When you put something out into the universe, even if it's wholehearted, you never know what the result is going to be. I'll admit that when I announced my first-ever mail swap, after the first few days, I found myself peeking into an empty mailbox and wondering if anyone was going to participate. Mail started trickling in, and I was overjoyed. And then one day, I got to the mailbox and it was FULL of beautiful envelopes of every color. It made my heart leap.
A love of happy mail is one of the reasons I have a business in the first place. During invitation consultations, I explain to my engaged couples why I love personalized mail: it makes people feel known--that someone thought of them, thought well of them, remembered them, saw them, deemed them worthy of time and delight. Now that our lives are inundated with screens, it's hard to watch snail mail go by the wayside. But the art of sending and receiving cards is not dead, friends! At the time of writing this, I received FORTY-NINE cards and letters as a part of this mail swap. It was magical. As I mentioned when I announced the swap, it was by no means a beauty contest, and that's why I wanted the prize winner to be random.
No matter if it was messy chicken scratch or a fancy metallic calligraphy (or in some cases, wax seals and vintage stamps!), each envelope was a delight for me to open. If you participated, thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking part of this experiment in postal love. To recap, you:
- Had your love of happy mail affirmed
- Brightened my day when I received your adorable cards and envelopes
- Made the season more joyful
- Received some happy mail in return (or you will soon, all of the return mail is in the post!)
As promised, there IS a winner. The winner of this swap will receive my favorite cookbook from Minimalist Baker, two lettering journals, a few extra surprises from my shop, and since the marble mug I wanted to include shattered in my shop parking lot (insert eyeroll), you'll also get a $10 Starbucks card. I want you to see all of the beauty for yourself...so the winner is announced at the very end of this post. Keep scrolling!
In sum, this was one of my favorite parts of the season. Your adorable photo cards, your beautiful lettering, your gracious and kind words, your encouragement--each day they made my world better. THANK YOU. And YOU BETTER BELIEVE that I will be doing mail swap #2 come Valentine's Day--my other favorite mail holiday!
Here is the first haul, in no particular order! There were many many photo cards inside these envelopes (I loved seeing your faces!) but if the photo card is showing, that's because it's a post card! :) Look how beautiful these are! Most days I received an average of 5-6 cards at a time, with two cards being the smallest amount and ten cards being the largest amount in a single day.
A little more than half of the cards were from people I had never met before, while a little less than half of the cards were from my former bridal clients, workshop guests, friends, and colleagues.
It was fun to receive a variety of envelope styles--the most common size was the 5x7 A7 envelope, with a few variations--long and skinny and teensy-tiny. I loved the smaller 4Bar RSVP-sized envelopes so much that I might just make my Christmas cards tiny next year.
The teal-colored square envelope was one of the first cards I received, and I loved Lauren's use of stickers! It makes me sad that I sold nearly all of my stickers and embellishments at my Dave Ramsey garage sale. :)
I also wanted to recognize that there were many, many card entires that were made by fellow stationers, designers, and calligraphers, and as best as I can, I want to call those folks out because I know that a TON of work goes into crafting your own stationery, especially when it's your business and you have so many other people counting on you to do theirs.
Here are some that I identified as handmade, and I'm super, super sorry if I missed you!
The cards above are from Aqua and Opal Studio, Kimberly Wong, and The Handletter Shop
The cards above were designed by Neon Moon Design, Honey Brush Design, and Bridgett Lynette
The cards above were from Marian Lovelace, Oh My Designs by Steph, and Bekah Wright Designs
The cards above were from Elisabeth Randall and Kelsey Logsdon
There you have it! A big, beautiful pile of mail--a stack so tall that it crumbled into a waterfall almost immediately. If you participated in this swap, thank you from the bottom of my paper-loving heart for making me feel like I hit the lottery every single day for the last two weeks. It means the world that you would spend your time, talent, and energy swapping mail with me. And now that you have my mailing address, happy mail is always welcome!
And drumroll please...we have a winner. While the original plan was for my shop-mate Merritt to draw the winner, it's now 10:30pm the Friday before Christmas, so my husband got to be the one to randomly draw a winner. He closed his eyes and chose the beautiful red envelope from KATE EDWARDS from Little Rock, Arkansas. You, friend, and your adorable puppy Oscar and glorious double-thick photo card, are the winners. I'll pop your box of treats in the mail as soon as Christmas coziness is over!
Merry Christmas to the best community ever, and cheers to full mailboxes all over the world!