Get Write With Us: Carolyn Suzuki’s Bespoke Stationery Is Just What A Lady Needs

Amazing money-saving holiday idea: Instead of sending multiple cousins and beloved aunts boring bath-salts or gift cards, try sitting down and handwriting a lovely letter. The gesture will mean loads, especially when it's written atop Carolyn Suzuki's gorgeous, colorful and unique cards. Refinery29 tapped graphic designer and letterpress pro Carolyn Suzuki to make limited-edition stationery for a part of our very first by-R29-for-R29-readers, Reserve Collection. Carolyn let us pry and find out why scorpions make an appearance, which card is perfect for a paramour, and why reading Refinery29 makes you a little extra fun. Don't forget: Score the customized, super-covetable cards right now at the Holiday Edition hub, before they run out!

Scorpions galore! What made you choose our favorite arthropod for this collaboration?

"It was mid-November when I was working on the designs, which at the time, astrologically speaking, was Scorpio."

Real talk: When is the perfect time for someone to send a hand-written note? What is your favorite occasion?

"I think any moment that's unexpected is the perfect time! Letting a loved one or a friend know that you're thinking of them, even if it's not their birthday or a specific holiday, is super special. My favorite occasion is when I'm feeling thankful for a friend, usually after an awesome time at their home or after receiving a thoughtful gift."

What is your favorite way to sign off on a letter?

"It's constantly changing depending on my mood—there's usually a ton of "!!!!" involved, as I'm an easily excitable person. I often end the letter with enthusiasm for the next time I'll be seeing that friend or person."

Which of these cards would you send to a lover? Which one would you send to a long-lost friend?

"The Scorpio card for a lover. In my mind, those scorpions are dancing together, being careful not to prick each other, which might be kind of analogous to human love. To a long-lost friend, I might send the golden bow card, because there's something friendly and inviting about that card to me."

When you sat down to create stationery that channels Refinery29, what did you want to accomplish? What was important to you?

"I wanted to really speak to the Refinery29 gal or guy. I always find great inspiration on R29 and wanted to echo R29's great fashion sensibilities. I also love that you guys never take yourselves too seriously, and that's always reflected in my work."


When you aren’t making super-cute stationery, what other things are you working on?

"I'm starting a line of prints that I'll sell on my site in the coming weeks. Other than that I occasionally do custom work like brand identities, wedding invitations, and web design but I'm almost 100% focused on growing Carolyn Suzuki Goods right now."

What is one of your favorite letters that you have ever received?

"This might be cheating because it's not one specific letter but a series. My parents often sent me to Japan during the summer and as I grew older, I really began to resent being so far away from my friends during the funnest time of the year. I was in Japan the summer before high school and feeling especially melancholy, and it was all of my friends' letters and funny drawings that kept me going. I still have all of the letters, it's a pretty thick stack!"

How did you start designing custom cards? What got you excited about handwriting letters?

"I was trying to figure out a way to get my work out into the world. Although I've been designing and making stuff my whole life, I was a pretty late bloomer when it came to actually making a living off of my work. I have some pretty spectacular girlfriends who are all super creative and many of them own their own businesses (a few are in the greeting card biz), my friends and husband were so supportive and encouraging that I decided to go for it. My friends are the best, I couldn't imagine my life without them!"

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