Thursday, April 14, 2016

Happy Mail (from A Beautiful Mess) Subscription Review, April 2016

Are stationery subscriptions the inevitable backlash against instant gratification culture? To the extent that they revive social graces and encourage thoughtful communication, I think they do provide a desperately needed service.  Happy Mail is one of two available subscriptions from A Beautiful Mess, a site devoted to all things related to stationery and paper arts plus on-line classes.  (Their other subscription is Messy Box, which I believe is oriented more towards planners and scrapbooking.)

If you've bought any greeting cards lately, you know how absurdly expensive they are.  At $20 per month ($18/mo. for 6 mos. or $15/mo. for 12 mos.), Happy Mail provides a much more affordable alternative. They also include a few fun extras that help add a personal touch to your cards.

My first Happy Mail arrived FIVE days after ordering.  Then I got the April packet three days later.  That's more cards than I need in a month but it's nice to know I'm not being ignored. (Aha!  I think I've just hit on an underlying reason subscriptions are SO popular!) Happy Mail comes in a cute cardboard envelope:

Inside April's packet were all these cute cards (and a few supplies) just bursting with pastel Spring colors.  (Note to friends, family and some devoted could be receiving one or more of these at some point so don't read any further if you want to be surprised!) 

Happy Mail sends a mix of folded cards + matching envelopes, flat cards + matching envelopes, a postcard, cute accessories and an 8" x 10" piece of cardstock (suitable for framing) with a graphic hit of color and inspiration:

Here are a couple of the pastel folded cards.  Inside the ice cream cone card is a list of "Things I'm Craving:  You, You, You, Ice Cream and You".  Ahem...priorities.  The other card is blank inside; my preference as blank cards give so much more flexibility.

These are two of the smaller sized folded cards; the first is blank inside and the second says "You did it!" inside.  Nice and generic which is the only way a stationery subscription can really be useful to everyone.

I'm not sure but I think most of the Happy Mail subscriptions include a roll of washi tape.  This one is a beautiful sparkly lavender color.  There are also three hot pink card stock tags for when you REALLY want to get someone's attention! 

Fortunately, there is only one postcard in this shipment and it's pretty bland.  I like cards that are open to interpretation but this one is so generic as to be boring. I'm not sure I'll ever use it.

Much more potentially useful are these three flat cards which show that you care but don't require much effort in terms of message writing.

I think most of the Happy Mail shipments include a page of stickers containing whimsical words and phrases. These are small (same size as average handwriting) and say things like "Homemade", "Espresso Yourself", "Let's Be Delightfully Chaotic", "Hunger Makes Me Say Mean Things", "Goal Digger", "OMG!!", "Tacos Are Always A Good Idea", etc.  Finding the right spot to make use of each of these is going to be a fun challenge.

And finally, there are two large flat cards with matching envelopes. I can think of quite a few situations/applications for each of these.

From the reviews I've read, it looks like everyone gets the same collection of exclusively designed cards each month.  So you never have to feel like you got a set that is "less than" what others received.  This would be a wonderful subscription for parents or grandparents to give older kids as a means to get them to put some thought and effort into their communications (teach the little heathens some manners!)

Happy Mail cards are very good quality and show a lot of design creativity.  The single sheet cards allow a short personal sentiment without the need for a lengthy note.  I do wish they would include one or two birthday cards in each shipment as those are the most likely to be needed.  Also, it would be nice to see a couple of seasonal or holiday themed cards appropriate to the month.  In terms of value, these cards average about $1.50 to $2.00 each....MUCH better than you can do in a retail store!  

I guarantee you'll brighten someone's day every time you send one of these cards!


Disclosure:  Views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly my own.  Product discussed in this post was purchased by Lone Star Shopper.  Post does not contain referral or affiliate links.

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