These days, most of our communication is done in a flurry of e-mails, texts and Slack messages. Maybe, we’ll get a phone call if we’re lucky.
While these contemporary devices bring convenience to our lives, the stress of a pinging text never quite equals the warm feeling issued by finding a handwritten letter among the bills in your mailbox.
“It’s really special to see someone take the time to put a pen to paper,” says April May, owner of handmade greeting card company Smudge Ink. “It’s an element of human connection that I feel is really valuable, especially now that we’re doing more and more electronically.”
Based in Charlestown, the Smudge Ink studio uses an old-school letterpress to manually illustrate cards and letterhead for distribution nationwide.
As a child, May would save old cards from friends and relatives. Then, she’d cut and paste elements of them into her own creations. Today, she designs whimsical cards for everyone to send their love in.
“I’ve always found cards to be really special,” she says. “It doesn’t have to be a lot to be meaningful.”
Not only can letter writing foster stronger relationships, it’s a great way unplug and de-stress. It’s nice writing your thoughts and feelings on paper and knowing they’re not shooting them into the internet void.
4 Sweet Boutiques That Stock Stationery
If you’re feeling the need to acknowledge someone with hand-written birthday card, a thinking-about-you message or a love letter, Boston has a number of local shops where you can buy stationery to inspire your snail mail.
Rugg Road Paper Company
105 Charles St., Boston
For 30 years, Rugg Road Paper Company has provided high quality, custom stationery and cards to the Beacon Hill neighborhood.
It offers a curated selection of off-the-shelf cards, printed papers, gift wrap and letter stationery. Or, you can also work with its in-house designers to create correspondence that’s completely unique to you.
101 Charles St., Boston
5 Brattle St., Cambridge
Black Ink offers an eclectic and inspiring collection of writing and gift materials at both locations. Find unique, handmade cards and stationery patterns (some from Smudge Ink, which does not have its own brick-and-mortar), as well as elegant and whimsical party supplies and local gift items.
Bromfield Pen Shop
5 Bromfield St., Boston
It’s hard to rustle up the nostalgia of letter writing with a plastic BIC pen.
Bromfield Pen Shop can upgrade you to a high quality rollerball or take you back in time with a fountain pen.
Are you really committed? Try a calligraphy pen that you literally dip into ink.
450 Harrison Ave., No. 65, Boston
Goosefish Press takes history very seriously. It creates all of its custom products on an antique letterpress.
Though wedding invitations are one of its signature outputs, it also designs and produces note cards, stationery, announcements and business cards.
In store, find a few pre-printed offerings like these pink protest pins, the profit from which go directly to Planned Parenthood.