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Bags of Class

2.15.2019

We’re all about getting organized here at Elum. We love a well-folded sweater and a desktop as neat as a pin. Perfectly stacked bookcases and color coordinated closets makes us swoon. Marie Kondo is our goddess and we aspire to her calm, uncluttered joy. Now that the New Year has settled in we’re ready to get down and dirty with our disarray. We’re making plans and setting goals. We’re opening our desk draws, kitchen junk draws and closets and asking the tough questions, “What exactly does that do? And why am I keeping it?” Marie Kondo tells us to “Keep only those things that speak to your heart.” We hear you, Marie! That’s why we’re starting by giving our bags a makeover.

“Our purses are our home away from home. Why shouldn’t they be as lovely inside as outside?”

Goodbye ancient tubes of lip balm, tattered day planners and ballpoints without caps and hello lip treatment in vintage tins, our Umi Bold Type Weekly Organizer, and Lamy pink fountain pens. We’re Elum and prettifying our purses is a job we can get behind! We’re obsessed with British Vogue’s In The Bag YouTube channel, where celebrities like Lily-Rose Depp and Hailey Baldwin empty their purses for the camera. Turns out even supermodels need bag makeovers! #supermodelsuperbag We’re here to help! Read our four fierce tips for switching up the contents of your purse.

1. Think of the interior of your purse as a room and choose a color scheme. Empty the contents of your bag onto a table and take a good look at them. What’s the color of your wallet? Your phone case? Your key ring? Is there a thread that ties them together? The key elements in your purse should match, harmonize or prettily contrast. We’re adoring Pantone’s color of the year, Living Coral, and love how it pairs with gold and dusty pinks and spring greens. Maybe you prefer classic black, white and silver? Or hot pink, red and black? Choose your favorite pieces and build a color palette around them.

2. Once the contents of your purse have seen the light of the day, it’s time to face them one by one and ask, “Do you need to be here?” Now’s the time to file all those business cards you’ve been collecting, return make up you rarely wear to the bathroom drawer, throw out that roll of Lifesavers that has been rattling in the bottom of your purse for a year, and remove anything you don’t use on a daily basis. We all know how easy it is to collect stuff in our bags: bobby pins, tiny packages of condiments, subway tokens, loose change, phone numbers on napkins. Head over to Sarah Benton’s In Her Handbag project to realize you’re not alone. #whatsinapurse

3. Once you’ve removed the items you don’t need you’re left with the essentials, the items you use on a daily basis. Now comes the fun part. Switching out the ugly essentials for pretty ones. Those earbuds with the frayed cord? Trade them in for these adorable cat ones that come in a range of colors from mint green to peachy pink and are accompanied by their own cute-as-a-button cases. That dog-eared notepad? Upgrade to a darling pink and blue ombre notebook: You got this! Small, inexpensive changes can make a big difference. Toss those old breath mints and swap with these prettily packaged organic VerMints. Trash that unsightly hair brush and replace with a milk+ sass macaron for your hair. When in doubt ask yourself what glamor icon Dita Von Teese would keep in her purse. We watched the video. Turns out it’s sexy things, blingy things and heated rollers! #ditaspurse See for yourself below!

4. Finally, choose some pretty cases and containers. Makeup, with its loose caps and tendency to spill, can be a problem if left adrift in your purse. A beautiful waterproof makeup bag like this floral by Ted Baker or this polka dot number by Face Stockholm will keep your lipstick and face powder stylishly safe. Loose coins, pencils and hairbands can be tidied away in Anthropologie’s whimsical Cherry Play Pouch or go slim, modern, & sleek with this black leather zip pouch from Everlane. And because Dita never travels anywhere without Thank You notes, we think a box of pretty stationery should be in every woman’s purse.

Whatever your style is— feminine, quirky retro, or full-on glamor—be playful and experiment with your purse makeover. We spend a lot of time each day with our purses. They are our home away from home. Why shouldn’t they be as lovely inside as outside?

We’d love to hear your tips and tricks for keeping your purse sassy and shipshape. Even better, share your photos with us! #insidemybag@elum

Ten Most Romantic Couples Of All Time

2.01.2019

We are hopeful romantics here at Elūm. We love heart-shaped boxes of candy, candlelight dinners for two, skinny-dipping by moonlight and cozy nights by the fire. A good love story will melt our hearts every time. Whatever version of A Star Is Born we’re watching we know to keep a box of tissues handy. And if it happens to be Titanic or The Fault In Our Stars you’re going to see the ugly cry. The great love stories move us in inexplicable ways. They make our hearts flutter and our souls soar by confirming our most fundamental hope: that somewhere out there is the person, that man or woman, who is meant to be our one and only.

