GSD // Tobe Reed of Hallmark Cards

Tobe Reed in Dining Room

Today’s GSD features an old friend of mine from my days at Hallmark. Tobe Reed wears many hats. She’s the managing editor for Hallmark Cards Think.Make.Share blog, the owner of 200Main which sells vintage/antique goods at One Kings Lane (she finds all those amazing goods along with her mother!), a mom, and a former blogger at Because It’s Awesome. Former because working full-time at Hallmark, having 200Main as a side hustle, and being a mom is a lot!

Let’s see how she gets shit done!

Tobe Reed Inspiration Board

What does a typical day look like for you?

Generally, pretty blurry! I try to start my day around 5:30 am to beat the morning chaos a bit. My husband and I have two girls at home (Ava is 3; Elin is 10 months), so the morning is often spent ushering them around from task to task. We take turns dropping them at daycare, and I try to be at Hallmark HQ by 8:30 am.

My day at the office is rarely the same, and there is never a dull moment! It’s a flurry of emails, meetings, emails, photo shoots, strategy work, calendar planning, more emails, Instagram, researching market trends, and finally catching up on email.

We’re home by 6:00 pm. My husband and I tag team dinner, play, and then do the bath/books/bed routine. The girls are usually asleep somewhere between 8 and 9 pm. Then we do a pass through the house to tidy up, tackle dinner remnants, wash bottles, run laundry, address mail/bills/misc to-dos, etc. I like to do this with a drink in-hand (preferably a glass of dry red wine) while catching up with my husband on his day.

Somewhere between 9:30-10 pm, I finally make it to the computer to return 200Main emails, photograph and/or upload inventory, draw up invoices, do the occasional freelance design work, and research market trends so I know what vintage goods to be on the hunt for. Every once in awhile, I take a night off to watch a movie with Eric. And one of these days, I’m finally going to figure out how to fit in a workout!

Tobe Reed Bedroom

What parts of your work do you love?

As managing editor of Hallmark’s blog, I am lucky to be able to highlight one of the largest in-house creative communities in the world. Imagine hundreds of artists under one roof. It’s amazing! I love sharing stories about some of the most talented people in the industry. I love the opportunity to humanize a historic brand with a rich legacy, one that is committed to enriching peoples’ lives and giving back to the dynamic city in which it was born (Kansas City). I love sharing art and design that people pour their hearts into and seeing it inspire others. Hallmark has been a private company for (literally) over a hundred years. It’s such a thrill to finally give people a peek behind the curtain.

As partner at 200Main, I love love love the hunt! I love finding vintage treasures large and small, giving them a good home for awhile, and then sending them out into the world. I co-own the business with my mom, who has always had a great eye for design. We have similar taste (we both love brass!), but also have our own distinctive styles, and we’re lucky to enjoy different aspects of the job. I’m more excited about the front end; finding, photographing, and uploading items. Of course, Mom loves the hunt as well, but she gets satisfaction out of boxing things up and shipping them out. We make a great team!

Tobe Reed 200Main Antiques

What parts of your work do you dislike?

Sooo many emails. There are a lot of moving parts with both businesses, and that can be challenging to keep up with.

What things do you have to do that you didn’t realize going into this job?

At Hallmark, I severely underestimated the amount of communication required. We’re a large company with a lot of departments and very involved creative leadership. We’re lucky to have such diverse backgrounds and skill sets in one building!

With the antiques business, I didn’t realize how little time I really had to run it. There are so many things I would love to do to take things to the next level. I’ve had a domain name squandered away for years, just waiting for the day we’re able to open our own digital storefront!

Tobe Reed Living Room

What type of calendar do you keep?

For Hallmark’s blog my designer, Ashley, and I keep our calendar in WordPress. I also like to have a physical version that goes to meetings with me so edits and notes can be made right away. Things are constantly shifting, so I have to record them as they happen or I’m bound to lose track.

Thankfully, 200Main doesn’t require much calendaring. I try to keep ledgers and inventory as up to date as possible. When the girls are a bit older, I hope I’m scheduling a lot more long distance antiquing adventures!

Tobe Reed Dining Room

How do you plan out your calendar?

The blog calendar is largely based on flow of life, product launches, and cool things that bubble up from the creative staff. At Hallmark, we have tons of insights and learnings about when people start to think about certain holidays, and how they want to communicate with the people they love most.

I’m also part of Hallmark’s Trends Studio, which forecasts cultural trends years in advance. I leave 20% to current market trends; what we’re seeing bubble up in social and on other blogs and media that we need to react to quickly.

How do you organize and tackle your to-do list?

I am very old school when it comes to my to-do list! I buy a planner every year, but usually abandon it by March. I write and rewrite my list in plain old notebooks, starting a fresh page as I run out of room on the current one. I star the items that need to be tackled first, and I try to keep that under three so I won’t get overwhelmed. So. Much. Joy. out of crossing things off the list!

Tobe Reed Inspiration Board and Brass

How do you attack your inbox? Do you have a certain strategy you use?

You mean how does my inbox attack me? Thanks to Meg’s advice long ago, I set up a separate MASS FILTER in Gmail that collects things I want to be able to reference (sales a brand is running or updates from media, for example), but that have the potential to overwhelm me everyday. That way, I only see them when I want to. I use the built-in flagging system for communication that I need to address. Red means respond, yellow means responded and awaiting a reply. I put things away in permanent labeled folders in the end.

Do you have any rituals or routines you do?

I work from home on Fridays, which is easily my favorite day of the week. Not because I don’t love being around other creative professionals or with my babies, but because it’s the one day of the week that I’m alllllll alone. I multi-task uninterrupted LIKE A BOSS on Fridays.

Tobe Reed Dining Room

How do you GSD at home?

I had to ask my husband to answer this one for me, and he said that I never sit down, and that the line about hanging out and watching a movie together is false. Because, truthfully, I just pass out if I stop moving.

Decorating is easy. I’m always fussing with things around our home. It’s my happy place.

Cleaning, I hire out. That was hard for me because I actually cleaned houses in college, so I feel like I should be able to do it myself. But I didn’t have a family and two jobs in college, so I guess I’m allowed to splurge there and essentially buy time back for doing things that I love.

Nuggets of advice you’ve been given that have stuck?

“Always do what you are afraid to do.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

What are your favorite apps, websites, programs, gadgets etc. you use to organize yourself. 

I love for scheduling Instagram posts.

As a designer, I’m loyal to Apple products.

Google docs and Dropbox are king for file sharing and storing.


Read more GSD (get shit done) interviews here.

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