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Postal positivity

How customers embraced USPS in 2021

In 2021, Elizabeth Dey’s start-up business, Deysigns, sold face masks and accessories that she shipped through USPS.

The continuing coronavirus pandemic brought new levels of appreciation for Postal Service workers and even whole new streams of revenue for USPS this year, with many customers turning to the organization for their newly launched businesses.

Case in point: Deysigns, a home-based business in Chevy Chase, MD, that sells face masks and accessories.

It is run by Elizabeth Dey, a full-time nurse practitioner in a trauma unit who considers postal employees to be fellow frontline workers. “I have nothing but respect for all they do,” she said.

Maison 276, a Houston-based beauty business, started small but is growing fast, with sales expected to exceed $1 million this year.

Owner Angel Cornelius has stuck with USPS as her company grew. USPS is her “trusted partner,” whether in the early days of creating her products in her kitchen to today’s larger manufacturing base.

Theaters are businesses, too, and social distancing rules inspired them to get creative. Epistolary drama arrived in mailboxes around the country courtesy of projects such as P.S., Artistic Stamp, Post Theatrical and Love Letter Experience, and a Utah couple created a subscription-based historical romance in letters.

In terms of appreciation, it doesn’t get much more high-profile than actor and talk show host Drew Barrymore, who shared a video with her 14 million Instagram followers of receiving a card from her daughter at camp.

Barrymore is a big USPS supporter; she even features a “ZIP Code of the Day” segment on her show.

Artist-musicians Beatie Wolfe and Mark Mothersbaugh created Postcards for Democracy, a show of postal solidarity in the form of a collective art project, and Mary Steinbicker had her own postcard endeavor in which she sent out a postcard a day for a year.

“I couldn’t have done it without the Post Office,” the Minnesotan said.

Finally, two Link features demonstrated the power of letters to lift spirits and create connection.

The Maryland-based Just a Kind Note was inspired by founder Theresa Harrison’s experience as a former cancer patient.

“I realized that having something sent through the mail — versus a text or an email or a call — said to me that the person took time to think about me,” she said.

And Love for Our Elders, based in Cleveland, tries to alleviate isolation in senior communities by way of letters, videos and storytelling.

The group was the brainchild of Jacob Cramer, who volunteered at senior facilities as a youth and experienced just how starved some older people were for connection.

“We’re a youth-driven team fighting loneliness with love,” he said, adding, “We are the biggest fans of USPS.”