Dianne Harrison was out jogging in 2009 when she came up with an idea for a business.

The country was eking its way out of a recession. All around her, people were dealing with what seemed like a never-ending cycle of bad news.

But the greeting card industry had yet to catch up. Where, she wondered, were the cards and gift wrap bearing hopeful messages that African Americans, Latinos and people of other cultures could relate to? What could she send to a friend who was battling cancer or had just been laid off?

“For people who are losing homes, losing jobs, losing all kinds of things, you don’t want to say, ‘Have a good day’ with a card with a smiley on it,” Harrison, 56, said. “You want to be able to send something that recognizes the gravity of the situation but you want it to be uplifting as well.”

The stay-at-home mom partnered with a friend, Cynthia M. Clarke, 58, to create Copiosity, a Silver Spring-based business that specializes in offbeat wrapping paper and cards. Six years in, the company’s products have landed in Whole Foods Markets, CVS stores and most recently, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which sells a line of wrapping paper called “tapestries” in its gift shop.


Business Rx: Hitting the big time with ethnic gift wrap and greeting cards