“Why did I come to Clearwater? Well, I followed a man here. The man was a mistake, but Clearwater was the right move!” says Joy Gendusa with a laugh.
Ten years after moving to Clearwater, Gendusa started PostcardMania, now a $58 million enterprise employing 268 people.
In 1998, Gendusa had a small graphic design company. After running into issues with her own promotion, she decided to start her own postcard company and instantly chose the name PostcardMania. “I stuck my head out of my office to tell the good news to my then tiny team of five. My announcement was met with blank stares, but the name stuck. Twenty years and over $50 million in annual revenue later, it turned out to be a pretty good idea!”
Some consider it surprising that postcards would still be a viable advertising tool in this digital day and age, but Gendusa points out that it has many advantages. Email inboxes are inundated with alerts and spam, and many people now utilize ad-blocking software, but people’s “real-life” mailboxes are less full than they used to be. This has resulted in many digital companies—from Google on down—turning to direct mail marketing to get people’s attention.
Focusing on small businesses, Gendusa and her team have ticked off a lot of “firsts” in her field, much of which is now “industry standard.” Both Gendusa and PostcardMania have been featured in media from trade publications to Entrepreneur magazine and articles in Huffington Post. Gendusa is part of Forbes’ Agency Council, an invitation-only organization for successful executives, and has written articles for the magazine’s website. But her proudest achievements have been creating a company people want to continue working for and creating jobs in the local community.
Gendusa also tries to give back when and where she can. “It was kind of a natural progression. Once I no longer had attention on myself or my own needs, I naturally wanted the people around me to be doing well, and the progression from there was the community.” Gendusa encourages PostcardMania employees to volunteer their time to local charities of their own choosing. They also regularly donate their postcards to nonprofit organizations.
In addition to her thriving business and philanthropic work, Gendusa has been happily married for over 15 years, has children and grandchildren and couldn’t be happier.
Returning her thoughts to Clearwater, Gendusa says, “The community is the thing I like best about Clearwater. It’s home. And what makes up community? The people.”