As Valentine’s Day approaches we’re sending out a special Valentine to the Ten Most Romantic Couples Of All Time. We love the way you love: deeply, fiercely, unfailingly. You rock us with your stories, inspire us with your devotion, and bring tears to our eyes with the everlasting beauty of the love you create. #romanceforever@elum

1. ROMEO & JULIET

Teenagers, born into rival families, forced to keep their love on the down low, and given some of the most beautiful words ever written to say to one another. “But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks?” Romeo says upon seeing his love from a distance. “It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.” It does not get more romantic than that. #swooning

 

2. PRIYANKA CHOPRA & NICK JONAS

In this Friday, Nov. 30, 2018 handout photo released by Raindrop Media, Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas celebrate during their mehndi ceremony at Umaid Bhawan in Jodhpur, India, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018. (Raindrop Media via AP)

The first time the Quantico actress met the youngest member of the Jonas Brothers he got down on one knee. Catching a glimpse of her at a Vanity Fair Oscars party, he rushed over, set down his drink and said, “You’re real. Where have you been all my life?” Two years later they were married in India in a week long celebration involving palaces, elephants and an epic dance off. #stillhoneymooning

 

3. PENELOPE & ODYSSEUS

The original homegirl, Penelope waited for her husband to return from roaming the earth for twenty years. She raised their son, fought off a hundred-and-eight suitors, and generally kicked a lot of ancient butt. You go, girl! You’re so fierce we’re not entirely convinced Big O deserves you!

 

4. MILEY CYRUS & LIAM HEMSWORTH

Because when their house burned down last year in the California wildfires, all that remained was love.

 

5. ELIZABETH TAYLOR & RICHARD BURTON

When the most beautiful woman in the world set her violet eyes upon the handsome Shakespearean actor with a voice of gold, she was dressed as Cleopatra. He bought her a private jet and 68 carat diamond. They married twice and divorced twice but loved one another to the end. “I love you and I always will,” Burton wrote to Taylor in one of his final letters. “Come back to me as soon as you can.”

 

6. PRINCE HARRY & MEGHAN MARKLE

Setup on a blind date by a mutual friend, the Suits actress blew the prince away. “I walked into the room and saw her and I was like: Okay, I’m really going to have to up my game.” Within a couple of weeks he’d whisked her away on a camping trip to Botswana where they got to know one another under the stars. He proposed a year later and the rest is history. Royal wedding. Baby on the way. #truelifefairytale

 

7. HELEN OF TROY & MENELAUS

“The face that launched a thousand ships.” That’s our Helen. Girl was married to Menelaus when she was kidnapped by a dude named Paris and hauled four hundred miles west to the city of Troy. Menelaus waged war for ten long years to get wifey back. Brother had some serious perseverance and a giant wooden horse. #bewaretrojanhorses

 

8. BEYONCE & JAY Z

This megastar and mega-talented couple renewed their wedding vows in an intimate ceremony last year. Their ten year marriage, with its well-documented brush with infidelity, is testament to the true nature of longterm love. Jay Z told David Letterman in a recent interview, “We did the hard work of going to therapy. I like to believe that we’re in a better place today, but still working, and communicating, and growing.” #goingthedistance

 

9. VIRGINIA WOOLF & VITA SACKVILLE-WEST

The iconic feminist writer and celebrated beauty and poet began an affair in 1925, which produced some of the most scorching love letters of all time. Woolf wrote to her lover, “Throw over your man, and we’ll go to Hampton Court and dine on the river together and walk in the garden in the moonlight and come home late and have a bottle of wine and get tipsy, and I’ll tell you all the things I have in my head. They won’t stir by day, only by dark on the river. Think of that. Throw over your man, I say, and come.” #whitehotpassion

 

10. MICKEY & MINNIE MOUSE

 Because even after ninety years together, these cutie pies can’t stop kissing!

Did we miss anyone on our list? Who is your favorite loved up couple of all time? Happy Valentine’s to you and your sweetie from your romance-ready BFFs at Elum! And don’t forget to get your love a Valentine’s card this year. Head to our site for a selection of cards!

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Sending Thanks

1.25.2019

The Holidays are over and it’s a New Year. Time to pack up the decorations, get organized, and set goals for 2019. Maybe your auntie gave you an Instant Pot for Christmas and you’ve decided to prepare healthy meals from scratch. Maybe Granny splurged and gave you an Apple Watch for Hanukah and you’re resolved to walk ten miles a day—using your watch to track them. Whatever your goals and resolutions are, you need to add an extra one to the list: giving thanks.

