In the minds of three Medford men, there is a more compelling way of expressing your well wishes than words on a mere greeting card.
"You keep cards a little while on your table, then they go in box or they're thrown away," said Chris Sixkiller, one of the developers of Flying Greetings, a next-generation way of letting loved ones and friends know what you think of them. "We wanted a creative way to send a gift and greeting people could customize to fit their needs."
Of course, Flying Greetings founders Rod Hanlin, Dean Paddison and Sixkiller see stylized Wham-O Frisbees as promotional vehicles as well for businesses, sports teams and clubs.
Hanlin is a contractor, Sixkiller owns a cleaning service and Paddison handles information technology, or IT, and publications work for First Church of the Nazarene in Medford.
The enterprise is the result of regular gatherings that began four years ago, in which they pitched business ideas to one another.
"If it sticks, we look at it and pray about it some more," Sixkiller said.
The first prototype was fashioned in March 2011. The concept is fairly simple: Take a high-quality Frisbee, then personalize it with a message and picture. It's a present-day version of a message in the bottle, except "there's a person in mind when we throw it in the mail," Sixkiller said.
If you consider the Rogue Valley as a test market for Flying Greetings, the sky is the limit.
"Once we get out of the Medford box and to the masses, we think it can take off," Sixkiller said. "We've had a wonderful response. Why send a card when you can send a Flying Greeting?"
Classic ultimate-sized Frisbees sell for $12 with a message and $15 with a custom photo. Smaller discs go for $10 and $15 with a custom photo. Shipping is $3.
The Frisbees come in an array of colors, some featuring the airbrush work of Phoenix artist Jeremiah Thiring.
While most of the sales are via the company's website, the founding trio have tried placing them everywhere, from party shops to pet stores.
"The manager of one pet shop wanted one for his dog's birthday," Sixkiller said.
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and an indication the idea has wings, it didn't take long for the business partners to see they were onto something.
A New Yorker started hawking knockoffs with a similar look on multiple websites, using heat-stamped images on lesser-quality discs. Flying Greetings responded with a cease-and-desist letter to protect its trademark name.
"We're not selling 50-cent Frisbees," Sixkiller said. "We're encouraging people to step out of the normal pattern of sending a card."
Ultimately, the Flying Greetings founders hope to establish a foundation so they can fund mission and other efforts, he said. "We want to share inspiration and happiness."
Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or email email@example.com.