Issue Five is Shipping October 8th

Issue Five is shipping on October 8th. So you should receive it sometime next week. We are looking forward to this latest issue and hope that you will enjoy it. But we aren't ready to spoil the surprise. Check back in a few weeks if you still haven't subscribed.

Save the Date for Friday after Thanksgiving

Come shop with us. We will be selling an array of demonstrations, handmade gifts and MerriMail subscriptions on Black Friday. Buy local and handmade with this event, which will be held in Bermuda Run, NC. We'll send out more information later. If you would like to receive an invitation, please let us know and we'll add you to the list.

look at who's having a baby

Eris is due today! We'll be sure to report our newest MerriMail addition once she arrives.


eat local and win big

Carbon Conscious Consumer

Check out this challenge to pledge to eat local. Have your friends sign up and you can win prizes.

As we covered in Issue Three, eating local tastes better and these small steps can make a big difference. Start with your local farmers market.

about the issues

After hanging out at the bottom of our to-do lists for months, we have finally posted a web page for each of the issues. This will give readers direct links to the resources on the web. So if there is something that you have been meaning to look up, but left your idea card at home, no fears. Just go to Merri-mail.com and you will be able to find the link on that issue's page.

We haven't included the full articles. In a few instances we have included more information than we were able to fit into the idea card.

Let us know what you think and what some of your favorite resources are.


so on trend

We love to hear from our subscribers, especially what they are doing with their latest gifts. Last night we received this update from Denise Lisbesy, the founder of CHIC-life.com, the online shopping source to living CHIC: CONSCIOUS-HEALTHY-INNOVATIVE-CULTURED.

I wanted to introduce myself and congratulate you both on the wonderful service you provide with MerriMail. The last gift, Herban Essentials towelettes, really came in handy. I had been running errands all afternoon and had just picked up my MerriMail package from the Post Office before heading to two networking events. It was a hot day, so I was feeling quite sticky and needed a boost. I opened the package, used the towelettes on the back of my neck, forehead and wiped my hands. I was instantly refreshed and re-energized. I’m keeping them in my car and every handbag I own.

Denise also featured us in the CHIC-Life Style Diary on July 13th. Be sure to check it out and don't forget to subscribe to her mailing list for tips on how to live a CHIC-Life.

We also received another comment through my dear friend, Amy. She gave MerriMail to her friend Carol, who emailed her saying - The MerriMail gift I received yesterday was JUST featured in Lucky Magazine! I feel so on trend!

It is so nice to open your email and such kind words.


Issue Four is almost ready

We are to the final step of getting the next issue out. We love the next gift. Granted, we don't want to give it away yet, but it is the perfect accessory for the summer. Subscribers should receive their issues next week. And if you haven't subscribed yet, it is the perfect time to treat yourself!


The Day in Charlotte

We had a great morning in Charlotte for the second NC Signature event. It was outside in the warm sun, so we were a little thankful for the huge black cloud that came along a couple hours before the official end of the event.

Check out our display with the delicious plate of honeycomb cake. I thought that I would have an actual battle with a honeybee that spent most of the morning staking his claim. Fortunately no one was harmed during the event.

Special thanks to everyone at NC Signature magazine for including us. Pick up their second issue and check us out on page 90.


Eris at Hanes Mall

Special thanks to Eris, Karen and Ed for representing MerriMail at the NC Signature launch event at Hanes Mall this past Saturday. We look forward to seeing everyone in Charlotte this Saturday.


Visit us at the NC Signature events

We are thrilled to be featured in the NC Signature Magazine's Summer Issue, which is the second issue. If you haven't heard of the magazine, be sure to check it out. Published by the editors of Our State Magazine, NC Signature is a look at all of the hip and exciting things going on throughout North Carolina. Check out the write up.

We are participating in a few of their launch events. Come out to meet Eris this Saturday at Hanes Mall in Winston-Salem. The following Saturday, May 12th, you can find Eris and me at Southpark Mall in Charlotte. We hope to see you there.