Writing Thank-You notes is one of the most precious and powerful habits we can develop as humans. A Thank-You note warms the heart of the person who receives it. It acknowledges their kindness and thoughtfulness and strengthens the connection between you. Thank-You’s on social media or spoken over the phone can be touching and wonderful, but nothing can replace setting ink down on paper. A handwritten note creates a personal heirloom that shows how much you value the recipient. Auntie can’t put a tweet on her mantlepiece and show it proudly to visitors, and no matter how hard she tries Granny can’t lovingly place a Facebook message in the keepsake box she stores under her bed.

We’re big believers in expressing gratitude at Elūm. We know the idea of writing Thank-You notes can seem daunting, that’s why we make so many fun and whimsical Thank-You cards. A beautiful card printed on repurposed cotton rag paper with a simple and heartfelt message inside will never go out of style or be replaced with technology. It represents time and thought. Its arrival in the mailbox creates warm and delightful anticipation, and a loved one can hold it in her hand and think of you. Around here we believe that’s some pretty powerful mojo.

Last month an estate planner wrote to advice columnist Dear Abby. In her letter she spoke of the consequences she witnesses to folk who fail to write Thank-You’s to relatives. Time and time again she sees grandparents and family members disappointed that their generosity has gone unacknowledged. After taking the time to pick out a thoughtful gift or send a small check to help cover expenses, wouldn’t you want to be thanked?

At Elum we think of Thank-You’s as a celebration not a chore. We break out a box of gorgeous Blackwing color pencils, arm ourselves with hand-carved owl and peacock stamps, and fire up McFadden & Whitehead. Ain’t no stopping us from sending thanks, no way! We’ll wrestle you to the ground with our special unicorn moves for even trying! #unicornrumble

We have two rules for writing Thank-You’s: Keep it Fun. Keep it Real.

The fun part is using your creativity to pick and personalize a card. We think you can’t go wrong with a twinkly rainbow of stars or a big beaming sun or an old-school smiley face. Choosing a card that makes your recipient smile always puts you one step ahead! Next crack open those pencils and doodle and decorate to your heart’s content. If you’re thanking Auntie for her Instant Pot, how about sketching one inside the card? If your creation doesn’t end up looking anything like the product shot, no problem. Take your colored pencil and write underneath My Instant Pot, clearing up any confusion. Don’t forget this is a person who loves and knows you. They already know you can’t draw! Stamping, coloring and doodling is all about creating a personal keepsake for your recipient. If you love butterflies, draw butterflies. If Auntie loves owls, stamp an entire parliament of them inside your card. #parliamentofowls

Writing your message is where the Keep it Real rule kicks in. No thesaurus, no cut-and-paste. Just a couple of sentences from your hearts to theirs. The simple and easy trick to sounding like your true and authentic self when writing a Thank-You is to imagine the recipient is standing right in front of you. Write down exactly what you would say to them.

Auntie, I love the Instant Pot. Thank you! I’ll be thinking of you every time I cook a healthy meal. Miss and love you, Ashley.

You don’t have to be a great writer, you just have to speak from your heart.

Dear Granny, I put your photo on my Apple Watch so whenever I check the time I see your face. Sending you kisses for every hour of the day. Love and thanks, Jess.

Expressing gratitude is one of the most rewarding and beautiful things we can do as humans. As the suffragette Margaret Cousins said, “Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.”

CLICK TO SHOP OUR THANK YOU NOTES

Sharing The Local Love

10.15.2018

Our iconic Local Love Greetings Cards have been receiving a lot of #stationerylove recently. We’re thrilled they’re having a moment and are full sending that love back to you. Part postcard, part retro fun: we created Local Love as a way of showing pride in your state. To celebrate our ongoing series, we’ve created our very own Elūm Local Love Guide to highlight some of the fiercest things to do in each of our featured states. Hang on to your hats, apples, sunglasses, oranges and pilgrims: our foot’s on the gas and we’re about to get stately.

 

FLORIDA

Where To Go

Sanibel Island. Bicycle friendly trails, seashell-strewn beaches and pink flamingoes: we’re in! This gorgeous barrier island is part nature sanctuary, part seal-the-deal classic Floridian fun.

What To Eat

It’s an established fact that it’s impossible to say the words “Cuban sandwich” without your mouth watering. Head to Bodega in St. Petersburg to satisfy your craving for Latin street food and oh-so-sweet Cuban espresso.

What To Wear

Color shy need not apply. Florida fashionistas are lighting up the internet with bold prints, neons, and super-saturated hues. We can’t get enough of Danié Gómez-O, Cayleth Vivas and Ariana Pierce.

What To Listen To

Don’t fight the heat. Miami born and bred Jason Derulo makes being hot look cool.

