I Love Snail Mail


snail mailI am a Snail Mail queen. I have pen pals I have been maintaining (even if just loosely) for years. I love to send beautiful cards, with carefully selected stamps, and personalized return labels.

Consider mailing nice cards or letters to the people that have made an impact in your life. We are seeing the end of a pandemic, so that feels like a moment worth writing home about.

Snail Mail Tips

If you’ve never been a snail mail Queen like me, I’m here to give you some tips to get you motivated.

Carefully sourced quality cards.

Get Good Stationary

Have you ever heard that a dish is only as good as your ingredients? The same applies to snail mail. If you have quality tools, you will be more inclined to use them – and the finished product is better overall.

When I see the perfect card, for the perfect person, no matter what the occasion I buy it. I saw this awesome divorce card once and didn’t buy it – then, spent weeks hunting it down when a friend went through a divorce.

Buy cards. Nice ones. (Ephemera is a favorite local card shop in the East Village.) When you find a style you love, don’t be shy about buying all of them. I found the perfect Wonder Woman birthday card last month and bought them all. Buy nice stamps. It’s fun to use a holographic T-Rex stamp!

Give and Take

I recently cleaned out my desk at work. These are the cards I have received from coworkers.

I have had pen pals since I learned how to write. Cousins, neighbors, strangers I met at summer camps. They have evolved over the years along with my chapters. It sounds silly to say, but I met a mom at a conference and we still write. She is my “Canadian bee-keeping friend,” who I’m sure no one believes is real.

What I have learned over the years is that a good pen pal is one who writes back (duh, right?). So, if you are going down the path of snail mail, definitely commit yourself to putting in as much as you get out of it. Sometimes, that may mean taking the extra step. With some of my friends that means once or twice a year, and that’s OK!

Who to send to?

I have found that I write mostly to my friends who live out of state. I also have mass mailings around Valentine’s Day. I also do it around remarkable times in my life like … a pandemic! 

Do you have penpals? If you aren’t into snail mail, what is holding you back!

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Niki grew up in Earlham, Iowa and now lives with her husband Ryan, daughter Riley, and son Merritt in Johnston. Riley has an observant stare that inspired the Facebook page Riley Is Not Impressed. Niki is an assistant director of public relations, social media at Drake University where she runs the university’s main social media accounts. She is also the director of the world-famous Beautiful Bulldog Contest. She has an Olde English Bulldog named Dexter, but he is ineligible to compete because she already knows he’s the most beautiful bulldog. She serves as President on the Board of Directors for Animal Lifeline of Iowa, which is a special needs, no-kill animal shelter. Niki is a two-time graduate of Drake University with a bachelor’s in journalism (2008) and a Master’s in Communication Leadership (2015).


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