When you meet Carrie of Snail Mail greeting cards, you’ll notice this Richmond-based young creative’s bubbly spirit and contagious energy. Carrie’s a girl throwing kindness around like confetti as she explains in her interview today on The Thersday Series. But her mission is serious. A portion of the proceeds of each card purchased goes to local organizations supporting immigrant and refugee communities. So whether you custom order Carrie’s cheeky cards or find them in one of many retail locations in Virginia, you are helping the ripple of kindness to continue. Thanks, Carrie, for sharing the passion behind your business with us. Welcome to the blog!
Tell us a little about the mission and vision behind Snail Mail.
After making my own Christmas cards a few years ago, I began to fiddle with the idea of selling cards and using cards as a platform for advocacy. I wanted to figure out how to bring positive light to vulnerable populations in our communities, while also creating a product that could be used by anyone. Snail Mail emerged with a mission in May of 2017: To show love and kindness to our neighbors—especially those in the refugee and immigrant communities. A percentage of each purchase goes to local organizations in Richmond that support these populations, as well as Church World Service in Harrisonburg, VA, which helps our refugee community. So when a set of Snail Mail cards is ordered, kindness has a ripple effect: It begins with us creating something for you, then you writing a note of kindness to someone else, and the recipient of that card feeling the love and continuing to pay it forward. Snail Mail’s vision and mission is showing love to our neighbors—one card at a time.
When did you decide to turn a passion/side hustle into a full-on business?
Last spring I decided to go out on a limb and create a business. It was scary because I honestly had no idea how to wrap my head around the idea of entrepreneurship. I was having a really tough time, in my heart and in my faith, watching the immigrant and refugee communities take a huge hit with the travel ban enacted in February 2017. I just kept thinking to myself, “How can I possibly help? I’m just one person.” I knew that this was a calling for me—to be the hands and feet of Christ in a very non-traditional way—and I had to answer that calling as soon as I could.
Name something you’re most proud of in your business experience.
I am really proud of the custom orders I’ve been able to do for people. I’ve gotten very unique orders from folks who want to bring their ideas to life. As an example, a woman contacted me to create cards for mother who has Alzheimers and is slowly starting to forget names and memories. Her daughter thought the best way to communicate with her might be through written notes. I created cards with three of her mother’s favorite things: cats, pineapples, and strawberries. She hoped these cards, accompanied with a picture of her family, would spark memories, and also make her mother feel loved despite her memory loss. Custom orders like these are what make me so proud to have started Snail Mail.
What characteristic do you most admire in other creative women?
I so admire the passion that drives creative women. It empowers them to take risks in their creativity, despite the outcome. Passion is something you can’t teach and truly comes from within. My favorite quote hanging on my inspiration board reads, “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” I truly love seeing that fire within other creative women.
Who keeps you company in your line of work?
I work with my husband, Andrew, who keeps Snail Mail a very well-oiled machine. He takes time out of his day to stamp every card and make sure that all packages are labeled correctly and are ready for shipment. If there is one person who has truly empowered me to get this far, it’s him. He takes the time to look at my designs and see which one’s he thinks will be best, while also keeping me well fed with sweets to keep me smiling. Our mantra is to spread kindness around like confetti, and Andrew constantly throws it around with a smile on his face!
One other group of people keeping me company are the postal workers at the Rockville Post Office. Xtochil, Jeff, and Ebony know us by name and have become lovely friends—we know that our cards are in the best hands when we send them out! Without USPS, Snail Mail wouldn’t be in existence, so thank you guys for being the best neighbors we could ask for!
///Photography by Snail Mail