*Disclaimer: I'm sure there are several people (or more) who will roll their eyes at the concept of snail mail or they might find it stupid or super nerdy. I suggest if you fall into this category... don’t read any further – your eyes might roll out of your sockets.
I have received quite a few emails of late asking me about snail mail, how to get into it, how to find other enthusiasts and so on. I thought I would do a mini-series where I share a few facts at a time. (Photo snapped with Instagram). You can look forward to other posts going forward and I will cover additional tips like how to post items and other tricky questions. I’m not an expert, but I really enjoy sending pretty post!
What's it all about?
You might have seen the snail mail revolution via social media – it’s a wonderful trend focused on sharing, giving, meeting new friends and taking part in creating beautiful mail rather than the horrid stuff we usually receive (like bills). Years ago I launched The Package Project which had a similar feel and with snail mail alive and well I look forward to opening entries again – watch this space. I have been really fortunate to take part in a variety of exchanges and snail mail swaps. I have also made some real friends who I care for – we keep in touch quite often and the things we send to each other are well thought out with loads of love and care within each package.
There are several words associated with snail mail like pen pal, swap, exchange, trade, letters, happy mail, mail art etc. All in all this all relates to the same actions of exchanging fun and pretty post via good old fashioned mail.
Let’s chat about the basics of becoming part of the snail mail revolution.
Snail Mail Tips - Things to Keep in Mind:
- Do take part in sending snail mail because you love giving and sharing.
- Don’t take part if your only goal is to score free stuff with little regard for your partner.
- Do take part if you can commit to sending something even if it's small.
- Don’t take part if you are prone to flaking out on commitments (be honest). You will bitterly disappoint a new friend who deserves better.
- Do take part if you love attention to detail and spending time decorating and wrapping small gifts. A penchant for letter writing also comes in handy.
- Don’t take part if you can’t stand wrapping gifts or putting pen to paper. You will soon get bored and disappoint your pen pal.
- Do take part if you have a small, but reasonable budget to spend on postage.
- Don’t take on too many pen pals and realise you can’t afford postage. Start slowly. I will do a postage related post soon.
I suggest seeking out people with similar interests and tastes to you. Approach prospective snail mailers without expectation. Some people will reply, others will already have enough pen pals, just try a few different people and hang in there until you find the right type of person to exchange with.
A quick tip is to take a look at their bio / other photos / blog. Don’t email / contact potential new pen pal friends with a list as long as your arm of all the things you like and want. I often get emails that basically say things like ‘I like your packaging style! Want to swap? You can send the first package. I like.... (and a looong list)”. My first reaction is I will never hear from them again and they are in it to get free stuff. Sad, but true and I usually turn down those requests.
If you want to take a look at what it’s all about check out these hash tags on Instragram – the easiest way to connect with fellow snail mail enthusiasts.
*There are so many more, but these will get you started.
A few of my favourites for inspiration – be sure to follow these lovely ladies:
Hope this helps! I look forward to sharing more soon.