 

MASSACHUSETTS

Where To Go

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Because we can’t get enough of girls in science. We have major girl crushes on MIT professor Neri Oxman and MIT alums Andrea Wong and Sampriti Bhattacharyya. So next time you’re in Boston take a stroll around the MIT campus, stop for coffee at the museum, watch students playing with robots and get inspired. #girlnerds

What To Eat

Hungry? Head north to Hyannis and claim an outdoor table at Spanky’s Clam Shack. An ice cold beer, a lobster roll and a view across the harbor should do the trick.

What To Wear

It’s Fall, pack a coat. Don’t take our word for it though, style-file these awesome Bay Staters who are serving some serious sartorial satisfaction. Christie Ashley, Lisa Jean Francois and Gretchen Adams-Burke.

What To Listen To

Fire up the classic disco. Stream Boston-born legend Donna Summer calling out the Bad Girls. Yeah, that’s us! #elumbadgirls

 

NEW YORK

Where To Go

The Adirondacks just might be NY State’s biggest secret. Get your outdoor game on and kayak across Mirror Lake, trail run through the ferns in Lake Placid, and hike one of the 46 peaks.

What To Eat

Hit up Di Fara in Brooklyn for the best slice of pizza in the city and watch the owner, Domenico De Marco, hand-cut the basil topping right in front of you. Afterward head north to Fishkill Farms to pick your own apples and enjoy a glass of home-made hard cider in their Cider Garden.

What To Wear

Bring your A game. New York City isn’t known as the fashion capital of the US for nothing. Study Instagram badasses Janelle Marie Llyod, Natalie Lim Suarez and Kelly Augustine to see NY style done right.

What To Listen To

If anywhere has a soundtrack it’s New York. Download Jay Z to put yourself in the perfect Empire State of Mind.

 

TEXAS

Where To Go

Everything’s happening at the Riverwalk in San Antonio. Take a gondola ride along the river and float under charming stone bridges, past historical missions, outdoor cafes and waterfalls. At night the Riverwalk is lit by thousands of twinkling lights and filled with the music of flamenco guitars. #texasromance

What To Eat

Anchor your barge at Boudro’s, sit on their cobbled patio and enjoy the people-watching as you sip on ice cold prickly pear margaritas and nibble on warm tortilla chips and guacamole.

What To Wear

A little bit country, a little bit ladylike and a whole lot of chic. Texas girls are killing us right now with their stylin’. Check out Alice Kerley, Olivia Watson-Printy and Jane Ko to see Texas style the way it was meant to be.

What To Listen To

Queen B, of course. Wifey to Jay Z and everyone’s favorite diva, Beyonce is Houston born and bred.

 

CALIFORNIA

Where To Go

We may be biased here, but we’re going with San Diego. Sun, surfers, skateboarders, swamis, Top Guns and bitchin’ smoothies: yep, that us. Come on down, we’ll show you around.

What To Eat

We believe the taco should be its own food group. We love them so much we made them a couple of cards. We’d send it to them if we had their address. For some of the best fish tacos in California run, do not walk, to Oscar’s Mexican Seafood.

What To Wear

Athleisure. Comfortable, stretchy and body-con without fuss, California girls are the driving force behind this gym/street mashup. Check out Michelle Carigma, Adrianne Ho and Massy Arias to ace the look.

What To Listen To

California Gurls by Katy Perry and California Girls by the Beach Boys, what else? We’re all Cali girls at heart here at Elum! #caligirls

 

Tell us your favorite places to go in the comments below!

Gorgeous Green

8.15.2018

Green is the color of tropical vacations, rain forests, relaxation and the She Hulk. Green can be playful, laid-back and welcoming, but like most of us isn’t above showing her inner green-eyed monster now and then. Kermit the Frog says, “It’s not easy being green.” We hear him, but green sure is pretty to look at. Enter a room painted green and it’s like a trip to your favorite spa. Soothing and refreshing, green creates a haven to contemplate, recharge and create. #serenegreen. We love green so much at Elum we’ve made a list of our top six seriously serene shades of green.

 1. Pistachio We have a major girl crush on this gorgeous yellow-based green. We incorporated it into our Modern Desk Collection for Papyrus not just because we love it but because of its Art Deco cred. We heard that pistachios are known in Iran as the “smiling nut”. Maybe that’s why we can’t stop smiling at these adorbs baby kicks in pistachio by DC, and sigh in sheer delight at the thought of rides down to the lake on this swoon-worthy Benno bike.

2. Evergreen It’s the only color that tells you up front it’s never going out of style. Both Duchess Catherine and Duchess Meghan have the color in heavy rotation for their public appearances. In fact Meghan looks so fine in this evergreen number we want to steal her entire look, blazer, chain-handle purse, Prince Charming and all! We chose evergreen for our Royal Azure Big Stack Notepad and our celebratory Success Star Greeting Card. And we’re dying to wear this evergreen pussy bow blouse in fall.

