Thursday, January 19, 2012

Letter of the Month

I shipped off my first batch of letters today for my new business, Letter of the Month.

And ooooh wee! Does it feel nice.

Letter of the Month is a subscription service I created on Etsy. Each month I send subscribers a letter from Paris, which includes a painted letter like this:
The package also includes a postcard, photograph or other lovely ephemera I find in my explorations through Paris and the rest of Europe.

Best. Job. Ever.

Each morning I wake to Christophe who brings me a coffee. Sweet. We sit in bed and sip. Half way through the cup, he starts to get ready for his work day, which can't happen soon enough because I'm already reaching for my iPhone to check to see if I have any orders.

Which I do!!!! Blessings ahoy!

When he leaves for work, he says, "Go back to sleep. It's early." I nod.

But when the front door closes, I leap out of bed, slip into my most businessy looking outfit and begin fulfilling orders. Envelopes! Postcards! Paint! Print outs! Stamps! Heaven!
At the end of this frenzy of fun, I behold the finished product:
Ta daaaa!
I walk up the street with these little beauties and stop at the butcher shop for a smooch with Christophe. He sees my handful of envelopes and smiles. I skip/run to the post office and send these little envelopes of bliss on their merry way.

Isn't this a lot like Direct Mail, the career you left all dramatic-like in December 2010? 

I admit, I am actually creating mail that goes directly to you, which may seem a lot like direct mail. Back in my advertising agency days, I created a lot of direct mail. Some people (most) would call it junk mail and others (agency presidents) would call it strategic marketing. People think advertising is all car commercials and print ads for GQ. In reality, there is a lot of slugging through the grind of getting the other 99% of advertising out the door.

But with this Letter of the Month service? I'm burning through my direct mail karma.

You, dear reader, have most likely received some direct marketing from a satellite company, phone company, roadside assistance company or healthcare provider in the last few years. If so, there is a good chance I had a hand in creating it.

Sorry about that.

I imagine you came home from a long day at work, grabbed the mail, saw what I had written and exclaimed, "Not this shit again."

I could be wrong. You could have said, "Oh wow, now is a really great time to switch my service. I'm going to call today!" but I doubt it.

Don't get me wrong. My advertising days paid for my current awesome life here in Paris and I'm super grateful for every single day that I had the opportunity to work hard and save up so I could live the life I have now.

But there is still the nagging feeling that the mail I created was... annoying.

So, I opened my Letter of the Month business, where you, dear reader, can be met with a little envelope of awesomeness every month.

How did I come up with the idea?
  1. My nurture project. Recently, I wrote about how I was going to replace my New Year's resolution with a Nurture Project. The idea behind a Nurture Project is to pick a friend that could use a little extra nurturing and to secretly nurture her all year long. Pretty simple stuff. Part of my plan was to send her a letter each month.
  2. My friend Áine. Áine has traveled far and wide for the last decade. We've sent a gazillion letters back and forth, but recently the letter sending has gone dry. So for her birthday, instead of getting her a wrapped gift, I gave her a promise to send her a letter every month of the year. 
  3. The painted letters of Percy Kelly. I came across this artist in my travels through Yorkshire Dales last Easter. He sent painted letters to his friend Jane for years. Jane kept them all. I happened to be staying at Jane's daughters house in Kirby Longsdale, where many of the original letters happily hang. Super inspiring.
If you have a friend you want to nurture, or if you want to receive fun mail, subscribe to Letter of the Month. When that letter arrives in the mail, it will put a smile on your face. Guaranteed!


  1. Yippee! I am so happy to be a subscriber to this thoughtful service.

  2. Im looking foreward to it

  3. Congratulations!
    These letters are beautifully written and beautiful to look at. What a wonderful way to keep the art of letter writing alive.

    I’m so happy that you have customers so soon. What could be more rewarding?

  4. Cannot wait for my first post from Paris. :)

  5. Absolutely brilliant as always my friend! You're an inspiration. :D

  6. Very cool idea and "Blessings ahoy" made me smile.

  7. What a lovely way to make a living, and the painting is beautiful.


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