I’ve come to realize that “stationery subscription service” is just another term for a passion project. Each assemblage of goodies has been specially considered by an artistic mind somewhere, and as a result these creations resonate far more in toto than individually.
Take Paper By Parcel, which describes itself as “a monthly delivery of carefully curated stationery and gift items from our favorite, beautifully designed brands and artisans” — but that just scratches the surface of the experience of opening a gorgeous, mysterious box goodies that materializes on your doorstep. So I interviewed its founder Madison Ruggieri to learn a little more.
SS: What was your inspiration for this service?
MR: I’ve had a love for stationery and writing since I was a little girl. My background is in e-commerce, and I’ve been interested in the subscription model for years. There’s something so exciting about receiving mail, and a subscription box is like a monthly gift to yourself. So when thinking of what kind of subscription box I personally would be excited to subscribe to, it just clicked.
There’s the fun of discovering new brands, but also a very practical aspect of having cards and gifts on hand. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made a last-minute dash to the nearest store to find a birthday card or hostess gift for someone, and then not been satisfied. Not everyone has a great local stationery shop. My goal is to make gifting well as easy as possible and to use technology to make the beautiful tradition of pen and paper accessible, no matter where you live.
SS: I like how you also create occasion-specific boxes, while the subscription box is a bit of a surprise to subscribers! What do you look for in stationery/gifts that you include?
MR: The discovery element of the boxes is huge, so I look for small brands that I love and I think subscribers would be excited to find out about. I’m looking for products that are well crafted, beautifully designed and I love when they have a fun, modern edge as well. I really love telling each brand/designer’s story about what inspires her and makes her products unique.
In terms of curating each (subscription) box, I have a conceptual theme for each that I really think makes them special. Each month’s box is curated to fit the general feel of that time of year, but it’s never overt. That could mean metallics and festive gift-giving items in December, or pastel party items in March. The gift boxes that I’ve curated are themed for special occasions — e.g., birthday, wedding, new baby, new job, etc — so it celebrates that specific purpose.
SS: What’s in the April box?
MR: April is National Letter Writing Month, so that was the foundation of this box. I also wanted the colors to reflect spring, and for this box, most of the items were custom designed. Inside, there’s a gorgeous set of hand-painted letterpress notecards from Manhattan Beach-based Swell Press Paper, a pen that says “Goal Getter,” a set of four stickers to seal letters with and four coordinating USPS stamps. SS: Anything else you’d like TPC readers to know?
MR: I’m just super excited to be working with amazing female artists and helping other people discover their brands. It’s also pretty clear that the future of retail is increasingly online, and my hope is that Paper By Parcel will bridge the convenience of shopping online with artisanal, well-crafted paper and gift items that encourage meaningful and thoughtful social relationships. Make life pretty!
I’m loving this box, a mini-ode to Spring and definitely conducive to some good old-fashioned letter writing. Buy it here for just $20.You can also shop popular items from past boxes a la carte here, or buy the parcel as a gift or in 3-, 6- or 12-month increments. This is definitely a bookmark-worthy site!