Hoodie Moon designs created by BG’s own

One line of greeting cards sold at the University Bookstore has a unique tie to the University — its creator is a graduate.

Alumna Monika (Getz) Nuss designs and illustrates Hoodie Moon Designs greeting cards. Nuss, 37, runs her one-member company from her Chicago area home, creating cards to sell in the surrounding areas and at the bookstore of her alma mater. But Nuss’ intentions were not always to become a card designer. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Visual Communications Technology in 1988, she worked for various software businesses and an Internet company. When the Internet company went out of business in 2002, Nuss decided to turn her hobby of drawing into a career.

“Never in a million years would I have thought I’d be in a card business,” Nuss said. “It’s one of those things that someone always says, ‘You should really start a business doing this,’ and you’re like, ‘Yeah, whatever.'”

Nuss has drawn cards for her friends and family for years. After strong encouragement from those close to her, especially her sister and husband, she decided to make her artistic pastime a business.

Even with the help of a printer brother-in-law, Nuss had a lot of work to do launching a business on her own. She had to personally sell her card line to stores that would potentially carry them.

“I called small card stores in the area and met with the owners, many of whom bought and displayed my cards,” Nuss said. After much deliberation, Nuss chose the name Hoodie Moon Designs for her company to pay homage to her sister and husband for their extreme support. Hoodie is part of a nickname Nuss used to refer to her sister Heidi in their youth. Moon is a reference to a Jimmy Stewart from the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” line that Nuss’ husband, Mike, imitates.

Nuss said her experiences at the University prepared her for her role as business owner.

“My background in visual communication and my printing and design background helped a lot,” she said. “I took several business and marketing classes as well, which laid a foundation for the work I’m doing today.”

A new mother, Nuss is grateful for the opportunity she has in her career to work from her home.

“The business works out nicely because I can work on projects at home and still be a stay-at-home mom,” she said.

Because of her desire to stay home with her young son, Zachary, the nature of Nuss’ business has changed.

“Right now, I’m doing a lot of custom stuff,” she said, citing examples of customers wanting the drawn figures on their cards to have certain colors of hair or clothing. “It seems to be the bigger part of my business right now.”

In addition to being sold at nearly 20 Chicago area stores, Hoodie Moon cards are currently available at the University Bookstore, on display with a sign indicating that “BGSU alumna Monika Nuss” created them.

According to Kathy Shapler, Bookstore employee, the store has carried Hoodie Moon cards for at least a year. Because of the limited amount of display space, however, the cards are not on display continuously.

During holiday seasons, such as Sweetest Day or Halloween, when time-specific cards need to be displayed, Hoodie Moon cards may not be shown in the store, although they are still available for purchase, Shapler said.

Despite the setback of not being displayed all the time, the Hoodie Moon cards seem to be holding their own in the popularity contest against other cards in the bookstore.

Editor’s Note: For more information on Hoodie Moon Designs, or to view images of available cards, visit http://www.hoodiemoon.com online.