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Doehla Greeting Cards, Inc.

1950s Doehla return order envelope;  note the address~ "In the Beautiful Merrimack Valley at the Gateway to the White Mts. Nashua, N.H." required 3 cents postage
"Thank You for your Order" envelope backside

  HARRY DOEHLA was an inspirational guy. Born in 1900, (his father an "$8 a week weaver") he lived until the age of 71 and 
died a multimillionaire greeting card mogul.   
"The King of mail order and direct sales"
 In spite of becoming crippled from rheumatic illness and wheelchair bound by age 18, 
 he built a greeting card empire
 as means to support both himself
 and his parents and ended up a millionaire by age 32. 
QUILTEX DAINTIES box assortment, featured a "stand-out" quilted-effect with satiny fabric in soft green, blue, pink, yellow and white

Harry Doehla  (pronounced DOLE-LA) shared the story of his life and encouraged others.
 When he was interviewed formally and by friends he talked of his personal struggles and his determination to succeed.  Several articles (noted and linked below) relate how Harry struggled with his handicap. When Harry was a young man, just graduating high school , he was struck with rheumatic fever leaving him crippled and in pain.
 His dreams were gone.
No college. No chemistry degree.
Now he was a young man needing to be carried like a baby in his parents arms,
 unable to walk, confined to a wheelchair
 (one article quotes him as referring to himself as a "wheelchair chauffeur")
 His future looked bleak and his spirits were down. 
  The articles touch on the excruciating pain and
the depression and hopelessness Harry experienced.
 His parents had to both work to pay for their modest lifestyle
 and medical expenses.
Harry was said to have brooded
 at home, desperate at times, to figure out a way to make money and be useful. 
 Different sources quote mottos that were said to have helped Harry.
 I suspect that he gave several examples
of "quotes he never forgot and lived by";
 they certainly reflect his personal philosophy:

A motto in a booklet from a friend is credited for inspiring him:
"Self-pity never accomplishes anything."

A speech from his graduation is credited for inspiring him:
 "What you dare to dream, dare to do."
TREASURE CHEST box set featured gold embossing, crinkly foil, mechanical swing, umbrella and awning, fold-overs, and tip-ons

1921~ after trying a variety of avenues to make a living,
including painting Christmas cards~
 a task made very laborious by his crippled hands~
Harry decided to make a living through greeting cards again, this time though,
selling cards, not painting them.
 Harry's parents mortgaged their home to pay for
 the consignment of 12,000 boxes of greeting cards
 for direct sale through mail order to representatives
 and religious and fraternal organizations for fund raising.
 Success~credited to Harry's tenacity~
he and the Doehla family managed to sell them ALL!
 ...plus 7,000 boxes MORE, that first year!
BEAUTY FRAME box set; featured 3-D frame with embossing details
 Harry and his family, with the help of seasonal employees, grew the business through the 1920s
until 1932 the Doehla company primarily sold Christmas items. 
in the 1930s the business would expand to include "everyday" assorted occasion cards thereby making business year round.
CIRCUS SET-UPS box set which included a separate, "gay stand-up trained animal" to fold in each card
 by the 1950s Doehla grew to include remodels, additional buildings around Fitchburg,  and even hiring other local business to help with filling orders and warehousing stock.  Eventually, they decided to relocate with all operations under one roof~
March 1951 the Doehla Card company acquired property Nashua, New Hampshire.
1962 Telegraph article also notes Doehla had an art studio in the Empire State Building, New York,
 as well as, branch offices and shipping facilities in
 Palo Alto, California and Atlanta, Georgia. 

SUGAR CAKE boxed set, featured a "snowy texture"

1930 Gift Wrap was added to the line

ART CREST All Occasion Gift Wrap included 28 Sheets of paper as well as coordinating  Seals and Gift Enclosure Folders
1932 Doehla branched out designing "all occasion" cards 

Harry primarily sold Christmas items until 1932  
1951 TREASURE CHEST CHRISTMAS BOX included 21 cards featuring cut-outs, pull-outs, real ribbon, 3D mountings, flocking, crepe, transparent plastic and tip-ons

1936 Doehla Company passed the Million Box mark

Schools, bands, churches, little league teams, "any worthy organization" all flocked to 
Doehla for fund raising products.

1950 Doehla Foundation was established 

1960s Doehla acquired Chilton Card Company, Boston 
General Card Co., Chicago

 1965  Young Look cosmetic line purchased from Lehn and Fink Co. Ohio
Doehla renovated facility in Nashua  

1965 Doehla acquires Direct Sales Divisions
of Artistic Card Publishing Corp., Elmira NY 
divisions include: 
Artistic Card Co. Inc.
Elmira Greeting Card Company, Inc.
National Youth Sales Club
Hycrest Card Company Inc. , Boston Mass
Champion Card Company, Inc. Dallas Texas

1969 Doehla acquires Hampton Greeting Card Company, Libertyville Ill.

1970 WESTCHESTER GREETINGS trademark by DOEHLA GREETING CARDS, INC. in NASHUA -Westchester made boxed assortments of Christmas Cards


Nashua Telegraph, June 30, 1962 article: Doehla Greeting Cards, 1921 Started in Home
Nashua Telegraph, July 23, 1951 article: "Doehla Firm Thanks City for Welcome" 
Nashua Telegraph,Dec 11, 1976 article "Doehla Inc to be Sold"
Salt Lake Tribune, May 9, 1951 article, "Faith Can Overcome Handicaps"
"Turning Handicaps into Assets 1950, Old and Sold   Crotched Mountain Philanthropic Heroes
"I Can Do Anything!" article The Salt Lake Tribune 1951
Telegraph July 10, 1965 Doehla Renovates plant, Adds Young Look Line
the Telegraph Oct 30, 1985 1985 Doehla Inc. Moves 60 Jobs Out of Nashua


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