3. Celadon A barely-there whisper of gray-green, celadon is neutral’s more glamorous friend. #glamneutral. This highly sought after shade is valued for its delicate luminescence and its similarity to jade. Plus who doesn’t love a color whose name rhymes with telethon? We chose it for our Command Post Plot Journal and as one of the featured colors in our Luna Collection. We love how well celadon plays with all the other colors in the box.

4. Turquoise Is it blue? Is it green? Like you, we’re not entirely sure but we love it all the same. Our Dreamy Stars Washi Tapes are 100% pure happy making and we can’t think of a better way of saying “Thank You” than with our Swatches Thank You Notes. Ancient Egyptians believed turquoise brought good luck. We like the sound of that so much we’re considering bedecking ourselves in head-to-toe turquoise and putting some money on the horses! #luckyturquoise. Anthropolgie has a sweet collection of turquoise jewelry that we’re almost certain will bring us luck.

5. Emerald One of the earth’s most precious gemstones, the official color of Ireland, the Wizard of Oz, the fiercely amazing Horsehead Nebula and va-va-voom dresses, emerald green brings glamour and mystery to every event it attends. We can’t get enough of this sexy, hyper-saturated hue. Our Monstera Leaves Spiral Bound Notebook gets its special kick of color from emerald green, and our Jungle Spirit Letterpress Journal Set is just that much more dazzling because of it. According to ancient folklore, emeralds are a truth potion. Anyone touching one is compelled to tell the truth—so be careful what you write in those journals!

6. Mint Cool as a cucumber and twice as refreshing, mint is the official color of late summer. It knows how to keep its cool. Mint is named after the beautiful river nymph Minthe who Hades, god of the underworld, fell in love with. Unfortunately for Minthe, Hades was already married at the time and his wife was not happy about this. She threw Minthe instant shade, turning her into the fragrant herb we use in mojitos and mint juleps to this day. Mint’s amazing ability to refresh us comes from the menthol found in its essential oil. Maybe that’s why our Ledger Colorblock Journals for Anthropologie feel as light and airy as an August breeze!

2018 Back-to-School Essentials

8.06.2018

It’s that time of year. Summer is rolling out her final glorious month while Labor Day looms large on the horizon. Before we know it we’ll be back to school, back to the office and Hello Work Week. Our color palettes are switching from watermelon pink and lemon yellow to burgundy, burnished gold and midnight blue, and our minds are turning to freshly sharpened pencils, crisp notebooks and office supplies. Back to school is the unofficial turning point of the year, gently pirouetting us from the lazy-hazy days of late summer toward the exciting bustle of fall. This is one of our favorite times of year at Elūm so we’ve made a list of our Seven Back-to-School Essentials.

1. Organize your work space with an adorable desk set. We designed an exclusive back to school collection for Anthropologie that includes all your office essentials. Whether it’s color-blocked file folders in swoon-worthy rose red and baby blue, a pistachio daily schedule, or a bounty of geometric paper clips our chic color-contrasting Ledger Collection will help you update and freshen your desk.

SHOP THE BTS COLLECTION EXCLUSIVELY AT ANTHROPOLOGIE

 

2. Let there be light. With nights drawing in we’re turning on our desk lamps earlier in the work day. Oprah’s favorite designer Nate Burkas says lighting, “should be like your favorite Instagram filter: Warm, flattering, and prepared to make you feel more confident than ever!” We couldn’t agree more which is why we love Brightech’s Circle Lamp. It’s form meets function personified, a radiant work of art that will illuminate you and your workspace like a personal spotlight.

3. Sharpen your pencil collection. Who doesn’t love a freshly sharpened brand new pencil? It’s an invitation to write, sketch and compose. Palomino’s Blackwing 602 is an icon. Hollywood Reporter calls it, “without question among the most fetishized writing instruments of all time.” Crafted from incense cedar, lacquer-coated and containing the world’s finest Japanese graphite, we can’t get enough of these sexy little black numbers. Legend has it that Steinbeck wrote the Grapes of Wrath and John Williams composed the theme to Star Wars with Blackwing 602s. We can’t think of a more inspiring pencil to have on hand when inspiration strikes.

 

4. Prettify your paper supplies. Where would our Blackwing be without a fresh sheet of paper? Malcolm Gladwell says, “The visionary starts with a clean sheet of paper, and re-imagines the world.” Reimagine your world with our exclusive Moderne Desk Collection for Papyrus. Using a dreamy palette of blush, celadon, gold and midnight blue, we have designed and curated a luxe Art Deco-inspired collection of notepads, sketchpads, planners and stickies. We’ve even included a decadently feminine clipboard just in case you need to take your questions and paperwork outside the office.

