For Maya J. Hicks, it’s always been about the personal touch.
Since college, she’d often create custom cards and hand-written notes for loved ones in time for birthdays, special milestones, and just-because moments. Like most millennials, she is a part of a bridge generation that came of age experiencing both analog technology and the digital uprising. Because of that, she recognizes the loss of genuine connection social media can sometimes encourage.
“I never want to lose those special touchpoints with the people I really care about, so I was intentional about communicating that in thoughtful ways,” she shared with Essence.
After years of delighting her inner-circle with the special notes, her friends convinced Hicks to share her gift of connection with the world—thus the idea for Scribbles was born.
“Not only did I recognize the need for a custom card company that encourages personal connection, but also one that centers representation,” she shared with Essence. “When we grab a card from the store, we’re not only looking for something that’s representative of the moment but speaks our common language, you know? Something that sounds like your voice and conveys personal emotion we have with our friends and that didn’t feel so high level. For instance, telling someone you love them, but it’s ‘Girl, I love you.’”
A fan of non-traditional gift-giving, she infused Scribbles with all of the special components she’d look for when shopping in smaller gift shops and added her flair to it. With messages like “Hey, sis—When I see you I see many things” and “I really, really like you,” Hicks said she wanted to ensure her consumers’ true witty personalities shone through the cards.
“As a product of the social media generation, I think I’m pretty funny and many of my customers are too,” she shared. “It’s really important that the product reflects that.”
The witty entrepreneur also serves as a marketing executive for Target by day, who has largely been a proponent of diversity, something that wasn’t lost on her while she built her business.
“I am the biggest Target supporter–I love them,” she said. “And I love that I get to be an agent of representation by keeping my finger on the pulse of culture and serve as an external voice for us, internally.”
Although Target is a leader in diversity amplification as compared to their big box store competitors, Hicks acknowledged there’s still work to be done.
“Most of the things I built within Scribbles’ brand ethos, I don’t see on Target shelves just yet,” she shared. “But what I’m leveraging right now is that Target has taught me how to truly adapt to my customers and make them feel seen as a company.”
This is evident in one of her most popular card designs, which takes a twist on the popular Jay-Z lyric, instead centering women: ‘Put her anywhere on God’s green earth and she’ll triple your worth.’
“I created that card in time for Valentine’s Day, but it’s true all year round–Black women come into a room and start to close the deals and break down walls. It’s just what we do. And it’s always a great thing to celebrate that.”