Longtime friends Ursula Robertson-Moore and Kris Faller are taking UPPERCASES, their Crestwood-based company that sells personalized pillowcases, overseas and making a case for sincere, positive messages.
The three person operation has reached local acclaim with Pat Day, Jerry Abramson and even Coach John Calipari, but UPPERCASES’ recent involvement with USA Cares is what caught our attention here at The Voice-Tribune.
The ladies took time to speak with us about how it all started, what they’ve been doing and where they’re going.
How did the idea for UPPERCASES come about?
When Ursula’s youngest daughter was 10, she came home after a tough day at school and made herself a comforting pillowcase that said “I’m Awesome.” We thought this was an idea that could potentially help other children, so we took it and ran with it.
How long have you been in business? How has it been so far?
We started UPPERCASES in April 2009 with a limited number of designs that were mostly geared to children. We now offer over 65 designs that include sports, humor, romantic and Biblical. Personalizing has been a big boom to our online sales. Kids love having their names printed on pillowcases – they’re great for sleepovers or summer camps. Newlyweds like the personalized “Mr.” and “Mrs.” cases. The first retail venue that carried UPPERCASES was the gift shop at Baptist Hospital East – they’ve been great to us. We’ve added many customers since then, most recently Amazing Green Planet and The Uncommon Art Shop in Norton Commons.
How long have you two known each other?
We have known each other since 1999. Our children were in the same fourth-grade class at Crestwood Elementary, and we ended up being co-room mothers. We have been friends ever since.
How did the partnership with USA Cares come about?
UPPERCASES was looking for a way to help our troops when we read an article about a Kentucky-based organization, USA Cares, that helps military families financially. Their mission impressed us, so we decided to partner with them by creating a couple of patriotic designs. We donate $6 from the online sale of these cases to USA Cares, and we personalize each one with a soldier’s name for free.
What are some of the most interesting personalized requests you’ve had?
One of our biggest sellers is the “Good Morning Beautiful” pillowcase. An older gentleman from Indiana asked if we’d tweak that design to say “Good Morning Sunshine” since that is how he greets his wife of 50-plus years every day. That was so sweet that we had to do it.
We also have “I Love My Dog” and “˜I Love My Cat” designs, where we add the pets’ photo and name. Just last week we had a special request for “I Love My Piggy,” so we printed a case with a pig named “Squeakers” on it. That was a little weird, but surprisingly cute.
Funny usually comes from unusual nicknames that people want printed on cases they order for loved ones, like “Princess Wakey-Wakey”.
What are some of the most popular UPPERCASES?
It depends on the age of the person ordering. The most consistently popular UPPERCASE for children is our “You Are My Sunshine – You Make Me happy” design. We’ve had grandparents order it for all their grandkids. “The Loving Alphabet” and “You Can Count on Me” are educational and popular with parents of preschoolers. College students like “My Major is Sleep” and “Stress Relief Kit.” Older folks like the Biblical verses, as well as the Lincoln quote: “It’s not the years in your life that count, but the life in your years.” Like we said before, “Good Morning Beautiful” and “Good Morning Handsome” always do well.
What are some of the more romantic cases you’ve created?
A really romantic UPPERCASE has a large red heart rimmed with the words “You Are Loved Every Minute of Every Day in Every Thought and Every Way.” One of our simplest and sweetest cases is the personalized “You are the Love of My Life” because I think we all want to be that for someone. Our “Somebunny Loves You” design, which was originally created for kids, has done surprisingly well as a romantic case for adults. Go figure!
What does the process of creating an UPPERCASE entail?
We discuss ideas for pillowcase designs that relate to everyday life experiences. Then we contact our graphic designer, Marla Moore, to develop the case. Marla creates her initial design and we critique it. Once the design is finalized, we convert it into a CorelDraw file and then it’s ready to be printed using a computer and our direct-to-garment printer.
What makes this pillowcase unique?
Several things make UPPERCASES unique. The quality of the case is exceptional – we only use 100 percent Egyptian combed cotton, so they are incredibly soft. All of our designs are upbeat and positive. What probably distinguishes us the most is that, unlike other companies, we do not screen print our cases. Instead we print with a state-of-the-art process called direct digital printing that uses only hypoallergenic, water-based, non-toxic ink. The ink actually goes into the fabric, not on it, to give the pillowcase a long-lasting, texture-free design that is very soft to the touch.
For you as the creators, what is the most inspirational part of the business?
We like the idea that our pillowcases brighten people’s days. UPPERCASES was originally inspired by a hurting child, so we get excited every time we introduce a comforting new design. We’re all about positive reinforcement, so we try to help people feel better and they in turn help us feel better. It’s a win-win.
To purchase your very own UPPERCASES pillowcase, visit www.uppercases.net.
Category: The Spotlight
About the Author (Author Profile)
Voice-Tribune Staff Writer Lauren DePaso enjoys being a tourist in her own city, exploring the nightlife and cheering on the Cards. A Louisville native, she currently resides in St. Matthews.