Author Topic: New business model -- mixed feelings  (Read 603 times)

Offline Zivio

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New business model -- mixed feelings
« on: April 13, 2023, 02:11:58 PM »
My Instagram feed posted up a little reel advertising this business, The Flower Lettershttps://theflowerletters.com/  The reel featured video of envelopes being prepped for snail-mailing and images of lovely handwriting.  Before going further, I'm in no way affiliated with this business nor have I purchased their products.

This product/service sends its subscribers stories told via "handwritten" letters, two per month sent in snail mail. Subscribers may choose from various themes for the stories.

I've got mixed feelings! I think most of them fall to the positive side, but I'd be interested in hearing what other calligraphers, especially those who earn income via their art think.

POSITIVE -- just off the cuff, not in any particular order:

+ Exposing more people to the beauty and nostalgia of handwritten letters. Maybe this appreciation would lead some to wanting to develop their own writing skills?
+ Perhaps exposing some of a younger generation to the joy of receiving actual mail for the first time in their lives! I've only written a few letters to younger people, but always like to sit back and imagine their response to having received something personally addressed ... and then running to someone who might decipher the cursive for them.   ;D
+ Supports the USPS!
+ There's a calligrapher somewhere behind those letters, so it supports their art.
+ Interesting/unique concept! I'm always intrigued by creative business ideas.
+ Supports a small business.

NEGATIVE:

- OK, I've not been able to explain or clarify my own negative feelings about this ... but mass producing/distributing letters disguised to appear personal feels like a cheapening of the experience. I'm having a somewhat ineffable reaction of "ickyness" and wondered what others who have been in the art field might think. 


PS:  See the "poll" above and vote today!   ;D

« Last Edit: April 13, 2023, 02:22:10 PM by Zivio »
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Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: New business model -- mixed feelings
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2023, 03:32:30 PM »
I love polls! LOL! And this type of business has caught my eye more than once. There are similar ones for letters from a historical time or historic event. I think it’s pretty cool. It would be no different than using a type font in my eyes.

With that said, while I love the idea of this - I read some of the reviews for this one in particular and they weren’t great. First, I think it’s way overpriced (but printing and mailing costs are astronomical these days). But people in the reviews said they weren’t receiving their letters on time or they missed some or their subscription stopped halfway through leaving disappointed readers.

On your side for the negative column, I do agree. But the reality is - most of the millennials, Gen Z, and whatever comes after that will never receive a hand written letter. Now THAT is so sad!  :'(
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Erica
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Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: New business model -- mixed feelings
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2023, 03:56:49 PM »
It's been quite a while since we've had a poll, and I like them too.

I think this is a terrific idea. Many periodicals in the past have had serialized stories, particularly monthly magazines and newspapers. Many famous authors used this method to introduce their work to the public--short stories, novellas, etc.

For people who like to read, and need not binge everything, another plus. And for those who don't get much fun mail, another plus.

I can't comment on how well this couple executes the plan--it could be partly the USPS's fault for missing episodes, who knows? And cost?--no idea. Haven't see the competition.

Overall, I like the idea. No "ickiness" on my part.

Offline Zivio

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Re: New business model -- mixed feelings
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2023, 04:03:04 PM »
It's been quite a while since we've had a poll, and I like them

… For people who like to read, and need not binge everything, another plus. And for those who don't get much fun mail, another plus…


Oh, good point! I hadn’t been considering the ongoing nature of the subscription! Definitely putting that into the “plus” column. Learning to slow down and have activities that unfold over time is good for people to experience in this age. Plant some seeds! Take up Spencerian!  ;D
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Offline Mary_M

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Re: New business model -- mixed feelings
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2023, 01:27:33 PM »
I saw this too and was intrigued for a minute. It is comforting to get something pretty in the mail. As a gift it seems impersonal when you could just send someone some tea, treats and Jane Austen’s Letters with your own marginalia. For me it’s a no and yeah, a tad icky. (But I listen to records and have a collection of old oil cans, so what do I know.)

Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: New business model -- mixed feelings
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2023, 09:43:07 PM »
icky

adjective:

1. repulsive or distasteful
2. excessively sweet or sentimental
3. unsophisticated or old-fashioned
4. sticky, viscid

other words for icky:

revolting
gummy, gooey, gucky

Thesaurus.com

Unpleasant, especially to look at.

Cambridge Dictionary.

@Zivio

I'm unsure what you meant by ickyness.

Regards cost:  What do you suppose it would cost a professional calligrapher to produce handwritten letters twice a month with supporting materials?  Would it be done for c. $5/letter? What would the professionals charge?





Offline Zivio

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Re: New business model -- mixed feelings
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2023, 11:07:21 PM »
icky



I'm unsure what you meant by ickyness.




From merriam-mebster.com:


offensive to the senses or sensibilities : DISTASTEFUL
put off by her icky triteness
—Renata Adler   [/i]

“Offensive to the sensibilities” is what I’d meant by icky.  I could have chosen a less ambiguous term, but I really was having difficulty describing my reaction. Hence, the scare quotes and “ineffable” adjective in the original post.

As for cost, I seriously doubt any calligrapher, professional quality or not, would hand write a letter for only $5!  But then I think most people hiring a calligrapher want a custom piece of original art and not a reproduction of the piece they had commissioned.  There are lots of beautiful art reproductions, framed prints, and even printed on canvas that may be had for, say, home interior decorating and design, but there’s nothing like seeing the vibrancy and texture of real oil or acrylic on canvas or other materials. Giclées may also come close, and I’d actually purchased one from a local artist who had already sold the original I’d wanted.

Still, I don’t oppose the creative concept of this enterprise for many of the positives I’d already offered. I think it’s great that, through this product/service, other people may learn to enjoy the things that I think everyone here on the forum loves!

« Last Edit: April 14, 2023, 11:11:44 PM by Zivio »
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Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: New business model -- mixed feelings
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2023, 01:34:48 PM »
Oh it actually looks like they have come down in costs significantly. $12/month isn’t bad!
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Erica
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