Past and Single Issues Now for Sale

We are now offering back issues and single issues for sale, along with year-long subscriptions. So please be sure to share the great news with all of your friends. We have sold out of the first issue, but we are excited to offer Issue #2. If you subscribe now, you will receive Issue #3. Be sure to order both today so that you can have the complete collection - well, almost.


MerriMail for Mother's Day - May 13th

Mother's Day is right around the corner. MerriMail is the perfect gift to send to your mother to say that you are thinking of her all year long. Better yet, also subscribe for yourself so that you can discuss the dozen or so topics found in each newsletter. Our third issue featuring a delicious honeycomb cake by Savannah Bee Company is ready for immediate delivery. Or, just let us know that you want to send it to mom and we will hold it to mail until next week.

And don't forget about our adorable downloadable cards. They are free and we have the perfect one for Mother's Day.


First MerriMail Event

Last Wednesday, we had a fabulous first event - a five-course tasting dinner at The Kitchen at Elkin Creek Vineyard. Thanks to Eris, Jesse and Hugh for you all of your hard work. Welcome to Bonnie, our new subscriber, who joined us that evening, along with 18 other guests.

We posted a few pictures from the event. We are hoping to get several more from Jamie, a friend who took quite a few pictures during the event. You can read a follow-up to the event in our April email newsletter, which also include some interesting ideas that we were not able to fit into the Spring Issue. Please be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date on all of our activities.


Save the Date for Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Join us for a
Five-Course Tasting Dinner and Complementary Wine Flight
The Honeycomb from The Savannah Bee Company

Exclusively Prepared by Head Chef Jesse Williams for
Subscribers and Friends of MerriMail

Tuesday, April 24, 2007
6:30 p.m.
The Kitchen at Elkin Creek Vineyards
Elkin, North Carolina

$65 per person
Please make reservations by April 20, 2007

Visit www.merri-mail.com or www.elkinmill.com for additional details.


What Inspires You?

Nature seems to be the overriding them in what inspires the artists featured in our Branching Out Issue. Lisa Thomas and Kim West, members of the Create.Ink design team, as well, as artist Patrick Dougherty site their love for flora and branches. For me, it's paper. (And flowers, too!)

What inspires you?

Wallcandy Dottilicious Wall Decals

Wallcandy Dottilicious Wall Decals

This is a fabulous collection of vinyl art that I found on This Next, a social shopping web site. The circles are so fun and playful. Great for a kids room or an art studio.

Check out these other lists on This Next:
Beyond a Can of Paint by AuntBeep
Blik recommendations
Wall Decals


Love the vinyl art concept?

For more vinyl art and other decorative concepts try...

  • Wallpaper menagerie by Romp
  • Wall tattoos by Rockett St. George
  • Window decals by Avery (Label 3276) and create your own design
    Know of any other fabulous vinyl art? Add them to the list using the comments below!

  • 2.02.2007

    The Sweetest Valentine Greetings ~ They're Free!

    Download these free Valentine postcards to send to all of your favorite little Valentines. There are four different designs. Two of the designs are from our original sets of downloadable gift cards. We added two more so that you could print out four little designs just like the ones you gave to all of your friends in elementary school (save the tiny envelope).

    For printing instructions: Print the first page as many copies as you need on a heavy bright white cardstock. Then replace the stack of printed Valentines in your printer. When you print the design on the back of the postcard (page 2), only print one at a time to make sure the stack is turned in the right direction. Once they are printed, cut the postcards into quarters. Enjoy!


    Where are you using your vinyl art?

    When playing around with Issue Two's gift, we found several interesting places to add the art around our homes. The ideas seemed to be endless - a mirror, a platter, a lampshade, on the wall above the bed, or even a laptop. So we wanted to see where our readers placed it. Or have you put it anywhere yet? We can't wait to hear what you think about it. Plus we are happy to give any tips that you might help with your application.


    Tips for Entrepreneurs (Fox 8 Follow-up)

    1. Believe in your business.
    The main reason we took the leap and started MerriMail was because it was a totally unique concept that we believed in and that we knew we could be successful. We could see ourselves doing MerriMail every single day.

