Today’s letter is from Troy, New York — which I know for a fact is so gorgeous this time of year, since I just visited Mohawk Fine Papers last week. It’s from the company’s Jennifer Hunold, who is a Business Development Coordinator. The navy letterpressed card says, “down with sea level” across the top.
The pages read: Dear Sarah, I’ve been enjoying your letter writing campaign! I thought you’d enjoy this story. My mother loved Eaton stationery. She had drawers of old cards and this fine paper. As I became an adult, she found boxes of vintage Eaton stationery at garage sales for 50 cents and sent them to me. So precious were these papers to her, they became equally so for me. Stationery and letter writing were two of mom’s passions — and a luxury at that. I should send you pictures of the boxes it comes in — hard paperboard base with thick plastic tops. This laid paper has a handmade look — reminds me of our [Mohawk’s] letterpress paper in some ways (the formation).
Eaton has an interesting company history. BerkshireHistory.org says in the 1910s, Eaton, Crane and Pike made millions of sheets of stationery daily. Then in 1932, Eaton Paper Company was bought by a company that owned Sheaffer Pen Company. Sheaffer was founded in Fort Madison, Iowa — a fountain pen company. Because this pen company was near a castle-looking penitentiary, Fort Madison was nicknamed the “Pen City” — so my mom said. Fort Madison is my hometown.
All these years later, I find myself at a paper mill that manufactures some of the finest papers in the world. It is funny how something like this — a love of a fine 25% cotton stationery — can travel with us and declare itself, new meaning. I wonder if my mother’s love of this paper, of calligraphy and art, if that is what fed in me a passion for fine papers in books and letter-writing, that propels me forward at Mohawk from a passionate customer service rep to an even more enthralled business development coordinator? Seems likely! It’s revelations like this that make me smile. And writing you on this note is how it was all brought to mind. Sincerely, Jennifer
Wow, Jennifer, what a great letter — and on such fabulous stationery! I agree that the seemingly innocuous details from childhood can set the course for one’s career and passions. I grew up trailing my mom through antique stores, house sales and flea markets, and I think that’s where my love for great design was fostered.
I have been holding onto what I hope is a perfect fit for Jennifer for some time. It arrived with its own rather elegant letter, from another Jennifer, this one Jennifer Elwell at Tales of a Peanut.This one reads: Dear Sarah, I’ve been reading The Paper Chronicles for quite some time but have put off sending you a note until I had a product I was extremely proud of. While I love my new Handwritten Heritage line, I also realized that the point of writing letters isn’t for them to be perfect but just to write and just share a small part of yourself with someone else. So I write today to thank you for encouraging others to put pen to paper and just write. Letters may never take the place of sharing in person (and they shouldn’t) but they are infinitely better for connecting than short text messages and status updates. Keep up the excellent work. I can’t wait to read you posts in the future. Sincerely, Jennifer Elwell
P.S. I enclosed some stationery to share with your readers. Enjoy!
The blank set she enclosed to me encompasses the best of old and new. I love the simple mint green banding around the edges! You can find it here.Thank you to both Jennifers for being a part of TPC’s campaign! And, on that note, would you like some free, fabulous stationery too? Just drop me a quick note on your favorite paper (which is most likely gathering dust) and tell me what makes it so. My address is: P.O. Box 22133, Beachwood, Ohio 44122. And if you are interested in being sponsor, I’d love to hear from you too!