Local Stationary + Art Business Gives Back To The RVA Community With Every Purchase Made



Snail Mail is a Virginia-made stationery and art business based out of Rockville, Virginia. They offer various greeting cards, notebooks, bandanas, original artwork, stickers, Christmas ornaments, and custom portraits.


Snail Mail specializes in stationery, creating hand-painted cards on 100% recycled paper and using them as a platform to advocate for their refugee and migrant neighbors. With each card sold, a portion is donated back to one of five local non-profits that show love and support to refugees and migrants in the neighboring communities. Every card is a little work of art because each is an original piece. Snail Mail's mission is to use the cards as a vehicle to show love to their new neighbors without conditions.


Snail Mail began back in 2017 as a side hustle during owner Carrie Cheatham's first full-time job out of college. She always had a knack for doodling and made cards for all occasions because she could never find the "right" card. While in college, she had interned and volunteered for ReEstablish Richmond, gaining exposure to the refugee population in the area. After graduating, she wanted to continue supporting her neighbors in some way. Andrew, Carrie's husband, suggested she make cards and give a portion of her profits back to organizations like ReR that are already doing amazing things with their neighbors - so all the credit for this business ties back to him! Fast forward to 2018, the cards are gaining traction, and she made the bold move (with a ton of support) to leave her full-time job and work part-time to focus on Snail Mail.


Fast forward a little more, and COVID-19 hits in March of 2020 after working part-time for about two years to grow Snail Mail. The pandemic was the "sink or swim" moment for this small business, so they decided to swim and go full time with Snail Mail and haven't looked back! Going from a side-hustle to a small business has been a rollercoaster of emotions, but one of the greatest decisions for Snail Mail.


At the beginning of COVID-19, Snail Mail saw a dramatic decrease in wholesale orders from the brick and mortar shops that support their cards because everything had closed. It was initially alarming, but not even a week after shutting the state down, they saw a dramatic increase in direct sales from their website. Overflowed with encouragement, it felt like a testament to the work Snail Mail had been doing all along. The pandemic also ceased all in-person markets, so getting their artwork and cards out into the world made them heavily rely on social media for person-to-person exposure.


The beautiful thing about Snail Mail is the more community support they get, the more support they can give to the community. Word of mouth is a powerful (and free!) tool that has had an incredible impact on this small business. The more folks in the community can share on social media or in-person about their products, the better!


You can find Snail Mail's cards in many storefronts around Richmond, so the ripple effect of purchasing cards created by a small business from another small business makes a massive impact on the community's success.


Lastly, Snail Mail's artwork is fully customizable. If there are community members or businesses that would like renderings, cards, etc., as marketing tools, that is an excellent way to stand out! For more information on Snail Mail or to purchase their product, please visit their website at www.cheathamsnailmail.com.