Can’t believe how LONG it’s been since I wrote a blog post – I guess writing this many letters has a side-effect of disliking the ‘online’ written word 😉 However, I felt like my super cool channel news deserved a seperate post. You may have guessed from the title already: I got a PO box!!
A word of thanks
First of all, I’d like to take a moment to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Without your support and kindness, my blog & YouTube channel would never have gotten this far! Of course, my currently 1600 subscribers may seem like nothing compared to some of the bigger crafty YouTube channels… But to me, it means the world.
Over the past year or so, I’ve gotten quite used to sharing a video every Monday and Friday. In these videos I’d of course show you happy mail I’d make or had received, accompanied by loooots of chatting 😉 After I share my video I get lovely messages and comments from all these like minded people, who are into similar things or share my biggest hobby: penpal letters & mail.
Can we send you mail?
For me, it was the weirdest sensation to read that people were interested in sending me something by mail. Me! A girl who only recently discovered that she has a thing for creating and decorating, and who’s still quite overwhelmed by how much others seem to enjoy watching her do it. A girl who’s been insecure about herself her entire life, and who never really believed she was ever good enough. A girl who, despite the positive feedback & kind words spoken by the mail community surrounding her channel, still gets nervous when uploading a new video and sharing personal parts of her life – like therapy and anxiety.
So yeah, I guess you can imagine how surprised I was when more people started asking about a PO box. I never expected that to be a thing! Until I started looking into it. And started getting excited. The thought of getting to know some people who are on the other side of the screen just sounds really… cool. I guess, I am as excited by the idea of getting to know you than you were by getting to know me, right? That’s just an assumption I made. I mean, obviously you could be here for the mail tutorials alone, but I’m getting the feeling that if you read allll the text I’ve written so far you might like meeting new people, too.
Anyway, by now you must have figured it out: I decided to get the PO box. At first I thought I would get it just before we moved house, so my penpal mail wouldn’t get delivered to the wrong address, but I became very impatient… 😉
Yesterday I went to the PO box company (it’s about 12 minutes by bike) where I had an appointment to get it all set up. The manager seemed as excited about receiving all the pretty envelopes as I was! They get all mail in one big pile, and then distribute them over the individual boxes. I guess they normally only get business mail, since they aren’t very common hore in the Netherlands. So I don’t blame him for being excited!
It’s open effective immediately, and I have it for at least 6 months. After that, I can decide whether or not to stop – but hopefully I’ll still receive mail by then! Of course if I do decide to cancel it, I’ll let you know at least 2 months before. Crazily enough, I already got my first mail notification! Mom, is that you?
PO Box videos
One of the most exciting parts about the PO Box mail is of course the opening, which I will film for the channel every time. Maybe this will be once a month, or twice, or once every two months… Depending on how much mail I get. For the ‘What My Penpals Sent Me’ Videos I like to do 4-5 envelopes every time, so I guess it’ll be around the same for the PO box videos.
Here are some bullet points about these videos:
- I promise to protect your privacy. This means I’ll cover up your address & other personal information before filming or taking photos, and I will never share them with other people or parties.
- Your letter will be for my eyes only. I won’t show or read them out loud in the videos, and I won’t let anyone (no, not even you Gijs) read them either.
- All incoming mail will be shown or mentioned in the videos. If you took the time out of your day to send me something, the least I can do is make sure you’ll know it arrived safely! If there’s a private letter in the mail, I’ll only show the envelope of course.
- Know that you’ll make my day.
Then, it might be important to also mention my “reply-policy”. Of course, this isn’t set in stone and I will probably change it every month – or at least the first few weeks.
Some bullet points about replies:
- If there’s no return address, I’ll assume it’s because you’d rather not share your address. Or you’re okay with receiving no reply. If you simply forgot, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! 😀
- If there is too much mail, I have decided to draw a line with replies. Right now I have noooo clue how it’ll go and how much mail I’ll get, but to protect myself (from stressing out about it!) I have chosen to, in theory, not reply to every letter. More about this in the next chapter.
- I’ll randomly select mail to reply to each month. This means that everyone gets an even chance to receive a reply, no matter how big or small your envelope is. Current thought is to use a random number generator 😉
- The size of the replies isn’t based on the size of the received mail. You don’t have to send me a huge package in order to receive a happy mail parcel in return. I want everyone to get a fair chance, no matter how big or small as mentioned in the previous point. I’ll just see whatever I feel like creating that day: whether it’s a postcard, a flipbook or a long letter 🙂
Why I chose not to reply to all
This part was actually really hard for me to decide. The reason why I postponed getting a PO box for so long, is because I was worried of feeling stress or anxiety with a long list of replies to work on. If I have a lot of penpal mail to write, I will start stressing about it (that’s just how my brain works! :p) and it will take out all the fun & leave me with no creativity at all. So I decided to focus on at least 2 or 3 mails each month, so I can do it stress-free and hopefully send out many many more instead!
Obviously I will reply to as many as I can, and send out as many happy mails/letters/postcards as I feel inspired to, but I need to set some guidelines for myself so that it doesn’t take away the fun. It also really depends on how much incoming mail there is. At first, I thought maybe 3 or 4 each month – so I could reply to all of them. But who knows, my channel might grow and it might start getting closer to 10…. Eeeek!
Just know that I’ll be super duper happy with your letter or mail, and I’ll use all of that happiness to work on as many replies as possible! It’s also very possible that I won’t receive that much mail at all, and then you’ll get a reply from me for sure.
I really hope you will understand.
Anyway, I think that’s all for now! If I forgot anything, please let me know. OHHH YES, the address of course! Haha! That would be very typical, this entire blog post without actually adding the address. !! Important info for the Dutchies amongst us!!: you can not send it without the actual street name! I know it’s common for PO boxes to require no streetname, but you really have to include “Konijnenberg 98” in order for it to arrive. Sadly, this already went wrong two times 😦
Here it is:
Vivian @ The Paper Letter Blog
Konijnenberg 98 – postbus 8549
4825 BE Breda
You can swap out ‘Vivian @ The Paper Letter Blog’ with Vivian, or The Paper Letter Blog, or The paper letter Vivian, The Paper Letter, YouTube Vivi or whatever nickname you want to give me… Haha! But please don’t use my first and last name: not because of privacy reasons, but because I’d like to be able to see the difference between subscriber mail, swaps and penpal letters. I’ll start using different names for swaps as well. Thank you!
Okay so if you made it all the way to the end: congratulations! If you’re planning on sending me a little hello, just know that you’ll make this girl incredibly, incredibly happy. – Vivian
All photos on this page are from my Instagram Account.