World's Smallest Post Service: A Magical Future
Make magic with us at the World's Smallest Post Service. Help us open a brick & mortar storefront and spiffy up our online experience!
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sun, May 5 2019 5:09 PM UTC +00:00.
For ten years now, the World's Smallest Post Service (WSPS) has been sending big love via tiny mail. Whose love? Our happy customers! The tiny letters and packages transcribed and crafted by Lea Redmond and her pals have charmed tens of thousands of people in the US and around the world. Y'all have asked for more and more tiny mail, so here we are!
The truth is: as much as people love their smartphones, they miss real mail. The world needs more letters and care packages. People want to slow down, to reflect, and to appreciate each other. Tiny mail offers one small way to do just that.
Tiny mail is a double-delight. It's as much fun to send a tiny letter or package as it is to receive one! Tiny mail is for anyone and everyone. It is most certainly for all ages. Some people love tiny mail because it's cute, while others are in it for the absurd. Whether tiny mail is adorable, hilarious, wonder-full or just plain strange, you're bound to make someone's day when your tiny letter or package arrives. (You should see our happy customer email folder!)
To send tiny mail, you type out the info for your custom tiny letters and packages on our website, add real-world shipping addresses, review your order, and go through checkout. Then we wave our magic wand and turn it into a tiny version before shipping! (For reals, it's actually a careful process involving a fancy laser printer, very steady hands and excellent craft skills!)
Why doesn't it get lost in the mail? No worries! We package up all tiny mail (with a magnifying glass!) and ship it in a larger mailer so that it arrives safely.
Over the past ten years, the World's Smallest Post Service has been bursting with creativity. We've released dozens of new formats to spread the magic of tiny mail: DIY stationery sets, "Keep Me Posted" 6-week serial stories, tiny seed packets and trowels from the Easter Bunny, anonymous "Secret Spider" letters, tiny chocolate package sets, patches, tiny postal ink stamps, letters from the Tooth Fairy, advent calendars containing antique postage stamps, and big batches of tiny mail as invitations and promotional mailings for art museums and other organizations. We've even transcribed wedding proposals!
But there's ONE thing that Lea has been daydreaming about for years...
With this Kickstarter project, we want to put even more tiny mail magic and wonder into the world. We propose to create an enchanting, museum-like, open-to-the-public brick & mortar home for our World's Smallest Post Service. We want to make a place, a magical coordinate on the globe where people can count on wonder and kindness. Here is an illustrated list of the special moments we want to create there:
To go along with our new postal storefront in Downtown Oakland, we want to make our online tiny mail experience extraordinary too! What we do is unusual, which means it requires custom programming. And Lea has a long list of cool ideas to make the web interface more user-friendly and powerful. These include: a code redemption system for gift certificates and pre-paying for response mail, better editing and preview tools, etc.
We have a quote in hand from our programmer and plan to use about half of our Kickstarter funding to pay for custom code upgrades for our site. The rest will be used to create as many magical moments (see above!) as we can afford, and to set up the new space with the amazing antique post office counter that Lea found in addition to work tables, lighting, and shelving. The more funds that we raise, the more magic we can make! (Our current monthly sales will be able to cover rent, payroll, and insurance, in case you're curious.)
Choose a reward that you love!
See below for visuals of all the options in the list to the right.
All backers will receive a WSPS patch and commemorative faux postage stamp sheet.
The tiny mail certificates -- good for one classic custom tiny letter or package -- are discounted from our regular prices (once you add shipping, in case you're comparing). We hope you'll stock up for the next few years, giving us the boost we need right now to stretch into our new storefront and website. Please note: these certificates will arrive in September, once our new code redemption website is built, making the codes functional. (And between now and then, you can send tiny mail via our current website like usual.)
Who are you excited to send tiny mail to? Who needs a little love? For what occasion or sentiment? Which packages? What custom messages? Letters? Cards?
Our business philosophy is to make good, meaningful things that bring people joy. That's it. No advertising. Very little social media. No gimmicks or flashy sales bombarding your inboxes, just illustrated email newsletters from Lea. Our working assumption is that you, our customers, want to be treated like real human beings -- like intelligent, kind people with excellent taste. We put our energy into making wonderful things, and hope that the rest takes care of itself. We count on word of mouth to bring us our future customers, and we're counting on YOU today. Thank you for all the support you've given us over the years, and we look forward to making tiny mail for you and yours for years to come!
If you know people who you think would LOVE this project, we'd be happy to mail them a free tiny postcard from you letting them know about it. Just email Adrienne (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a list of names and addresses. (We'll put your name in the "return address" area of the larger envelope.) Special Delivery!
Lea Redmond started the World's Smallest Post Service on a whim back in 2008. The idea just popped into her head and she thought it was so hilarious that it must be done. So she sewed herself a postal uniform, crafted tiny envelopes, bought a roll-top doll desk and a fine tipped pen, and biked down to Sweet Adeline Bakeshop where the owner gave her permission to set up her tiny post office in the corner all afternoon. To her great surprise, people loved it and actually bought transcriptions from her - wow! She then set up shop monthly with the good folks at the old Curiosity Shoppe on Valencia Street in San Francisco. After being featured in Ready-Made magazine, Lea started offering tiny mail through a website. One thing led to another, and with the help of a very thoughtful Boing Boing post and a Design Sponge feature, a tiny business was born.
How it all began...
How to make a DIY tiny package from our kit...
Lea on NBC!
A few years ago, Lea built a tiny PO diorama into a knothole in a tree at Tilden Park in Berkeley. Hikers leave trinkets and notes as they pass by. If you want to visit it, here's a map.
Lea has loved making things since she was a wee one, such as this tiny paper soda pop machine. You can explore her world at LeaRedmond.com. Her participatory art projects, such as With A Pencil In My Pocket and Sugar Books invite people to find the extraordinary in the ordinary. Lea dreams up and designs whimsical goods such as Seed Money and Matchbox Theater for her business, Leafcutter Designs. Her World’s Smallest Post Service has charmed tens of thousands of people with teeny tiny mail. Lea also creates books, journals, and games via various publishers, including Letters To My Future Self, Knit The Sky, Paint Chip Poetry and Everyday Offerings. She dreams up new worlds and tries to make them at Lucky Penny Parlor, her tiny 250-square-foot studio / tea room in Downtown Oakland. Her most recent Kickstarter project funded a set of quirky activity cards called Lively Matter. She was recently the first "Artist In The House" at Chronicle Books, where she turned the publishing house's elevator into a tea room.
Risks and challenges
Honestly, we've done our homework and are confident that we can accomplish our goals if we get the funding we're seeking. This is Lea's 9th Kickstarter project since 2011 (all successful so far) and she's very good at follow-through! The riskiest part of the project is probably the time-line of the custom computer programming, which is estimated but can't really be confirmed until we're well on our way into the review process. As such, we've built a cushion of time into the schedule to be sure we can deliver the tiny letter/package certificates by September. In terms of the brick and mortar aspect of the project, the trickiest part is getting enough in-person customers to justify paying someone to run the register, but our plan for that is to add hours and days as we are able and work our way up to being open all the time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter