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The Women Behind LGBT Greeting Cards

Dina Proto & Dina Poist-Proto of Teazled

Teazled becomes a family’s dream

By Micaela Kaibni Raen


The first national LGBT greeting card company has found a new way to empower families and support LGBT communities. Dina Proto and Dina “Dom” Poist-Proto are entrepreneurs on a mission to create professional high-quality greeting cards that reflect the emotions and sentiments of the LGBT community and their families.

Dina and Dom share four children and started their professional greeting card company, Teazled, while working full-time as nurses in the health care industry. They met through their jobs and faced challenges within their own families before they could begin their life as a couple. When Dom “came out” to her mother, her mother had a difficult time with it and kept her distance.  During that time Dom’s mother wrote in a journal about her journey to acceptance. Later, that journal would be used to create some of their first greeting cards.

When asked about her rocky coming out process, Dom can’t help but encouraged others. She says, “One of our first greeting cards said ‘If only I’d met you sooner, I could have loved you longer.’ Waiting to come out means that time is passing by and they may wish they had done it sooner. People who truly love you will stick by you. Take a chance.”

One Mother’s Day, their daughter gave them a card and added an “s” to make “mothers” plural to represent her family. Shortly after that, they began Teazled. They inspired to make the coming out process easier for others and as a way to offer support to the LGBT community and their families.

The Teazled Center Project was recently created in order to get their greeting cards into the hands of those who are struggling and need them the most. In collaboration with CenterLink, Teazled will make greeting cards available at selected LGBT Centers across the country. The centers will sell the cards and keep the revenue in order to support their mission to create a supportive LGBT community.

Teazled is not just greeting cards; it is a poignant way to share the stories of the LGBT community and their families. Their signature line of “Coming Out” and “Support” cards are fashioned in a way to give words to conflicts and create resolutions to the unique struggles of LGBT people and the families that care for them. The company began with sixty cards and now has over two hundred cards available on topics such as: anniversary, baby, birthday, holidays, love, military, and more. The prices of the cards are purposely kept low so that LGBT youth can purchase them as well as other interested buyers.

Dina and Dom’s family members help the couple with their business, from sharing expertise to helping count the inventory.

“The business has brought our family together. It has created common ground with our parents and our children who bring together diverse ideas, knowledge and opinions,” says Dina.

Last November, the greeting cards began selling in Albertsons Grocery Stores. Soon after, Dina was able to leave her position as a nurse to work for the business full-time. Teazled is now a proud certified supplier with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and is cultivating a national presence.

“We are in negotiations with several nationwide retailers but we are not ready to ‘out’ any of them yet,” says Dina. “We have recently started our Regional Sales Eastern Division and we would like to invite your readers to help us find new retail locations. We need their help to reach more people with our positive message.”

Micaela Kaibni Raen is an Arab-American author whose work explores cultural, socio-economic and sexual themes that critically impact women and their families.

Ebone Bell
Eboné Bell
Eboné is the Editor-in-Chief of Tagg Magazine. She is the illegitimate child of Oprah and it's only right that she continues their legacy in the media world.