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Home  > Insider profile
Tara Centeio

"Our creative community is so understanding in that they allow us the space to create at our own pace and by our own inspiration."

As children, we're all asked the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" How did you answer?

A writer, have been writing since 6 years old. Wrote poetry, but you know how it is, sometimes you write little cards to your family.

What have been the most defining moments along your career path?

I've been wanting to do greeting cards since I was 15 because I used to draw a lot and write poetry, and I just thought in my 15 year old mind that to bring those two elements together would be to do greeting cards. That way I could do both. It was a pretty good marriage of the two. But as I went on and went to college, I kind of dropped the art thing. No one really catered to the greeting card industry; we didn't have anybody coming in to school at first who did it, so I thought about advertising. I realized, though, that it was a little too revolving door-ish for me and a little too cramped and pressure-laden. I've kind of had greeting cards on my mind ever since then. When Hallmark came to my school, it was just a perfect opportunity. It just kind of came full circle.

What have you learned from your experience?

To write a greeting card, you don't necessarily have to go to college. It's kind of a skill or a talent that you may already have. College just helps you refine it. There may be a whole entire week or two where I just really am not ticking, or have writers block or something. And that's okay here. Then there may be a week where I crank out a good 15 or 20 pieces and they're all accepted, so I have a great week. It really varies, but Hallmark understands that. I'd go crazy if they didn't, I think. It'd be too much pressure.

What most excites you about your job right now?

Our creative community is so understanding in that they allow us the space to create at our own pace and by our own inspiration. I sit in my booth and I have my computer and I do my thing, but I really don't feel cramped or tremendously affected by the corporate-ness of it all. We're in a business, so we do have to produce things that are sellable, but it's still quite a bit of freedom and a lot of fun.

On a scale of 1-10, how relevant was your academic major to your career? (1=not at all, 10=absolutely essential)


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