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Holiday Tradition at Atlas Features Creative Greeting Cards

Atlas Pressed Metals has developed a tradition of creating a very unique holiday card – one completely designed by employees using powder metal parts.

Sally Moran, Director of Sales and Marketing at Atlas, kicked off the idea six years ago. Atlas has utilized a new custom card each year since.

“Creating the card is actually a contest that we announce in early September,” said Moran. “We post a flyer in the plant with the contest requirements and a due date typically in mid-October. This gives us enough time for our contestants to build their sculptures. We make a decision on winners, contact our customers for approval to feature their parts, and then have the sculptures photographed, and the card designed and printed. It is quite a process.”

Employees are required to list the part numbers, but there are no restrictions to the designs. Parts are often painted or glittered and have been enhanced with wire, greenery, ornaments and even music sheets. Atlas has had a Christmas-themed contest each year except 2017, when employees were challenged to build an actual metal trophy, made entirely from powdered metal parts. After judging, the creations are carefully packed up and hand-carried to a photography studio, where more of the magic is layered in to create the finished card, Moran said.

“The designs have been so creative,” Moran said. “I keep thinking we may have played out our ideas, but our designers keep coming up with cute, new concepts. There are very detailed and amazing creations. Our customers have been thrilled to be featured on our annual card.”

One person who has participated since first becoming an Atlas employee is molding inspector Jordon Walburn. She has entered the contest the past three years, winning first place in the contest in 2017 and 2018. Walburn says she thinks about ideas for the contest all year long, until the year it was switched up with the trophies.

“This year I tried not to think about it until they announced the contest,” Walburn said, noting she had entered 10 different creations for the contest this year, which took about six weeks to make. While there is no limit to the number of creations, everything submitted is considered one entry. Her “HO HO HO” design was selected for the front of this year’s card. On the inside, the greeting card displays her holly berries, Christmas tree and chimney, “joy” and even a scene depicting the Nativity.

“I get a lot of inspiration from my children,”Walburn said. “They play around with the parts and say, make this!”

Her favorite? “I really like the chimney the most. It took the most time.” Walburn’s attention to detail has not gone unnoticed. In January, she will begin serving as Atlas’ Production Quality Technician. Congratulations, Jordon!