SHOP THE MODERNE COLLECTION EXCLUSIVELY AT PAPYRUS

 

5. Fanny packs have undergone a makeover and emerged as the “It Bag” of the season. Adorable and practical, belt bags can instantly update your wardrobe, turning a simple T-shirt and jeans into Parisienne street style chic. We love this Rebecca Minkoff bag in our favorite shade of vintage pink (it matches our Moderne Desk Collection) and this one by See by Chloe in glossy midnight blue.

 

6. Grab a good book. Back to school means back-to-busy: full work days, classes, study, after hours work and school events. Don’t forget to take some “Me Time” every day. Grab a chai latte and a good book and treat yourself to an instant break. You’ll function better because of it. We love indie legend Parker Posey’s You’re on an Airplane: A Self-Mythologizing Memoir for its fly on-the-wall insider take on the movie industry and Ms Parker’s smart and funny prose. And we can’t wait to read The Court Dancer by Kyung-Sook Shin which tells the story of an orphan whose talent for dancing takes her from the Korean Josean court where she dances for the Emperor to Belle Epoque Paris. That’s one historical journey we’re dying to take.

 

7. Make a list, check it twice. Back to school means multi-tasking and multi-scheduling. Keep on top of everything with our Luna Collection. Gold-foil stamped on our letterpress machines dating back from the 1950s, in colors of burgundy, deep blue and barely blush, our Luna notecards, journals, schedules  and tasseled pencil pouch turn making lists into an art form. Transform your daily tasks into treasured rituals by using our beautiful and luxurious hand-finished collection. The Lunas also make the perfect gift, and in this hectic back to school season that’s one less “To Do” on your list.

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How To Write A Love Letter

7.24.2018

Can you think of anything more romantic than a love letter? The handwritten envelope sealed by the touch of your cherished one’s tongue, the tenderly-folded paper, the opening words: My darling Jen, I need to tell you how much I adore you. We can only think of one thing more swoon-worthy here at Elūm than receiving written proof of our loved one’s adoration, and that’s sending a love letter ourselves. When we write a love letter we immortalize our feeling for our partners, sweeties, main-squeezes and spouses. We demonstrate and celebrate our love in the time-honored romantic ritual of setting pen to paper. But where do we begin? What paper to choose? What words to use? How to start and how to finish? Love letters can be thoughtful, spontaneous, starry-eyed, jaw-droppingly passionate, tender and sweet. Yet how do we create these romantic works of art? At Elūm we believe that writing a love letter should be as wonderful an experience as receiving one that’s why we’ve put together our six passionate pointers for creating the perfect love letter.

1. Pick a canvas worthy of your words. By writing a love letter you’re creating a unique and moving keepsake that will be treasured by your loved one for years, even decades. Pages torn from a ruled spiral notepad have many wonderful uses, but will not create the same sense of significance as a beautiful foil-stamped cotton rag note or a page of plush artist sketch paper, lifted from your personal journal. As the English poet John Keats said, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” Create a gift of tangible lasting beauty with your choice of pen and paper.

2. Send your love letter by mail—even if you see your loved one every day and share the same apartment or house. By writing a love letter you’re creating an experience for the recipient. The delightful surprise and sense of intrigue created by receiving a hand-addressed envelope through the mail adds to the magic. Choose a pretty stamp, mist the envelope with your favorite cologne, and write your name and return address on the back (so your loved one has to turn over the envelope to discover who sent it). Give them the full experience.

3. Draft your love letter before setting pen to paper. Use whatever medium works for you—laptop, mobile, pencil and notepad—and plan what you want to say. Leave it, come back to it. Experiment. Use your draft to hone in on the most important thing you want your loved one to know. Maybe you want to tell him or her that your life changed the day you met them, that when you hear their car pull into the driveway your heart beats a little faster, or that sometimes you lie still in the morning just to watch them sleep.

Planning what you say beforehand will cut down strikethroughs on the finished page. A love letter doesn’t have to be perfect—a sprinkling of errors are endearing and charming—but too many will distract the reader from your purpose.

4. Begin your letter with a familiar and tender term of endearment. If you call your loved one Babycake/Honey/Hubs/Sweetie/Love Muffin now is the time to use that pet name. Simply drop it into the classic love letter opener, “My Darling ________” or “My Dearest________”. Mexican artist Frida Kahlo began loves letters to her husband and fellow artist Diego Rivera with three simple words, “Diego, my love,” and the French emperor Napoleon began letters to his new wife with “My one and only Josephine”.

