food

Postcard Happiness



Postcards are like slow food. They've required a little time and consideration, a pen and contemplation. They require a stamp, a postbox and a little bit of luck to make it across the globe from one random address to an exact mailbox. It's magical and the best part is it's there for as long as you'd like to remember it. – Tatjana Buisson, Postcard Happiness

In an age where communication with friends and family is just a mouse click away, traditional forms of correspondence are falling by the wayside. But there are a handful of paper-lovers that are trying to bring back the tradition of hand-written correspondence. One such individual is local freelance graphic deisgner, Tatjana Buisson – proprietor of Postcard Happiness and creator of the innovative new postcard-style adhesive, the Postick. Buisson's passion for postcards began in 2006 when she moved to Barcelona. 'My close friends and family were far away and I wanted to share my visual experience of the beautiful city I was living in with them,' she says. 'I used to carry my little Canon G9 around with me everywhere I went so I'd snap pictures of all the things I knew they'd love to see too.' Buisson bought herself a small photo printer for postcard-sized pictures which she'd use to print her photographs before writing on the back with a skinny permanent marker. 'I'd draw a little line down the middle and the address on the right,' she says. 'Effectively the photographs were instant postcards but they lacked finesse.' When Buisson returned to Cape Town, she was still sending postcards to friends abroad on the back of photographs and vintage pictures. 'I'm not sure what the final drop of inspiration was but I awoke one morning at the end of 2011 with the thought of creating a sticker with the postcard backing printed on it already – and that's where the Postick began.' But the Postick – which could turn any photo into an instant postcard – required backing to get off the ground. Buisson turned to popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter for the money. 'I didn't have the capital to produce my first trial batch of Posticks and loved the concept of Kickstarter,' she says. 'It was also a great way to gauge whether there was a market for the product or not.' Buisson's foray into the world of Kickstarter was a success, but it didn't come easy. 'Preparing the project took a long time from a design and content-writing perspective. Making the video, editing, adding music and all of that. Once the project was up it was a full-time job for the following five months.' Buisson says there is a tendency to believe that once an idea is up on Kickstarter, it's just left to make money until the time runs out. 'It's nothing like that. It's hard work. Lots of sending emails to bloggers, tweeting, facebooking, talking to people and networking in general.' Three months after the campaign ended, after navigating through the complex world of mass production printing, the Postick concept was finally tangible. The response to the clever adhesives thus far has been overwhelmingly positive. 'I'm really only at the very beginning of getting Posticks into retail spaces, but the response I've received through Hello Pretty and Etsy has been way beyond my expectations.' Buisson says a highlight in 2012 was receiving a phone-call a day after she'd dropped off a few packs of Posticks at a local photo developer, asking her to come back with more more as they'd all been sold out. Does Buisson think Postcards will overtake email? Unlikely she says. If paper correspondence survives, she believes it will eventually become a bit of a novelty. 'There certainly isn't enough of it going around to keep the postal services running as they exist today. I'm secretly hoping that my little drop in the ocean might create even just a tiny wave in the world of postcards. I've found that it sometime takes just one postcard to inspire someone to send one or 10 on.' Get involved in the postcard revolution by purchasing a pack of Posticks from Hellopretty.co.za (R30 for a pack of 10 and R50 for a pack of 20) and taking part in Buisson's projects at Postcardhappiness.com. Text: Bianca Packham