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, mugs, magnets, handcrafted figurines, Christmas decorations and more.
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 recently 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; 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.
Awards We’ve Won
- 2011 MLK Difference Maker Award
- 2010 Outstanding Community Service Award from Hosea Feed the Hungry
- 2009 Book Expo Trailblazer Award
- 2007 Sacramento Community Service Award
- 2003 New Vista Award-Wells Fargo/The Observer Media Group
- 2002 Best Booth at IBBMEC
- 2001 Winners of Best Booth at CBA
- 2000 Winners of the Manufacturer of the Year Award at IBBMEC
- 1999 Louie Award Finalists
We received our shipment and I personally want to thank you for your willingness to share this message as well as the lovely cards. The people that recieve them will be greatly blessed both the sender and the receiver.
Four years ago we needed mirrors in the dance studio, we came across a fund-raiser “African American Expressions”. After receiving the items back we were so pleased with the quality and the company we passed the brochures on to other groups. We truly thought we would not use this fund-raiser again since we had our goal met. The next year rolled around and we bombarded with people wanting to order again. “Just think, people asking for a fund raiser product!” Needless to say we are in our 4th year and things are better than ever. You have been a blessing to our organization and we appreciate you and the great products that you offer. We can’t wait to see the creativity that will pour out next year.
–D’Lauren Dance Troupe
Thank you so much for your faithfulness, your dedication and your servitude in building up God’s kingdom. You are a tremendous blessing to us and all whom we minister to. I will be praying for you continuously, that God will keep you, bless you and increase your borders. We need and solicit your prayers as we ‘press on with the Great Commission.’ Thank you.