Kimberley Yurkiewicz and Zach Barocas fell in love through letters. She was writing and letterpressing in Minneapolis, and he was a musician and film student in New York City. Their reverence for the little things in life—art, poetry, books, design, and paper—was mutual. Now married and the owners of the Uptown stationery shop, Letterbox, they’re still smitten with each other—and the tradition that started it all. Here, their praise of paper and how to use it well.
1. When trends boomerang, there are things that remain. Stationery is one of those things. It’s like a little black dress.
2. Paper has caught up with fashion. Designers brand themselves using color palettes, and are branching into art, books, candles, and notepads.
3. If you have paper, you will use it more. Start with a single, cool greeting card, and then move on to stationery.
4. People think that because stationery is etiquette-based, it has to be refined and stuffy—it doesn’t. I will send my friend a card if I loved the boots she was wearing.
5. Texting or checking your e-mail 400 times a day does not preclude you from being proper or thoughtful. Send a thank-you note!
6. Don’t say “thank you” in the note if the card already says “thank you.” You have to try a littler harder.
7. If we have people over, they always get an invitation. If we have a dinner party, there are always place cards. But it’s not some grand affair. These are little details of grace and thoughtfulness.
8. It’s always cooler to send a note or card with whatever it is you’re sending. If you throw one in with a work document, it’s suddenly a treat.
9. A lot of our male customers tell us what they’re doing, and ask what kind of paper they need. What’s so cool is that they’re using the right piece—like a smaller monarch sheet for an informal letter, or a flat correspondence card for a short note.
10. Couples think they have to do things perfectly when planning their wedding, but invitations don’t have to be by the book.
11. Don’t put the food choice on the response card. That’s a pet peeve of ours, but 75 percent of brides do it. We’re also baffled every time they list their gift registries.
12. Be accountable for the way you present yourself. Be a person who writes thoughtful notes.
13. You don’t get hip to writing letters or thank-yous because you wear Manolo Blahniks. On the contrary, it’s egalitarian. All you need is a stamp.
Letterbox, 2741 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, 612-870-4529