Artists and Salespeople

My dad gave me his favorite magazine from his childhood–an issue of The Leather Craftsman dated September/October 1959.  He always loved the image on the cover and the accompanying story that someone had written from the perspective of the cougar.

I love that the image is all tooled in leather! Look at that detail!

As I was reading through the magazine, I saw this little bit of wisdom:

I have been thinking about ways to move from artist to salesman, of designing my own stationery and selling it online and at craftshows.  But as the “feet” concept suggests–it’s a lot of work to do when you already have a full-time, non-stationery related job!

Since my trip to the National Stationery Show in May, I’ve been thinking about the trend in the industry away from letter sets and toward cards only.  I walked up and down aisle after aisle, looking in hundreds and hundreds of booths.  I saw thousands of cards and fewer than five letter sets.  I’ve heard from pen pals that they don’t find letter sets in stationery stores any more. They have to go online and find folks who still believe that we have something to say that won’t fit in a small card.

There are some companies that still do fun letter set designs (I like Peter Pauper Press, Crane and Chronicle). And there are a lot of great Asian letter sets out there. But it feels like there may be room for me, too.  I may jump into the fray.  If it get up the courage, you’ll be the first to know!

5 Replies to “Artists and Salespeople”

  1. Yes, please, more letter sets are needed! If the NSS is mainly cards now, I’m thinking I don’t really need to have attending one day as a dream any longer. Kind of sad to say, but good to know.

  2. I know you can do anything you set your mind to! I would love to buy some (and send them promptly back), well… I’d go forage for more letter sets to give you something new that you didn’t make (would that be like re-gifting? ha!). Hugs, J.

    1. Hi Jeff!
      A letter set is what you probably traditionally think of as stationery–sheets of paper and matching envelopes. These days, most stationery stores carry only cards and a few “flat notes” which are only big enough for a note, not a longer letter. Many of us letter-writing enthusiasts simply have too much to say to cram into a card!

    2. I thought the card madness was only local. Whew! Thanks for letting me know it’s a trend. I end up using both sides of three cards and have envelopes left over. Have resorted to doing it my way. 🙂 Hallmark’s stationery does not take ink well. Their stationery sets truly had hallmark quality a decade ago. Must write them a letter so they can see for themselves. Will you join me?

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