Checkerboard

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Checkerboard

About Us

The Checkerboard Story

“I own the clothes on my back, and I have an idea.” Those were my dad Arthur’s words when, at age 17, he decided to set out on his own and found his first business, the Chase Paper Company. A child of the Great Depression, my dad’s family didn’t have much, and he struggled finding the means to make his endeavor work. But persistence and determination carried him through tumultuous times. Using his sister’s old bedroom as his first office and warehouse, he bought and sold paper all over New England. My father worked incredibly hard—even returning on weekends to check in on the business during his tenure in Army basic training.

Despite being successful in the paper business, my dad knew the future of his company would lie in printing invitations and stationery himself. To get the job done he knew he needed his own printing press; the problem was, however, that a press at the time cost a thousand dollars which—if you’re wondering—would equal upwards of $10,000 today. Unable to secure a loan, my grandfather reminded my dad about the neighborhood butcher shop on Water Street in Worcester. The butcher shop owner—Mr. Mindick— was a very generous and kind man. When my father went to see him, without hesitation the shop owner handed him a roll of money—all one thousand dollars. Despite the fact that Mr. Mindick couldn’t read or write in English, he wouldn’t have required dad to sign a contract even if he could. His only stipulation was: “When you can return it, return it…but don’t worry about it in between.”

I remember my father telling me that story, and how—even then—it resonated with me. That same spirit of cooperation and genuineness echoed in my father’s work, and has shaped the values we want our company to embody.

When Dad founded Checkerboard in 1989 after a break from his long and successful career in the fine stationery industry, he wanted to incorporate the latest in digital technologies into the business, and be a frontrunner in the future of invitation design.

After carving out this specialty niche, eventually my dad wanted to pass along the family business to me. In his words, he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse, but being a 27-year-old living in Silicon Valley, working in the virtual reality industry…I refused. He eventually persuaded me though. We wrote out our deal on the back of an envelope during a car trip to New York. I’d take over the business, and he’d be there to help me navigate the waters if needed.

As it was with my dad when he started Checkerboard, we believe that technology and talented people are the heartbeat of innovation; we try each and every day to provide quality and genuineness, both behind the scenes and through our products. We want to make invitations and stationery worthy of your special life events, and we are grateful for the privilege of being a part of them.

As a family business, we truly appreciate you choosing to work with us, and we hope you love how your order turned out. Business will change, and we’ll change with the business. But our heartfelt goal is that the Checkerboard name will be synonymous with the quality and care you can expect from our family, now and in the future.

Warm Regards,
Micah Chase

The Checkerboard Difference

Here at Checkerboard, we do things a little differently than other invitation printers. We are 100% committed to your satisfaction, and we truly believe in the quality of our product. From our exceptional customer service to our high-quality papers, we do everything for one reason only, because your name is on every card. Our promise: unbeatable craftsmanship, superior quality and outstanding value for your dollar.

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Our Values

The essence and values of Checkerboard talk to who we are and what we believe. Our values serve as our guide for our actions and ultimately form the basis for our culture.

  • Achieve operational excellence by focusing on the details in every aspect of our business.
  • Continually reinvent ourselves; inspire originality and innovation.
  • Do the right thing by our customers, partners, suppliers, investors, community and each other.
  • Cultivate an exceptional workplace: encourage mutual support, collaboration, commitment, and achievement.

Checkerboard’s Community and Commitments

Checkerboard strives to be a socially responsible member of our local community, customer community and employee community. Since our company founding, we have had a long history of actively giving to our community. Our involvement includes charitable giving as well as employee volunteerism. Listed below is a small sample of the organizations to which we have contributed and some of their comments.

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Testimonals

  • Jewish Foundation for the Righteous [web site]
    "The Foundation will be able to continue its education program that uses the stories of Christian rescuers to teach teachers about the Holocaust, its relevance for these times and the significance of altruistic behavior for our society."
  • Catholic Charities of Worcester County [web site]
    "As we opened the box of paper goods we just received from you, the teachers' imaginations immediately began to whirl."
  • Junior Achievement of Central Massachusetts [web site]
    "These funds will be used to directly sponsor a 2nd grade Junior Achievement classroom in the New Ludlow School."

Partners

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