Believe it or not, mail was the preferred method of written communication way back when in the year 2000. It’s true—in that year alone, over one million pieces of mail were sent through the United States Postal Service. Shortly thereafter, the internet began to take over, and email quickly overshadowed what became known as “snail mail.” The number of letters that people send every year has been on the decline ever since.
But in 2003, when letter writing was becoming a thing of the past, we cofounded a little company you may have heard of called Sugar Paper. We were determined to help people understand that the convenience of emails, and now texts and DMs, are not the same as pouring out your heart and soul onto nice stationery, sealing it with a kiss, and sending it to another to hold in their hands and save forever. After eighteen years of creating paper goods to inspire the letter writer in all of us, we decided to write a book about it.
We are Chelsea Shukov and Jamie Grobecker. Chelsea’s love of paper began in grade school with
the first Valentine she received in a makeshift mailbox on her desk. She’s been putting love in the mail ever since. Jamie’s love of paper started in high school with a collection of colorful pens that she used to make passing notes an art form. We’ve been friends since college and both of us happen to be the type of women who save letters in shoeboxes, still have ticket stubs from first dates, and just can’t seem to part with any piece of paper that represents a memory. Growing up, our mothers instilled in each of us the importance of expressing our gratitude on paper, so I guess you could say they started it all.
In the beginning, Sugar Paper was all about the paper and the ink. We knew everything that we needed to know about designing and printing beautiful paper goods and we had become experts in the art of the letterpress. We were making stationery for people who loved paper as much as we did—and were just as sentimental. What we didn’t realize was that our clients would ask us so many questions about the “rules” and etiquette for writing the actual messages they wanted to send.
That’s when it struck us that not knowing what to say or how to say it for any given occasion was getting in the way of the joy of letter writing.
We wrote this book to answer your questions and give you the confidence to pour your heart out onto a good ol’-fashioned page. Here you’ll find stationery basics, sample letters, helpful prompts, and our very best advice for almost every occasion that calls for a note or card. We hope it makes writing easier and inspires you to do so often.
Copyright © 2021 by Chelsea Shukov and Jamie Grobecker. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.