Carl Maag - Putnam Sentinel
Carl Maag, Ottawa, holds a few of the cards he is currently selling. (Putnam Sentinel/Nancy Kline)

OTTAWA – As he approaches his 88th birthday, Ottawa resident Carl Maag is not ready to slow down. Instead, he is excited about a new business he has started, and the future possibilities it holds.

Maag, who is a Korean veteran and former farmer, has started a unique greeting card line.

The cards are meant for children to say thanks to their parents on their birthday.

“Instead of expecting a card from your parents, I thought it would be nice if a child could send a card to their parents,” Maag said, ‘They are ‘thank you for giving me my birthday’ cards.”

Carl has thought about the idea for several years. It started when he was shopping for a card, and someone mentioned it would be nice to have a card to send his parents.

When he was ready to have the cards designed, he was given suggestions for someone to do the art work and another person to do the greeting. Both are from Leipsic. Roberta Howard has drawn the art work for all of Carl’s cards. Karen Punches writes the greetings.

“I had 20,000 cards printed in the 1990s,” Carl said. “But then a big storm came and took off the roof where I had them stored. It destroyed all but one carton of the cards.” Carl said. “I just put the idea aside for a while after than happened.”

“But then I had people including my family tell me it was a good idea and I should get back into it,” Carl said. He used the carton of cards he had and went on to have more printed.

He currently has ten different card designs, with eight new designs in the works.

There is a wide variety in the selection, including a card for a single dad, and another for a single mom.

This time, the business is already working. “Most of the area Catholic Dioceses have signed up to sell my cards as fundraisers for different things,” Carl said. This includes the Diocese of Cincinnati, Cleveland and Toledo.

“I knew people in various places and had relatives help me to market the cards,” Carl said. He also had brochures printed that give choices of the cards he offers for sale.

When a school or another group plan a fundraiser, they give out the order forms, then compile the list of purchased cards to send to Carl. The Ottawa business man then puts the order together to send out.

“I’m excited about the business,” Carl said. He also hopes to market the cards through local retailers.

Currently Carl handles all the business details. He takes the orders, packs the boxes — including envelopes — and ships them.

“My daughter is retired,” he said. “She may help me in the future.”