Vi / Nice Paper Goods
Generations of letter-writers
The act of writing to loved ones by hand has been in my family for generations. As far back as I can remember, my grandma Vi sent me handwritten notes. When I was little, she installed an old mailbox outside my playhouse so we could exchange secret messages. She’s the reason I’ve always loved checking the mail.
As I grew into adulthood, her notes kept coming, but I rarely (if ever) wrote back. Not because I didn’t want to. But because my increasingly busy schedule and tight budget made it a headache to wrangle all the supplies to write back.
The little black mailbox she mounted outside my childhood playhouse
Fast forward to 2017
I was spending most of my “off hours” on social media, ironically feeling more socially disconnected than ever. In contrast, my grandma Vi was the happiest person I’d ever met, and had a host of strong relationships that she regularly maintained through handwritten correspondence. She wrote to everyone — old friends, family members, even store clerks who she felt had been particularly helpful.
30 Letters in 30 Days
Inspired by her, I started a personal experiment to write and send one letter a day for a month. By the end of the 30 days, I felt like a new person. I was shocked that even before receiving responses, I felt calmer, healthier, and happier. I finally understood why she kept writing to me even when I never responded. The healing process of slowing down each day, reflecting on my life, and being vulnerable with others felt good. It helped me a lot, and I thought it could help other people too.
When she was still alive, she was so excited about this business — about the idea of more people (especially young people) feeling more mindfully connected to one another through this timeless practice that she loved so much.
I started Nice Paper Goods in her spirit, and I continue it in her honor, because I believe that the world would be a better place if there were more people like her in it.
This one’s for you, Vi. ꩜