I had been cyberstalking Isabel Bonenfant and Kate Kellman, the duo behind Of Note Stationers since the time their stationery company was called, Isabel and Kate, not so long ago. I am a fan of their clean aesthetic and their philosophy behind meaningful correspondence. These two ladies have the loveliest letterpressed line worth admiring. When I realized they were Boston based, I’d hoped for an opportunity to meet them in person and was delighted that Kate reached out before I did after seeing my Instagram post taken at the Cambridge location of Black Ink, my favorite stationery and gift shop in the area.
You could say my passion for paper side projects is no secret with my friends and online community. It is no surprise then that this became an immediate topic for discussion and within minutes of our meet up, an unexpected Happy Mail Happy Hour collaboration was born, as well as a hosted Happy Mail Hop on Instagram. With their warm personalities, a similar appreciation for words, and our shared enthusiasm for gathering, the last thing on my mind this vacation (planning an event) became the only thing on my mind, “We have to do it! Why not?”
With the support of the amazing Boston area community and a lot of hustle from our team of three, my love of cards, conversation, and cocktails went east coast style at our Happy Mail Happy Hour with the generosity of the Boston CyberArts Gallery in Jamaica Plain.
We welcomed a fantastic mix of local blog buddies, Instagram acquaintances, personal supporters, and artistic friends to our after work soiree. I initially felt that our guests were a bit bemused by the concept of gathering to bond over stationery. Armed with cards from Of Note Stationers and B. Impressed with a side of stickers and washi from my go to Etsy shop, Kawaii Goodies (someone even asked, “How does this washi tape thing work?”), they were soon won over by the charm and camaraderie that is the signature of the Happy Mail Happy Hour culture if I do say so myself… or they were distracted by the amazing appetizers created by Vanessa, The Busy Bostonian. Or perhaps it was the cold Artifact Cider and chilled wines from Blanchards and The Wine Press of Brookline that convinced them. Hmmm….
I got a kick out of seeing people using their natural inclinations for drawing and/ or sentimental words to communicate with the loved recipients of their cards. As always, each time I sat down to do some of my own, I was distracted by my need to peak at the others’ work and join in conversations ranging from quick recipes, child sized footwear ordeals, and the best nibs for certain types of lettering.
The biggest thanks to our friends at:
All images here are care of John Correa
Please go to Isabel and Kate’s Of Note Stationers Blog to read their account of our #happymailhappyhour collaboration.
I have to say, for a Bay Area girl, Boston is looking to be a place I could see myself visiting more often with a community like this. I know it’s the tip of the iceberg so far and I have so much to explore in the creative community with many people to meet and more places to see. You never know what the summer has in store.
It goes to show you never know what can work. You should never stop yourself from reaching out to say hello for coffee, or to accept an invitation to a weird paper party you’ve never heard of from an out of town blogger who found your IG calligraphy feed. It’s also super worth it to ask the friendly looking saxophone player you spotted in the nearby train station to come in for a few songs in exchange for beer or donuts, it just might work – and it DID! At Happy Mail Happy Hour, things like that always do!