African American Expressions History and Biography
Inspired by his dedication to God and deep commitment to family, Gregory Perkins began African American Expressions in a small shop in Sacramento, California in 1991. Having no formal education beyond a high school diploma, Perkins lovingly refers to the B.A. he received when he became “Born Again.”
African American Expressions, now the largest black-owned greeting card company in America, began as a single product company selling ethnically sensitive Christmas cards in three designs. Perkins' persistence was fueled by his childhood experiences watching his father run the family restaurant and nightclub business in Niagara Falls, New York. Today, African American Expressions sells over 2,500,000 cards annually with over 250 original designs. This multimillion dollar operation has expanded to include many other inspirational gifts such as calendars, journals, address books, magnets, magnetic notepads, luxury tote bags and handcrafted figurines.
Today the company rapidly expands its market share through the distribution channels of thousands of retailers throughout the country and around the world.
Perkins has been the keynote speaker at the Book Expo of America for the African American Booksellers, using his inspirational style and sharing his experience and knowledge in “Increasing Your Bottom Line”. Wells Fargo Bank awarded him the New Vista Award, which honors Sacramento’s most successful small businesses.
In his speech, he freely referred to “Jesus as the reason for the success of my business”. He proudly stated that, “it is my intention to be about my Father’s business”. Additional awards include Best Booth Design from the Christian Booksellers Association, and also a finalist in the Louis Awards for Best Kwanzaa Design. In 2000, Perkins became the recipient of the IBBMEC Manufacturer of the Year Award.