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Dedicated to Vi

The happiest person I’ve ever met inspired the start of my small business, Nice Paper Goods.

Young Vi

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.

Playhouse mailbox

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.

She believed in expressing gratitude, not taking people for granted, and telling the people you love that you love them.

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. 

Grace

Vi at 94

Grandma Vi at age 94

3 comments

  • Dan Eitemiller: June 03, 2022

    Gracie…I love seeing the pix of Vi and hearing how much influence she provided for you. I miss her homemade Christmas cards and think about her often. She would be so proud of you and what you are doing. What a nice job you have done in creating your business. I will be placing an order soon.

  • Sandy lombardi: April 04, 2022

    Everything in your website is beautiful Grace. You are right about Vi. She loved lots of people but mostly YOU!!!! She would love to see this

  • Julian: April 03, 2022

    This is so beautiful and ‘Nice’ to know! 💫

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