Former Fried Frank lawyer launches greeting card company targeting urban youths

A former lawyer at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver and Jacobson in Manhattan has given up the job to launch a greeting card company targeting urban youths.

Keisha DePaz, 30, is working out of her mother’s basement in Queens, report Forbes and the New York Daily News. At the law firm, the pressure was high and the hours intense, DePaz told the Daily News. She began working on her new company, called Punch Street, on weekends and evenings until it began to consume her.

DePaz left the firm in 2011 and put her life savings into Punch Street. She told Forbes she got her inspiration for the greeting cards while watching The Wire. In one scene, a character is looking for flowers for a friend’s funeral and is dissatisfied with the traditional offerings until an employee brings him to the back of the shop. The flowers there are in the shapes of a cell phone, a car emblem and an RIP sign. Says DePaz, “The writer in me thought, ‘Hmm. … Well, he’s going to need a unique a greeting card to go with those flowers, too.’ ”

Punch Street’s cards include messages for teen parents, prison inmates, bullied kids, youths who don’t fit in, and patients just getting out of rehab. Customers can choose their card design and personalize the message. Punch Street will print, stamp and mail the cards.

“The cards speak to the culture of today when we have kids going through so many different things,” DePaz told the Daily News. “They need love and support. We can show them that with the cards.”

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