It’s pretty unique-the power of a hand written letter. I’ve long been a fan of writing a letter just to say hello, of sending a note to a long-distance friend, of mailing my gratitude to family after the holidays. When one of my favorite local brands, Charlotte Lane Co, began Project Snail Mail this month, my heart leaped with joy. To begin a movement, to encourage others to write to their friends and family and even strangers, that’s something that has my heart.
It’s a funny generational thing that letters have gone so “out of style.” Technology is this huge, wonderful, amazing thing, but physically writing a letter is so meaningful to me. It’s obviously got some meaning to the founders of Charlotte Lane Co., Kristine Cholakian and Ken Cooke, which is why I asked them the question:
Why do you feel handwritten letters are so important?
Kristine: In the age of social media, with instant greetings and announcements to “the world” and super-short, unedited snippets, it is a rarity to put the extra effort in. Taking the time to send a handwritten letter is more powerful than we think. The lost art of snail mail is making a comeback, or at least it should. Nothing brightens one’s day more than a colorful envelope amongst a stack of bills. Seeing your name calligraphed or even scribbled on the front makes you feel special. Almost famous. And when you tear open the tiny package to discover a witty, sentimental, lovey-dovey or just plain mushy letter, with crossed out words, ink stains and all, you know that someone took the time to write that to you. You read it through, maybe even two or three times, and where does that note end up? On your fridge, desk, or bulletin board, sometimes for months, as a reminder that your friend, relative, or long-distant love was once thinking about you. That card says a lot about the person who sent it. They picked it out just for you. And the watercolor painting or cartoon doodle, whatever is on the front, becomes instant art in your home. So send handwritten notes. Send lasting messages. Send instant art. Brighten someone’s day. And not just the day they receive it in the mail. But for many, many days to come.
Ken: If you haven’t noticed, communication has now completely turned digital. While that’s great for so many reasons, many things digital lack personality. A handwritten letter brings a human and personal touch back to communication. It’s personal, unexpected, and thoughtful. A handwritten note takes a moment to write and more care is put into the words. Just think about how quickly you respond to an email versus taking the time to write a letter. That moment goes a long way.
To me, it’s pretty two-fold. The act of writing a letter is a moment of reflection-where all of my focus is towards this person I’m writing to. I’m not distracted by my Instagram feed or tempted to stop and scroll through Pinterest. My heart is full of love, pouring it onto paper so that recipient can feel what I’m trying to express. I’m grateful my mama pushed me to write thank-you letters after every birthday and holiday, to say something other than “Thanks for _________. I will be using it to do ________”-the age old “Thank you letter formula.” And receiving a handwritten letter? Kristine is so right, you feel so darn special. To know someone took the time, thought of you, and wrote that card, it turns a rainy day into a sunny day.
Are you super emotional and inspired now? ;) Truly, though I can’t urge you enough to grab some stationary, and write a sweet note to your friend who just moved to a new city, or to your mama who lives 12 hours away, or even drop a note to your next-door-neighbor.
Don’t have any adorable stationary? While even a piece of notebook paper will do, it’s extra sweet to write on your prettiest paper, and Charlotte Lane is giving YOU 15% off ALL Charlotte Lane Paper with the code SomethingSouthern.
So hop on over, order some pretty cards, and write your little hearts out. And while you’re at it, share your letters on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #ProjectSnailMail.
I promise you, it’s the littlest of things that can really fill a heart with joy.
Product images above by the talented Heidi Geldhauser for Our Labor of Love and the photos of Ken and Kristine are by the wonderful Buffy Dekmar Photography. SomethingSouthern product code good until May1st, 2014. #ProjectSnailMail is a movement that should never, ever end and is likely to result in extreme happiness and goodwill among others.