Interview with Nathan Lex and Cameron Toner of Organic Playing Cards Part I

For this exclusive interview, we are honored to have a guest post from Austin Perez (Instagram: @austin100s). In part one of this guest post, Austin interviews the cool guys behind Organic Playing Cards, Nathan Lex and Cameron Toner about their friendship, business, cardistry, social media and more... Enjoy!

To be able to turn your hobby into a company is something very few adults can do in their lifetime. To be able to do it with a close friend of yours is even rarer. To be able to do this while both of you are still attending college and are in the 20s is just maddening. Nathan Lex and Cameron Toner are two college students who combined their skills of cardistry, charisma, and cinematography into making the company known as Organic Playing Cards. Today, I am asking the two questions on how it is they are able to compete for the wallets of consumers while also trying to help out in any way they can.

So guys, the first and most obvious questions I have for you two is how you met and what you first thought of each other? Have both of you been into playing cards for quite some time or did one of you introduce the other to it first?
We met each other at Ball State University during a program during the Accelerate program that is an early move-in program for freshman. We were both in love with cards before meeting. Nate was doing cardistry and Cameron was doing Card Magic.

Cam, how do you and Nate balance each other out in terms of business partners? What is one of your guys’ ways of team building so you all keep a healthy work environment?
Nate and I balance each other very well in all aspects. We support each other, never say no to an idea, and are always challenging each other to make something better. We team build by playing video games and going out to take photos for fun.

Nate, when it comes to cardistry you have been a huge influence for many young cardists just starting out. How long have you been practicing cardistry? How did you find out about it?
I have been doing Cardistry for 6 years and learned about it from my friend ethan at a fourth of July Party.

What made you want to create a card company in the first place? Since you guys are so young in the industry what has been the biggest help for you in terms of learning the hard way? Have any other card creators given you any advice you all have taken to heart?
We never really sought out to create our own company. Our biggest aspiration in the beginning was to just get Peelers V1 made. We never thought we would be where we are now! Running a card company and making cards has always been a dream of mine, and when given the opportunity we ran with it.

You guys have various outlets on Instagram, YouTube, and other social media sites for all the aspects that make up Organic Playing Cards and the people who work for it. Do you feel that running all these accounts and keeping them up to date can be a hassle or overwhelming sometimes? If so, how do you find time to relax and unwind?
It can be at times. Especially with school, OPC, and having a social life. But we love seeing anything anyone makes with our brand. We play video games to unwind or sometimes just turn our notifications off for a while.

Being a student myself, I find that finding time to keep up with everything that isn’t school to be quite challenging. I can only imagine what it would be like to run a company as well as you two have. How do you find a healthy balance between the two? Do students or teachers ever recognize your company and have they bought products from you guys? What has been the craziest interaction for both of you in campus?
We balance everything by scheduling designated time for work (OPC), school, and friends. There are professors and our classmates that have learned about our company and bought our cards to support us. We have both had the crazy experience of one of our classmates that were not our friend buying our cards which blew our minds.

When coming up with the idea and design of the Peelers v1, what was the inspiration for it all? Do you use the same artist for each iteration or change it up every now and then? Who designs the tuck cases as well?
The original Pellers inspiration came from a speech Cam heard about the Cavendish Banana going extinct. We hire a designer that is also a Ball State student and they design all aspects of the decks artwork while we come up with the ideas and creative.

When it comes to stock, cut, and finish, you’ve been on the record saying you use the premium Bee casino stock. What about it appeals more to you than say crushed stock or bicycle stock? Will you ever switch from it or are you guys adamant about keeping uniformity on the feel of your decks?
We really love the feeling of all of our decks and how long they last. We have had decks of ours that we have abused and they still hold up really well. We don’t think we will switch anytime soon.

Stay tuned for the second part of the interview where Nate and Cam talk about Organic Playing Cards, Squeezers V2, Cardistry and future decks. Enjoy!

This segment is written by Austin Perez (Instagram: @austin100s). No part of this article can be reproduced without written permission from the author and Kardify.com.


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