Former lawyer Keisha DePaz is the founder and chief executive officer of Punch Street, a New York City startup that offers bold and vibrant greeting cards inspired by pop, hip-hop, and urban cultures. Created with teens and young adults in mind, Punch Street cards represent and embrace the sentiments and realities of today’s generation. Punch Street’s offerings include greeting cards about anti-bullying, rehab, and teenage parenting, as well as more traditional lines like baby shower invites, save the dates, and thank you cards. “The cards aren’t used as just a nicety,” says DePaz. “They are really supposed to represent purchaser and recipient.” Customers can send the unique, colorful cards electronically or via snail mail. If they opt for the latter, Punch Street will print, stamp, and mail them for the customer.
DePaz, who attended SUNY Stony Brook and St. John’s University’s School of Law, previously worked at a top 40 law firm for nearly 5 years before becoming a startup founder. One day after work, she was watching the crime drama “The Wire” on DVD and saw a scene where one of the characters wasn’t liking the regular flower arrangements in the shop. An employee took him to the back of the store where there were unique selections that were more representative of his street life, flowers that were arranged in the shape of the BMW logo, a cell phone, and others. DePaz thought he needed a street style card to go with those flowers, which was the first time she considered writing and designing greeting cards.
That was in late 2010. Punch Street launched in January of this year, after overcoming developer and team issues. DePaz says her company is still adjusting to the online ordering and fulfillment processes. They are also working on getting the Punch Street name out there so customers know the brand exists.