thought it would be a fun way to present those,” Jendrasiak said. “Everybody is into this whole retro thing, and postcards are kind of a retro thing, so we thought it would be kind of a cool idea to put them out there in a postcard format.”

The pair chose the postcard locations with the idea of showing off different aspects of the city, not just the core downtown or well-known landmarks.

Jendrasiak said postcards of Grand Rapids from previous decades tend to focus on the same places, so they wanted to include a wider breadth of the city, as well as the go-to locations.

They launched their product in a few retail locations around town this past fall, including the gift shop at the JW Marriott, which quickly sold out of them.

“We just did the first edition, and we’ve been very well received,” Jendrasiak said. “They’ve been selling very well. A lot of folks picked them up for Christmas presents and stocking stuffers. It’s a kind of a cool way to show off different sides of the city.”

The postcards can be found at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, Schuler Books — the 28th Street SE, Alpine Avenue NW and downtown locations — JW Marriott, Amway Grand Plaza, Minty Keen, 6.25 Paper Studio in MoDiv, Frames Unlimited on 28th Street SE and LaFontsee Galleries, as well as online at hellofromgrandrapids.com.

Jendrasiak said the postcards appeal to out-of-town travelers who enjoyed their experience in Grand Rapids, as well as city residents who might want to send a piece of Grand Rapids to out-of-state friends and family.

He also hopes that they might serve as a catalyst to visitors to go check out one of the scenes on the postcard that they might not have known about had they not been perusing the cards.

In addition to creating “Hello From Grand Rapids,” Jendrasiak, Depenbrok and Francis all are local entrepreneurs in the creative arena who have started and run their own separate ventures in Grand Rapids.

Jendrasiak is a native of Grand Rapids who runs his own anti-spam software company, SpamBully, and can be heard weekly as the host of Sunday Morning Townsquare on FM radio stations 95.7 and 100.5 The River. He also is active in the downtown Grand Rapids community.

Depenbrok is the founder and owner of grnow.com, which chronicles the goings-on of Grand Rapids. He also has been active in the Grand Rapids community through various volunteer activities.

Francis is the co-founder and creative director of Wynott Advertising & Design.

The threesome is working on a second edition of the postcards.

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