When I was a tot in Texas, letter writing always represented an ancient, almost mystical practice. It was something novelists, and thinkers, and the famous participated in. You could see them sometimes in plexiglass boxes at museums, but they were not something common to daily life. People wrote letters to the child they sponsored (but I believe used the term "adopted") across the three worlds. I remember constantly checking a book out of the library that had the addresses of companies that would send you free samples and stickers if you wrote to them. Thank you letters were to be written after every birthday and Christmas but I promise you I saw no magic there. But these felt like a watered down version. Real letter writing seemed powerful like another language. And it wasn't until I moved that I really tried my hand at it.
I was a popular lil guy when I left Houston, and I was distinctly friendless for my first year of school in Virginia. I missed my friends massively. And so I wrote to them much in the same way we used to talk on the landline, in depth and at length without saying much. Delighted by the act of talking on the phone itself. How advanced a habit it felt. I would mail little tidbits from my life (the debris of a 12 year old) newspaper clippings, calling cards, send the candy we used to eat at the neighborhood swimming pool, envelopes full of fluff. And though it never felt like the bridge back to Texas that I wanted it to be, it was performative. I was doing all I could. And then I collected a couple friends. I got a Playstation 2. I made the jump from Animorphs to Shakespeare (which really isn't such a leap if you think about it). And the letters stopped.
I didn't really write again until college, but in between in high school I became a big ol' WRITER GUY. I wrote hundreds of poems and some short stories and articles, and really took any excuse at all to write down the words and little thought formations that stuck in my head. And so, when I went to a different college than my first love, the inevitable barrage of love letters ensued. There were months when I wrote to her every day. A testament to both the drug high that is love and how tied my emotions were (are) to communication. Though I may not have been writing long declarations of love explicitly thinking of the published collection of a famous writer's young love letters, I wasn't not thinking about it. I wanted a place in the ancient mystical hall of letters, after all.
And yet, when I wrote my fearsome love scribbles, they were by email. My handwriting was pretty childish (Texas education! What up!), and I just couldn't help but want to change that word, take out that sentence, and my hands just would never be able to keep up with my wish washy brain. But on the computer I could delete, over-write and edit down on the fly. And as that relationship, and then college ended, I wrote some truly epic and heartfelt emails, as I learned to morph my passion for my first love, into a passion for sharing, with more than just the person I dreamt about. I moved to Austin to scamp about and have criminal amounts of fun and didn't really even think of writing letters again.
Then two things happened.
A. I had an idea for a greeting card company called Slightly More Honest Cards. Though it was never fully baked, it was to be a brand of cards that were less hollow than hallmark, and somewhat more meaningful than a silly craft show card. This idea would years later resurface as something more familiar (wink wink).
1. I fell in love. And I fell in love with someone who had unique passions and talents. One of which was writing lovely letters. She had the most beautiful cursive script and was a very good writer. Her letters effortlessly evoked the cadence and language of capital L letter writing without ever throwing her voice. It deeply affected and impressed me like so many things about her.
After love in Austin, letter writing became one of many of her charms I decided to make my own. I began to practice my newly remembered cursive and found that I could craft a letter on the computer and then copy it out on paper, and that the extra time, not only didn't feel like waste, it felt incredibly satisfying. My epic emails had become epic letters. I had evolved to the final stage of my pokemon forms. Letterizard. And so I began my addiction to sending letters. The self tapping that I used to get from writing, writing, writing, trying to get at the TRUTH and become maybe FAMOUS for it, I could now direct toward people who actually knew me. Letters and the vulnerability I put in them, have been responsible for some of the greatest experiences in my life, the two best relationships I've ever been in, have gotten me a job, an art show. A letter I wrote to my sister and her response helped us patch up a relationship that had started to go off the rails.
And now I am so proud to own a stationery company. I could (and gladly would, and may one day) just sell paper art, but it gives me such joy to know that I sell people something that they then share with someone else. Because everyone loves getting mail. But soon the card stops glowing, becomes clutter and you throw it out. But it glows a little longer when the card is beautiful. And glows longer still, when it contains a hand written message. And it starts to downright blind you when it is written from a place of vulnerability and love and is full of doodles and stories, and inside jokes, and hard questions and long awaited confessions. When it's full of the person who sent it, it can be the most valuable thing in your whole house.
A place for product updates, inspiration, behind the scenes stuff, and in general a place for mind meandering.