While your greeting sets the tone of the letter, your closing should end it with a promise. The line above your signature is the place to tell your loved one you will cherish them forever, as the composer Beethoven did to the woman known only as Immortal Beloved, “Ever thine. Ever mine. Ever ours,” and Jimi Hendrix pledged to his girlfriend, “Love to you forever, Jimi”.

5. Date your letter. You’re creating a tangible and lasting gift, a letter to be kept, treasured and reread. In ten years time, when your loved one reaches for the box at the back of the closet, finds your letter inside and pauses to read it, you want him to know the exact date you set down the words. Knowing the date will help transport him back in time to the moment he received it.

6. Finally, write like yourself so when your loved one reads your letter he or she can imagine you saying the words. Your voice and turn of phrase are uniquely beautiful. Remain true to yourself and write exactly how feel. If you love his goofy dancing, the way he holds the door open for strangers, or how he makes you laugh, tell him. If the way she cares for your family sometimes brings tears to your eyes, let her know. At Elūm we believe a love letter should always be a message straight from your heart.

Now it’s your turn. Head to our website to find the perfect canvas for you to spill your heart out.

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Unicorns Unlimited

7.11.2018

Hello! We are Elūm and we have a problem. We’re obsessed with unicorns. We can’t stop thinking about them and adorning our paper goods with them. “They’re fun,” declares Haley, one of our senior designer. “They’re a symbol of joy, hope and boundless magic. It’s no wonder they have spread into things that are usually mundane. Why not add a dash of magic to dyeing your hair, bringing a reusable bag to the grocery store, or even your morning toast?” Today we’re celebrating our U-love by hosting an Elūm roundtable devoted to our favorite mystical beast.

The first thing we agree upon is that we believe in unicorns on roller skates, and will be first in line to buy tickets to Unicorns On Broadway if Andrew Lloyd Webber ever decides to create the show. Our designer Ali says, “Unicorns represent the magic of childhood and the belief that anything is possible! They bring us back to simpler times of playing with My Little Ponies, collecting Lisa Frank binders, and making your dad pause the VCR on Tom Cruise’s Legend so you could see a real unicorn.” When we hear that Ridley Scott, the director of Legend, used “Unicorns represent the magic of childhood and the belief that anything is possible.” a recording of humpback whales to create the sound of unicorns at play it makes us love his movie, unicorns and whales even more.

Shannon, another one of our senior designers, asks the question, “Why be a pony when you can be a unicorn? Unicorns remind us to be our own unique selves, and that which makes us different makes us powerful.” At Elūm we believe there is nothing in the world quite like unicorns and nothing quite like you. That’s why we come to work each morning. Rhinos and narwhals are the only other mammals on the planet who have a central single horn like unicorns (the narwhal’s amazing spiral horn is actually a protruding canine tooth), and we celebrate their adorable uniqueness too.

Our designer Olga believes, “Unicorns are both symbols of childish innocence devoid of any additional subtext, as well as an ironical and witty representation of all things weird and impossible in our daily lives.” The collective noun for unicorns is a blessing of unicorns, and that’s what we believe unicorns bring to the party: pure sparkly fun. In mythology they are symbols of purity, and legend has it they can only be captured under a full moon by a virgin. We’re not sure anyone at Elūm will be capturing a unicorn any time soon, but whenever there’s a full moon we’re going to look!

“The Unicorn is a Feminist symbol,” Shannon reminds us. “They are ‘girly’ but also super strong. You may be distracted by their rainbow tails, but they have magic powers “Why be a pony when you can be a unicorn?” and a weapon on their head and don’t you forget it!” After we stop cheering, we learn a unicorn’s horn is known as an alicorn and has the power to purify water and neutralize poison. Unicorns are traditionally slow to fight, preferring to settle differences peacefully, but if you ever come between Baby U and Momma U, be prepared to deal with Momma U’s horn charging toward you at full speed. Imaginary or not, that’s gonna hurt.

After some discussion we agree we’re not even sure if unicorns have a gender, and love and support the fact they have become symbols of the transgender and genderfluid communities. Go purple unicorns!

“Unicorns remind us not to take things too seriously,” says Haley. “I mean, c’mon, who doesn’t want a break from being an adult?” Lake Superior State University understands this and issues a delightfully whimsical hunting license for unicorns. Their hunting regulations include permissible times of day for questing. “Unicorns may be taken during daylight and dark except for those hours when the Tooth Fairy is about. She was once frightened by a grumpy unicorn and in deference to her attitude we make the exception.”

