Wombi Rose and John Wise first discovered their shared love for intricacy and design while attending The Webb Institute, where they were training to become naval architects and marine engineers. Then, during a grad school project in Vietnam, they learned about an ancient Vietnamese paper-cutting technique and, according to their website, "fell in love with the unique art form of beautiful, hand-crafted, paper cards. Our inner engineers came to life with the world of possibilities—we wanted to create everything as a delicate paper sculpture!" Soon, their greeting card company, LovePop, was born.

Looking back, the pair probably never would have imagined that they'd be using their ship-designing skills in such an artistic and sentimental way. But here they are, nine years later, making an unexpected dream come true.

"Turns out, what you learn to build and design a ship is very similar to what you need to do to create one of these cards," Rose said.

Still, creating these cards isn't an easy task. Each custom design must first be made into a sketch, which is then transferred into a 2-D modeling software before finally being sent to a laser-cutting software that creates each individual shape.

"It usually takes about three iterations before it works right," Rose said.

But their hard work pays off: In a world where handwritten letters and customized greeting cards are rare, "we've seen more excitement around having something tangible," Wise said.

All images via LovePop