Tiny and Snail is a card and stationery company based out of the Midwest and is also featured in the May Feminist Book Club box! It is run by an amazing sister duo, Grace and Leah, who love creating illustrations and bringing joy to the world, one piece of mail at a time.
I got the chance to talk to these lovely humans to learn more about their business and their love of snail mail.
Who is Tiny and Snail?
First of all, for those of you who are wondering, Leah is Tiny and Grace is Snail. Their name comes from a comic drawn by their little friend, Ellie, who was six-years-old at the time.
Grace is a former first grade teacher who jumped into the creative world by starting an Etsy shop for hand-painted cards. Grace quickly realized her hands could not keep up with the demand, and she developed an injury that slowed her down. Her sister, Leah, with her art school background, stepped in and offered to be her hands. They make a great sister team!
Leah was working two jobs and helping out with Tiny and Snail on the weekends. After a life-altering accident left Leah with a spinal cord injury, she was able to continue to draw and work on Tiny and Snail full-time.
I asked Leah and Grace where they find inspiration for their products. Grace talked about finding inspiration everywhere. From Instagram comments to poetry, they make sure to ask for permission to use everything. They both grew up religiously, and that also inspires their work, as well as the poetry they read and write. Leah also talked about finding inspiration from hardship and overcoming.
Leah and Grace are both so open and authentic, and realness is something they convey in their products. Leah spoke on how her accident taught her how to write sympathy cards. Many of the ones she received were full of platitudes. The one that made her actually feel better was one that simply said “You are a badass”.
Tiny and Snail isn’t like other card companies that are holiday and seasonal driven. One thing they like to do is release a new collection on Leah Lived Day, the anniversary of Leah’s accident. There is so much beauty in the world, and so much sadness as well, as Grace said. It’s all mixed together and they don’t want to ignore either. They want to bring this light to a weary world, and they want the world to bring that to them as well.
The Power of Snail Mail
Grace and Leah talked about the love cycle of cards. Their love of snail mail was evident throughout the interview. Grace mentioned that one of the most meaningful things you can do is write someone a letter, especially if they are in a time of suffering. A letter lets them know they are not alone. Letters become a time capsule in paper.
Grace really likes mail art and adding little gifts to her letters, and believes it is a sacred act. Her face lit up as she was talking about treasures in the mailbox and letters as a random act of joy. During their collaboration with a therapist (the My Firefly- Gratitude and Connection Kit), they learned all about the research behind letter writing. Letter writers feel a boost, even 3 months later (and maybe even receivers).
I finally asked Leah and Grace for some book recommendations for us! Leah is reading Consolations of Philosophy by Alain de Botton, which she says is the perfect intro to philosophy. Grace is currently rereading Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert, a fascinating read about how our brains often get in the way of accurately predicting what will make us happy.
I really enjoyed my conversation with Grace and Leah. They were so open and honest, and I appreciate them letting us in on their lives and their passion.