Olga says unicorns, “are a flashback from our childhood when every day felt magical and adventure-filled and anything was possible.” We nod our heads and agree we’re “Unicorns remind us not to take things too seriously. I mean, c’mon, who doesn’t want a break from being an adult?” getting closer to the heart of the unicorn’s enduring power. Shannon adds, “When everything is awful, unicorns remain fun and sparkly. They remind us of better days, waaay back before we knew about global warming and human rights violations.” Unicorns are part of our collective childhood. They not only represent our innocence, but also the innocence of the entire world. Existing in a land of rainbows, waterfalls and serene green hills, they reflect our most simple and noble dreams as humans. Beauty, peace and love for all.

We take a moment to sigh and finish our unicorn smoothies and then head back to our desks. Blank paper awaits, and we’re itching to start important unicorn work.

CLICK HERE FOR A SELECTION OF LETTERPRESS UNICORN CARDS

Elūm’s Guide to Empowering Women & Girls

6.14.2018

This week we invited our local Gutsy Girl Club for a visit. At Elūm we believe in empowering women and raising fierce and fearless girls, and we wanted to show these amazing young women-in-the-making what we do here. The girls spent a delightful day printing posters, learning how our letterpress machines works and visiting with our staff. We hoped to inspire them by showing how a career in the creative arts can be fun, collaborative and rewarding. Turns out they inspired us with their confidence, curiosity and smarts. The Gutsty Girls reminded us to celebrate and champion ourselves as women. And with that, we have created our manifesto for women and girls.

Every woman has the right to decide how she lives her own life. At Elūm we believe you can be a pilot and a president, a mom and a mechanical engineer, a surgeon and a chef, an exotic dancer and a wrangler of exotic birds. Multifaceted and multi-talented is the new normal. Girl power is about expanding our choices as women, not taking any away.

My success as a woman does not lesson your chance of success. We are no longer competing for a single seat at the table. We’re claiming the entire table, executive chairs and all. The more we empower other women, the more we empower ourselves. Success is not a limited commodity. It is not a competition. Success generates more success. Celebrate fellow women’s achievements and let them celebrate yours. When you succeed we all succeed.

Prioritize yourself. As women we are taught to look after everyone, ensuring everyone’s emotional and physical needs are met before we consider our own needs. Recognize that if you want to achieve your goals and dreams, there will be times you need to put yourself first. Don’t apologize for them. Looking after yourself is a necessity not a luxury.

Own your opinions. Your thoughts and ideas have value. You are entitled to have an opinion. Speak out. Speak boldly. Think for yourself. Argue with clarity and assurance. Learn to respectfully disagree without apologizing for your knowledge and passion. Your beliefs and experiences as a woman are valid and valuable, and you connect with and empower other women by sharing them.

We are fantastic female machines. We have ovaries and wombs capable of creating life. We have 11% more neurons in areas of the brain dedicated to language and hearing than men. We have better night vision, better visual memory and perceive colors more vividly. We are more highly educated and live longer. Women are emotional, intellectual and physical powerhouses. We take care of the world.

Expand your possibilities. Exceed expectations. Expect recognition and rewards for great work, and if you don’t receive them, demand them. Demand the job, demand equal pay. Partner with other women to create opportunities. Hustle. Mentor a future boss girl. Be a force in your community. Celebrate and empower your girlfriends. Start a business and show the world how it’s done.

Respect your body. Nurture, exercise and rest it. Feed it lots of fruit, vegetables, complex carbs and lean protein. Treat yourself well. Set boundaries and clearly communicate them: No one is allowed to touch your body without your permission. Comments about your weight have no validity unless they come directly from a medical professional. And no one gets to decide how you dress and style your hair and makeup, only you.

Mistakes teach us success. Making them means we’re learning, growing and living. In her inspiring commencement address to the Barnard College class of 2018, US Soccer superhero Abby Wambach tells us, “Failure is the highest octane fuel your life can run on. You gotta learn to make failure your fuel.Learn to fail like a man. Think of failure as an opportunity to start fresh with new insight into what it takes to succeed.

Elūm is a company of fierce and creative boss girls. We celebrate our strength and the strength of women around the world. At Elūm we believe every woman has a voice. We support and empower women, and believe every woman has the right to create beauty, success, family, community and love in her life.

No is the most powerful word in the English language. Learn how to say it. Don’t feel guilty for using it when friends, family or coworkers ask too much of your time and resources. If anyone tries to persuade you to change your mind, remember “No” is not the beginning of a negotiation. It is the end. No does not require an explanation or apology. Saying no with grace and authority is a woman’s secret weapon: it demonstrates her self respect.

Take the lead. You don’t need someone to give you the lead. You don’t even need to have the lead. Lead from where you are. Lead from your desk, in meetings, over the phone, in your car and in your home. Leaders take responsibility. They motivate, coordinate, and help others succeed. They get the job done. Women do not need titles to lead. Communicating clearly, inspiring trust, sharing our vision and taking action: we’ve been doing that all along.

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