In her bio, Kelle Anne McCarter says she grew up on a golf course. We’re glad she eventually traded sand traps (not that she saw many, ahem) for stationery design, as our collection now includes cards graced with her stunning calligraphy. Here, the proud Texan talks with us about her perfect pen pal, a comic book love story and the two things every Southern girl should have.
When did your interest in stationery & stationery design begin?
I grew up in the South, so stationery served as the social foundation of my Southern upbringing. In fact, I learned that there are two required accoutrements of every Southern lady: nice luggage and social stationery.
As for stationery design, I had been a paper goods designer for several years when I started my “hello love” line of hand-illustrated stationery, invitations, wrapping paper and custom rubber stamps. My partner, Laura Dombrowski, and I recently published the premiere issue of our new specialty art magazine called “paperswell: modern design ideas for paper goods & weddings” to celebrate stationery, paper goods and the love of correspondence.
Why do you enjoy writing correspondence?
Correspondence is a carrier of family history and a beautiful way to stay connected. The recipient is so thrilled to get a beautiful piece of correspondence in the mail. It is the equivalent of receiving a lovely bouquet of flowers.
What is your favorite step in the design process?
It is the process of experimentation when I reserve time for design “play” and I have no design goal. This is when wonderful discoveries are made.
If you could be pen pals with anyone in history, to whom would you write & what would you say?
It would be Edith Wharton, the American writer, whose words stir your soul. I would ask about her experiences on the front line during WWI.
To whom do you most often write?
My husband. I sent him a note stating: “Although I see you every day, I wanted to say ‘hello’ in a written declaration that expresses the depth of my love, in the infinite reaches of my stimulated soul.” He giggled.
Describe the most memorable letter you have ever received.
It is the trove of letters I received from my future husband during our old-fashioned courtship when we were unable to be together. The exchange of correspondence allowed us to learn more about each other because thoughts are sometimes more easily expressed through the written word.
What makes a particular letter stand out from a stack of cards?
Pretty lettering, a brightly colored envelope or liner and vintage postage stamps.
Do you have a favorite stamp or stamp series?
DC Comics. These were used on our wedding announcement envelopes to extend the theme of our announcement that was an artist-commissioned comic strip chronicling our love story.
What is your favorite product created by Crane & Co.?
Of course, my own designs: The calligraphy “je t’aime” and “thank you” folded note card sets. And also, my custom-designed Crane & Co. engagement cards that are engraved with a silhouette of my husband and me from our engagement photo. I still use these for thank you notes.
What do you think classic correspondence will look like in a decade or two?
It will be the most exquisite pieces of art, sent not through postal carriers as we know them, but through delivery systems developed with nanotechnology or other highly advanced technologies.
Have a question for Kelle? Email our Crane Concierge at firstname.lastname@example.org.