Meet Alethea Okonak, the woman behind John the Craftist. Read about Thea's personal connection to cards, and how they've helped her overcome major health issues. She is happy to be sharing the happiness that cards bring to her with others.
Alethea Okonak, John the Craftist
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BRAND AND WHY IT’S THE BEST
Making every single card myself, start to finish. And making people smile.
WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND AND THE STORY BEHIND WHY YOU STARTED JOHN THE CRAFTIST?
I come from a family of rust belt makers, and DIY was always my jam. But I started making cards as distraction therapy when I was learning to manage a chronic neuropathic facial pain condition called Atypical Trigemal Neuralgia. Back then, pretty much everything was a struggle. Speaking; chewing; doing the dishes. The highlight of my day was when the mail arrived, because people sent me cards. It meant a lot to me -- to know that people took time out of their day; to know that people were thinking about me. So the idea of MAKING cards resonated in a pretty profound way when I was figuring out how to be a functioning human again.
WHAT ONE PRODUCT DO WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT AND WHY?
WE KNOW YINZ IS ONLY GITTIN' MARRIED FOR THE COOKIE TABLE always gets a laugh. I've heard a lot of memorable wedding stories, thanks to this card. People get incredibly serious about their cookie tables.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY YA JAGOFF was the first Pittsburghese design I made, and it's still one of my most popular cards. I feel like almost everyone who buys it is buying it for their brother. Because brothers are the ultimate jags.
IN THREE WORDS, WHY DO YOU LOVE PITTSBURGH?
Our work ethic.
HOW CAN PEOPLE FIND OUT MORE ABOUT JOHN THE CRAFTIST?thecraftist.tumblr.com