Joyce Clyde Hall

Founder of Hallmark Cards Inc.

What is Hallmark?

Hallmark is a privately owned American company founded by Joyce Clyde Hall that's located in Kansas City, MO and is the largest manufacturer of greeting cards in the United States. It creates products sold in more than 30,000 retail stores in the US and in 100 countries worldwide.
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Background of J.C. Hall

  • Born August 29, 1891 in David City, Nebraska
  • Family was poor
  • Youngest child and had two brothers, Rollie and William
  • Father left him and his brothers to care for themselves and their bed-ridden mother
  • Family was very religious (named after Methodist bishop, Isaac W. Joyce)
  • Dropped out of high school at 18
  • Had a job since he was 8, he sold perfume to neighbors and then eventually began working at his older brother's bookstore after school
  • Determined to make his mark on the business world

Entrepreneurial Traits, Characteristics, and Skills

Characteristics and Traits
  • Persistent
  • Creative
  • Determined
  • Enthusiastic
  • Responsible
  • Risk-taking
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Organizing and planning skills
  • Adaptability skills
  • Decision-making skills
  • Social skills
  • Communication skills

Background of the Company

  • In January 1910, high school dropout, J.C. Hall crammed two shoe boxes full of postcards, got on a train, and made his way to Kansas City, Missouri
  • When business started picking up, his brother, Rollie joined him and they opened up a specialty store in downtown Kansas City
  • In 1915, five years and a day after Hall arrived in Kansas City his entire inventory was wiped out by a fire
  • The two Hall brothers bought an engraving firm which set the stage for the creation of the first Hallmark card designs
  • In 1921, William Hall joined his two brothers in Kansas City to help run the business, forming Hall Brothers Inc., the predecessor of today's Hallmark
  • While others said advertising the cards was a waste of money, J.C. began creating and placing ads, eventually establishing Hallmark as the most recognizable brand name in the industry
  • Until the day J.C. Hall died no Hallmark greeting card would reach the marketplace without the "O.K.J.C." imprimatur

The Legacy

  • Although he was wealthy, profit was never foremost in his thoughts, he wrote in his autobiography, "If a man goes into business with only the idea of making a lot of money, chances are he won't. But if he puts service and quality first, the money will take care of itself."
  • Hall died Oct. 29, 1982 at the age of 91.
  • Hall and his wife, Elizabeth had three children, one of their sons, Donald Joyce Hall is now chairman of the company his father founded
  • His grancson, Donald J. Hall, Jr. is now president and CEO of the company