    2. Surround yourself with a strong support group.
    We have participated in several women run business groups. We found that the women in these groups are more than willing to share advice, ideas and networking opportunities. A few of these include Ladies Who Launch, Industry, Chix in Business and The Little Black Book. We also check in with several of our entrepreneurial friends who are working on their own projects. We share words of encouragement, which can make a huge difference.

    3. Write a business plan and use it.
    A business plan is a working document that business owners should actually use and refer to often. So many times it’s created and then thrown in a drawer and never used. A business plan should guide your company and enable you to stay focused on your mission. Many times people get stuck trying to write a business plan. To get started, we simply followed sample business plans that we acquired from classes, friends and the internet. We took bits and pieces from each plan and then wrote our business plan to suit our needs. We refer to our business plan frequently and we keep it updated.

    4. A little money can go a long way.
    Depending on your business, you may not have to have deep pockets or take out a loan to get started. In the beginning, we didn’t know how we were going to fund our business. We were very apprehensive about taking out a loan. We applied for a grant that we didn’t get. We briefly looked into seeking out investors, but we wanted to maintain control of our company. So, we decided to begin by investing small amounts of our personal money into the company only when we needed it. During our first five months, we invested about $1,700 and that help us start the company and launch the first issue of MerriMail. We’re now in our 9th month of business and the company is currently self sustaining. Don’t underestimate the power of that loose change you’ve been saving. It adds up and it could be all the money you need to start your business.

    5. Use simple things to keep you organized and focused.
    For us, it was and still is a weekly conference call that lasts about one hour. On the call, we review our business plan and any action items that we need to discuss. This call has helped us stay in constant communication, keep our priorities straight and stay focused on the real issues of the business.

    6. Sweat equity: Use your talents and friends' talents and find ways to pay for other professional services.
    Then barter, trade or pay for professional assistance where needed. This is good old sweat equity. It’s important to divide your labor so that you’re not duplicating efforts and divide it according to your strengths. Here are a few examples of what we did. Caroline is a graphic artist so she created our logo, which saved us time and money. We asked a colleague who is a copyright lawyer to help us with some questions we had regarding trademarking and he did so for free. After we exhausted all of our options, we hired a certified public accountant to help us manage our finances for a very reasonable fee.

    7. Leverage public relations to promote company.
    This is important because PR or editorial coverage in the form of newspaper stories, magazine articles and television news coverage is free. And, because it comes from a third party, it’s more credible than a paid advertisement, which also can be expensive. Since September, we’ve issued two press releases, and those releases combined with our follow up calls have resulted in two newspaper articles, one product feature in a magazine, five online product features and this television interview. All of this publicity was free. It helped us get MerriMail in front of thousands of people and we can say for certain that it helped us double our subscriber base.

    8. Launch sales and marketing by starting with friends and family.
    Neither of us are very strong in sales and marketing so we decided to start by reaching out to our friends, family members, acquaintances and professional associates. After compiling a contact list, we signed up for an email marketing service that only cost $5.25, and then we sent them an email. This was our first sales and marketing effort and it provided us the first half of our customer base.


    Issue No. 2 is on the way

    Eris had a 9:30 appointment with the Post Office today. Your packages are on the way! Take a quick sneak peek at the Issue Two letter included in the card. Above you will find a picture of two of your three gifts this issue.

    Be sure to check back to the blog for updates and more resources associated with this issues idea card. We can't wait to hear more about our experiences with Branching Out.


    Thanks to DCmom

    Special thanks to Christina of DCmom.com for this great write up about MerriMail. The following excerpt was included in the weekly email newsletter sent prior to the holidays. Be sure to sign up for great finds and fun things to do with your kids in the Metro DC area.

    merri all the way

    For the gift that will keep on giving even after the holiday season has ended, check out MerriMail a new creative living subscription. At various points in the year, MerriMail sends out a gift and an idea card to your recipient, based on one of several themes: Creativity, Body, Social, Exploring, Indoors and Outdoors - so there's always a new surprise waiting in the mail! 
A unique feature is that the idea card provides different ways to use the gift in your home and in conjunction with the ideas. 
For example, the salt and pepper set come with ideas for how to, subtly, plan a dinner party around them. 
Who doesn't like getting a little gift in the mail every once in a while...
    Check out other finds at DCmom.com