I have a new & special project I’ve been working on for a while now that I am really excited to share — the Holiday Mystery Box! But before I get ahead of myself, here’s some exposition.

For nearly two decades now I have walked trade shows around the globe in search of great finds — sometimes I have stumbled across big names before they rise to the top, other times it has been obscure but very cool brands that are hard to find in stores — let alone in trade show aisles.

Then when I get back home, I peruse catalogs and press kits to make up pages for Stationery Trends. My goal here is to enable retailers to tell a story with their displays, be they tiny vignette, window or even endcap. To me, the best displays make the viewer want to own every single item in them.

That is all well and good, but there has always been a part of me that wanted to actually put those little stories together and actually offer them for sale. That exact opportunity fell in lap this summer, when I was approached by a local company here in Cleveland, 3 Birds Studio, to curate a very special, limited-edition compendium of stationery & gift offerings for the holiday season. 3 Birds designs and manufactures a variety of products that focus on crafting and preserving memories, so this is a new endeavor for them as well. So I once again turned to my press kits and catalogs, but this time with a different goal in mind.

The Holiday Mystery Box is inspired by the simple pleasures of the season — a cozy sweater, a roaring fire, the smell of fir, watching the snow peacefully fall and dust the ground. And there are plenty of glitter and gold foil accents to capture the magic and mystery found only during this time of year.

Instead of having to commit to a box of eight cards with one design, we’ve come up with a “baker’s” grouping of nine. Contained within this special set, you’ll find humor, you’ll find letterpress, you’ll find gold foil, you’ll find beautiful hand-lettering. There’s also goodies to dress your home for the season and even your gifts. And, no surprise box is complete without a few surprises!

With the exception of one Canadian house, all the designers I’ve selected are American — and all are small, entrepreneur-driven enterprises. You’ve heard of Small Business Saturday, well the product found within is the opposite of the cheap, Chinese-manufactured impulse purchases that entice you near the cash wrap as you shop.

Most everything in the mystery box is made in America, and often by hand, but always distinctive, and very difficult to find in many towns. I’ve included product from many of my favorite stationery houses — among them, Rifle Paper Co., Emily McDowell, Haute Papier, Thimblepress, Hammerpress, The Social Type, Antiquaria, 1Canoe2 — as well as some luxurious, design-driven brands that are lesser-known but still feature top-notch styling.

The Holiday Mystery Box is only available in a limited edition, and only for a limited time, so order yours today here before they’re all gone! The goodies have a retail value of $130, but $99 gets you all of it and even includes shipping.* So this year, pass up the cheap tchotkes and indulge yourself — the box will arrive on your doorstep by 12/12, in plenty of time to dress your home and correspondence for the holidays, beautifully presented for you to discover piece by piece. Or it can be shipped directly to a friend. We will be taking orders until 11/14. 

I am planning on sharing a few more pictures of the box while it’s still available, but in the meantime please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions you may have. I’ll answer them all the best I can, except of course for what exactly is inside!

*UPS Ground shipping included for 48 continental states.  Hawaii and Alaska carrier rates apply. Because the Holiday Mystery Box is only limited edition, we cannot accept returns. All sales are final.

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