Renting a post office box provides an interesting perspective on mail and correspondence. It’s a rather wonderful concept that anyone can get mail at a fixed address, regardless of how much they wander. For me, there is always a feeling of anticipation driving to the post office and wondering what is waiting. Once inside, I gratefully dodge the long line and find my very own box amongst the dozens on the wall — and finally I open it to see what treasures await  inside.

In my experience, there is usually a bunch of junk mail (prompting me to wonder, do companies like Harriet Carter automatically send catalogs to every post office box, hoping that someone will be tempted to purchase, say, oven liners or banana bags?). Often within these shortly-to-be-recycled papers hides a gem of a letter or two … but often I leave empty-handed.

So you can imagine how excited I was to stop by my local branch last Saturday and find not a single piece of junk mail — but SEVEN letters and postcards!

For this, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Andy Meehan, who started a LinkedIn group called Greeting Card, Stationery, and Gift Industry Gurus. Over 8,500 members strong, the group is open in that anyone can join who is related to the industry in any way. I saw Andy in Atlanta last month, and he graciously invited me to invite members to participate in this campaign. I took him up on it last week — and I’m so thrilled that some of them have embraced the letter-writing campaign!

First up is actually a Valentine’s Card from Haute Papier of Arlington, Va. I am such a huge fan of their line, retailers who write me at Stationery Trends LOVE working with them — and I was corresponding a lot recently with the company’s Sarah Meyer Walsh as she was getting me art for editorial consideration for our Spring issue.

I always hate rushing people to get materials in — I feel like a humorless grade-school teacher — but I am on deadline myself, so I don’t have too much choice in the matter. Sarah was gracious as always — the images she sent me for our spring issue are absolutely amazing — and I found it so sweet that she sent me this lovely Valentine too.

It is ingeniously designed, letterpressed and featuring a glassine envelope holding wee paper hearts and sealed with washi tape. I love how the font on the card matches that on the envelope. Truly lovely!

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Next up I have a missive from Greg Schmitz at Brooklyn’s Fusions Design Gallery, which is a gallery space but also a greeting card publisher. I unfortunately didn’t make it to their booth at NY NOW a few weeks back, but Greg was kind enough to actually mail me one of their new offerings. The op-art design is lovely, as is its super-sized (9¼”x4″) dimensions.

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It reads:

Hi Sarah,

Great idea with the Paper Chronicles! Sorry we missed you at the NY NOW show. We launched our new Stationery Packs at the show and they were a big hit.

Best, Greg, Fusions Design Gallery

You can shop all their cards here. The scale of Greg’s card is the perfect to show before this next thank-you, encased in a Kraft envelope and adorably diminutive at 5″ by 3½” inches. As you can hopefully see from the matching handwriting on the envelope and the lower left hand corner of the card, it was sent to me by the artist, Sherri Block Baldwin of Heart in Hand Ltd. in Madison, Wis.

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She writes (in very nice penmanship, I might add):

Hi Sarah,

Love this idea of yours, as well as your Stationery Trends.

This is one of my “hot off the press” thank-you notes. I love the paper and the envelope — not to mention the artwork and design! I love getting mail (besides the junk!).

All the best, Sherri Buck Baldwin.

I agree completely Sherri, as you can see above! You can learn more about Sherri’s licensing work here — I wish I could create these magical natural worlds like Sherri does — and learn more about how she creates her work here. Keep scrolling to get to the picture of Sherri and her two office companions, Border Terriers named Tillie and Angus, who snooze under her drawing table as she works.

Thank you all, so much, for writing in! I will be sending you all some of Modern Marianne’s card trios … the next time I visit the post office! And, if you are interested in participating in this campaign, please write me at: P.O. Box 22133, Beachwood, Ohio 44122.

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