Posts in YouTube
We're Made In Washington!

We’re so excited to announce that a selection of our cards are now available at all four Made in Washington stores and online! Check out the displays in stores at Pike Place Market, Westlake Center, Bellevue Square Mall, and Alderwood Mall and let us know what you think!

500 YouTube Subscribers Giveaway!
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I'm Sara, the Snail Mail Superstar. I'm a greeting card designer, letterpress printer and stationery shop owner. First and foremost, I love snail mail! In this video, I'm celebrating meeting my goal of 500 subscribers on YouTube by doing a watercolor painting and answering your questions! I'm giving away a Shinola Detroit notebook and a Lamy LX fountain pen, as well as bundles of Constellation & Co. greeting cards, postcards, and stickers! There will be 1 grand prize winner and 10 winners of a smaller prize. All of the rules and instructions are below, keep reading!

Official Giveaway Rules and Entry Details:

-You must be subscribed to my channel on YouTube to win.

-You must comment on this video to be entered in the contest.

-Winners will be chosen on March 15, 2019.

-All entries must be submitted by March 14, 2019 at 11:59 pm PST.

-Once notified, winners must e-mail their mailing address to giveaway@constellationco.com (so I can send the prize).

-The grand prize cannot be won by employees of Constellation & Co. or their immediate families.

-There will be ONE grand prize winner, receiving a Shinola Notebook and a Lamy LX Fountain Pen as well as a Constellation & Co. bundle of cards, postcards & stickers), prize valued at $150.

-There will be TEN additional winners receiving a Constellation & Co. bundle of cards, postcards & stickers valued at $20.

-Please do not re-sell the prize - use it for the snail mail joy for which it is intended.

-Prizes will be shipped by April 1, 2019.

-Any personal data collected will be used ONLY for snail mail sending purposes.

-No purchase necessary to win.

-YouTube is NOT a sponsor of your contest and bears no liability related to this giveaway.

-We adhere to the YouTube Community Guidelines and expect all subscribers to comply as well, or their entry will be disqualified.

YouTubeSara McNallyComment
My Great-Grandfather's Postcard Collection

A few weeks ago, I went on vacation with my immediate and extended family. It was a wonderful week on the beach and the time away left me feeling rested and peaceful. While there, I was given stewardship of my great-grandfather Harold's postcard collection. The collection includes (by my count) 641 postcards from within the USA and 621 postcards from international locations (including Hawaii and Alaska due to the time period). The collection is housed in a wooden box with two compartments. The postcards from within the USA are housed on the left side of the box and are organized alphabetically by state. The right side of the box is organized by country, with the names written on a set of card stock dividers that have been badly degraded by time. The postcards themselves are in impeccable condition, considering their age. The oldest cards are postmarked in the early 1920's, and a few late additions reach into the 1960's.

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I never had the chance to meet my great-grandfather, as he passed away 14 years before I was born. I really haven't known much about him at all. Holding his postcard collection in my hands has been the catalyst for an expedition into the past, into my ancestry, to meet Harold and get to know the original Snail Mail Superstar in my family. Everyone in his life (including his wife) called him by his last name, Steinke. I will continue the tradition from here on out.

As you can read in the inscription above, it was Steinke's goal to collect one or more postcards from every country. I treasure this returned and battered postcard because it's a window into how Steinke reached out into the world to meet people and build his collection. He was 16 when this  postcard was sent. From my research on Ancestry, I can make a few meaningful connections here. In 1921 when this postcard was sent, Steinke's father, Emil, was working in a typewriter factory. I can picture Emil bringing home a typewriter for the family and showing his curious son how it worked. I can picture the glint in Steinke's eye while thinking of all the possibilities, and landing on his plan to travel the world and bring it home with just a postcard and a stamp. His dream started with this simple, typewritten postcard. He understood the power of snail mail. Steinke grew up and worked with typewriters like his dad. He sold Olympia typewriters for many years and eventually started his own office machines business. A snail mail lover and an entrepreneur. I like the cut of his jib.

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As you can see in this follow up postcard, people heard about Steinke's project and they wanted to be a part of it. They were, in fact, "very anxious to join." Many of the postcards in Steinke's collection are blank. There are many doubles and multiples, especially in the Washington DC section. I can only speculate on his intentions, but I imagine that he sent a lot of those overseas for exchange. My favorite examples in the collection are those with messages, stamps and cancellations. Steinke has postcards in his box addressed to everyone in the family, not just to him. It's like they all knew he collected them, so they'd send them to each other and then give them to Steinke when they were done. This habit gives me the immense pleasure of reading examples of how they all communicated with each other. I get to see a glimpse into Steinke himself in his postcards to his brother Stan, his father Emil, and my own Grandma Jean.

