Terrye Cheathem was one of the many Americans who has thought and thought about developing a new product or service that would make money. And she came up with a concept that is working, despite one of the least-promising business strategies ever developed.
By her own description, her product is something no wants to buy, and no one wants to receive.
It's a special line of greeting cards for prison inmates, of whom there are 2.5 million in the United States today.
The business is called Three Squares Greetings. The name is a reference to the three square meals most prisoners get as one of the few benefits of incarceration.
Cheathem thought of the idea when a relative was sent to prison. She sells the cards online and in a few stores. Besides keeping communications open with friends and loved ones behind bars, the cards carry messages from the heart. There are a few sentimental, keep your spirits up sort of thoughts:
We are all praying for you while you do your time. Don't forget to pray for yourself. God will hear you.
But most of the cards have more of a tough love theme:
When you called recently, I wasn't very sympathetic. I guess I've heard your promises to change too many times. Please stop promising to change and just do it.
And then there's:
It's that time of year again. While doing your time, resolve to make better choices.
Not your typical, Miss you, my darling. Wish you were here sort of greetings, that's for sure.