Today I am excited to do a short interview with an old friend, Alison of The Petit Cadeau. This spring she launched a unique letter subscription for young kids. I love the project’s innocence, design, and simplicity…
When I was a kid I loved getting letters, which is why this Petit Mail caught my attention!
Alison is a part-time creative, a wife, and mother with a passion for thoughtful gifting. She writes from “the edge of the world”, also known as Newfoundland and Labrador Canada.
Let’s chat with her…
What inspired you to create Petit Mail?
I created Petit Mail because I honestly LOVE snail mail. My secret is, I shop online because I love getting packages in the mailbox. I also love to receive cards and letters. It’s so nice to come home after a tiring day at the office and find some little surprise in the mailbox. In my opinion, we don’t have enough of those little pleasures in our lives.
Our neighborhood has community mailboxes (at the end of our street) so as soon as my daughter NJ could walk, we would go on little adventures to the mailbox to check the mail. She is 3 years old, and loves to carry the mail, open the mail, and play with the bright colorful flyers (and sometimes the boxes that come for me). I decided that I wanted bright, fun mail for her to open.
She currently receives a great magazine subscription for her age group, but I wanted a letter, from another little boy or girl around her age. I couldn’t quite find what I wanted, so I decided to create my own snail mail subscription for young children (ideally suited for ages 3-6) and Petit Mail is the result!
Tell us more about Oliver & Olivia. What can parents expect from them with a subscription?
Petit Mail is bright & fun. Once a month, children will receive a letter from either Oliver or Olivia (alternating between each character). The letters are designed for young children. They are printed in full-color, double sided on 5×7 inch heavy cardstock. The letters are then packaged in fun, bright envelopes featuring stamps, embossing & tape. Some months, the letters will also include little extras, like stickers & other goodies. Letters also encourage some kind of activity or project, like writing a letter of your own.
Will children have the opportunity to reply to Oliver & Olivia’s mail?
I’m so glad that you asked this question, and I think the answer is yes! I would very much like to correspond with and hear from individual subscribers (parents AND children) about how they would like to correspond with Oliver and Olivia. The product will grow and change with input from subscribers like YOU. There has also been a suggestion to coordinate some kind of pen pal type service for subscribers in the future. The possibilities are endless and I’m so excited to explore how we can all be involved.
The example showcased on your site is lovely. Tell us more. Did you create/draw/design Oliver & Olivia?
I created the concept for Oliver + Olivia. I had an idea of what they would look like and I commissioned a wonderful illustrator named Heather Stillufsen (Rose Hill Designs) to create the custom characters for me. I’m happy to report that my blog readers actually named Oliver + Olivia in a naming contest. We posted Heather’s first set of illustrations and let readers comment with a boy and girl name. I had a fabulous response and it was so hard to choose the final names, but in the end, I just went with my gut instinct and Oliver and Olivia seem to suit the characters well.
I write the letters each month, and commission Heather to create drawings and extra little detail illustrations based on the story/theme of the month.
How often can kids expect to receive Petit Mail?
Petit Mail is a monthly subscription and children will receive a letter once a month. Subscriptions are available for 6 months or 12 months and are available for Canada, US and International mailing addresses. If you are gifting Petit Mail, every purchase comes with the option to print a free gift card.
Tell us more about your blog’s tagline: thoughtful gift giving.
What can I say? Thoughtful gifting is so much a part of who I am. I expend a lot of brain power thinking about it, and it makes me really happy.
I wrote a thoughtful gifting manifesto for my blog The Petit Cadeau (http://www.thepetitcadeau.com), which describes some of my beliefs behind thoughtful gifting. It includes: making gifts, supporting handmade and local business, gifting experiences and/or your time, and using snail mail. I’ve also been using another phrase, SLOW GIFTING, to describe thoughtful gifting. “It’s about making a conscious choice for gifts. It’s about making gifts with love or purchasing something made with care by hand. It’s an energy”.
Did you ever have a pen pal growing up?
Yes! I LOVED having a pen pal. Mine was a girl from Australia (I live in Canada) and we wrote and exchanged pictures. It was so lovely.
Do you think the art of writing letters will be lost with our children?
I really hope not. This is part of the reason why I feel so strongly about keep snail mail alive in a small way through Petit Mail. I hear stories about children not knowing how to address an envelope, or where to put a postage stamp. I believe in the power of pen and paper, of postcards, of the joy of opening an envelope to find out what is inside. With less people sending “real” mail, postage costs seems to be rising in many corners of the world. I still send cards and letters to my adult friends in the mail and I hope to keep that tradition alive in my own home, and encourage the joys of mail in other homes around the world with Petit Mail. I’ve started a Pinterest board called “Snail Mail for Children” where I share snail mail inspiration, DIY projects & play ideas, and snail mail printables for children, among other things! Join me there for new ideas to keep the art of letter writing alive.
Where can people purchase an individual trial month or ongoing subscription?
You can find Petit Mail Subscriptions here.
How can people connect with you online?
I love to connect with other moms and creative-types! You can find out more about me, and thoughtful gifting on my blog The Petit Cadeau. You can also find me on: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Thanks again for the chat, Alison!
Have YOU got questions for Alison, too? Leave them in the comments below!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”