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Between the first postcards in the collection and the last, Steinke met his wife, Georgia, had three daughters and raised them to love sending snail mail. I know, because his daughter, my Grandma Jean, taught me to love snail mail. She sent letters for every day I was at camp, sent me cards from my dolls in character, and wrote beautiful letters on behalf of Mrs. Claus. She showed me her love in myriad ways, but the magic of snail mail stuck. When I feel lost, I've always returned to it, like my North Star, or like it's in my DNA. I'm learning that perhaps, it is. 

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I can only infer the sentimental meaning that will follow this sentence, but it feels right. Steinke strikes me as a young man who dreamed of seeing the world. He must have grown up hearing about places in Europe from his dad, Emil, who came to America from Germany in the 1880's. His collection includes beautiful postcards from all over, and I picture him opening his mailbox to find a 4" x 6" window into a place in the world he longs to see for himself. But the postcard collection also encompasses a few more modern cards, written by Steinke to my Grandma Jean in 1961 from locations all over Europe. Revealing the dry humor that is certainly a part of our family legacy, he wrote: "This is the darndest country. Everyone speaks French." I never met Steinke, but after just a few short weeks of research and reading postcards, I recognize him. He's like me. I'm just at the beginning of this journey, but I already feel anchored in my family history in a way I've never felt before. 

There is so much more I could say, and I will share eventually... I'm working on something special and I've already written 4,600 words! In the meantime, I need your help. I've started my own postcard collection, and perhaps my own great-grandchild will read it someday and learn about this moment in time. I would LOVE for you to send me a postcard. On it, please tell me about the person who taught you to love snail mail. I'll share them here, and we can all celebrate the magic of our snail mail predecessors together!

Here's the address:
Snail Mail Superstar
c/o Constellation & Co.
1900 W. Nickerson St. #101
Seattle, WA 98119
United States of America

Road Trip to Canada With My Snail Mail Squad

I'm Sara, the Snail Mail Superstar. I'm a greeting card designer, letterpress printer and stationery shop owner. In this video, I’m on an epic road trip adventure with my friends Emily & Kelly from Seattle, WA to Vancouver, BC in Canada.

I'm Sara, the Snail Mail Superstar. I'm a greeting card designer, letterpress printer and stationery shop owner. In this video, I’m on an epic road trip adventure with my friends Emily & Kelly in Vancouver, BC, Canada. We met up with subscriber, Irene, for lunch and shopping!

I'm Sara, the Snail Mail Superstar. I'm a greeting card designer, letterpress printer and stationery shop owner. In this video, I’m on an epic road trip adventure with my friends Emily & Kelly to Vancouver, BC. In this leg, we return from Canada back to Seattle, WA. On the way home, we stopped at three different Fred Meyer stores to acquire a full set of the Sketchers Bobs "Quote Me Cats" shoes for the squad. Every road trip squad needs a ridiculous side quest. We also ate a ton of Canadian candy (Aero! Weird and wonderful KitKats! Coffee Crisp!) and oh so many delicious Ketchup Chips. This video is part 3 of a 3 part series. But check back soon to see me share what I bought at Muji!

Learn more about Snail Mail Superstar!

National Stationery Show: Video Series

In this video, I'm preparing for my trip and flying from Seattle to New York for the National Stationery Show! It's an industry trade show that offers retailers & wholesalers the latest in invitations, greeting cards, stationery and lifestyle gifts on the market. This video is the first in a series chronicling my whirlwind 28 hours in NYC. I am SO EXCITED. So many sights and people and snail mail magic to see! I edited this quick little video on the plane, and I'm uploading it in the quiet few moments before I take a power nap and then head out into the big city.

This video is the 2nd in my series of travel vlogs about my trip to New York City. The trip was a bit of a planes, trains, and automobiles experience for me, but in a fun way. My morning of transit was really peaceful and enjoyable for me, despite the lack of sleep. I'm feeling very much lately that the journey is so much of the beauty in our lives.

In this video, I'm sharing my day at the National Stationery Show with you! I spent a whirlwind 28 hours in New York City last week to attend an industry trade show (NSS) and scout out new products to offer in my stationery store in Seattle. This video is the 3rd in this series of travel vlogs, and there are a few more coming your way in the next week or so.

In this video, I'm sharing more of my New York City adventure for the National Stationery Show. After my long and wonderful day at the trade show, I took a walk on the High Line to the Paper Party, a stationery industry event hosted by Oh So Beautiful Paper.