Welcome to Happy Town! We make smiles here!
Creating and building Books That Heal continues to be a wonderful journey. Along the way, I’ve had an opportunity to meet with other companies and founders who are dedicated to making a difference in people’s lives. As we build Books That Heal, part of our mission is to create a community that shares our values and provide even more resources to the children and families we serve.
One of the most remarkable founders I’ve met is Stacey Lamb, creator or Happy Town (https://thisishappytown.com/). The mission is simple: To make people smile. They do this with an ingenious approach to uniquely designed and thoughtfully messaged greeting cards, creating brighter, happier moments during the some of the most difficult times in life.
I had an opportunity to interview Stacey and wanted to share more about this wonderful company that has had an impact on so many lives and has helped Stacey to discover greater purpose even if it wasn’t really in the original plan.
Happy Town’s Story
Stacey Lamb, the founder of Happy Town, worked for Hallmark Cards in St. Louis, Missouri for over 30 years as an artist, writer and illustrator of greeting cards. It was an amazing company to work for. However, in November 2013, without any notice, Stacey along with a hundred other colleagues was let go.
Stacey shares “I felt like I had been betrayed by my best friend. It came out of nowhere. My work defined who I was. I grew up there, I got married there and I had my children there. I would just sit in the house all by myself and I thought “what am I going to do?” Even though I had been an artist all of my life, I stopped drawing because I was grieving the loss of my job.”
In the midst of her own sadness, Stacey found out in the spring of 2014 that a friend was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and needed a bone marrow transplant. Fortunately, within a very short period of time, her friend was matched with a donor. As part of the treatment, she had to go into a germ free environment for 100 days.
Stacey says “I wanted to help her feel better every day so I created 100 drawings on index cards and put all sorts of silly stuff on them along with bible quotes and called it Cheryl’s 100 Days.’ Every day, she would open the envelope, take out a card and hang it on the clothesline in her hospital room. My friend, the nurses, the doctors -- everybody loved them and it turned into much more when the bone marrow doctor became my first customer. He bought 100 Day Countdown cards for each of his patients entering the bone marrow transplant program.”
Happy Town Countdown Cards
From this first experience of helping a friend, Happy Town was born and turned into so much more. Over time, Stacey connected with a Child Life Specialist (CLS) at Children’s Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. CLSs are the unsung heroes of pediatric healthcare and work with children and families in hospitals and other settings to help them cope with the challenges of hospitalization, illness, and disability.
Although losing her job and changing direction at this stage in life was not part of Stacey’s plan, but it gave her more than she could have imagined; it gave her a sense of purpose. By collaborating with CLSs throughout the country, Stacey has been able to build tools specifically for use by CLSs as they help care for pediatric patients. Through Happy Town, Stacey has created a range of unique and engaging cards for children of all ages and for a range of circumstances including teens, pre-schoolers, hospice, bereavement, diabetes, behavioral issues and calming down to name a few. While Happy Town makes exceptionally creative cards, it’s really a community of creative thoughts, ideas and products to make people smile.
We encourage everyone to go to Happy Town’s website at (https://thisishappytown.com/) to learn more about their work, their company and the beautiful products that help make people smile.