Thank you of the month – April

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At the Happiness Conference last week I chatted to one CEO who recognised that giving individual thanks to his employees is incredibly important, but he still struggles to do so. I get it. People are busy. But when are we ever too busy to say thanks? My response was uncharacteristically firm and I’ve just popped some blank cards in the post for him to start sending. I know. Tough, right?

Of course, if you want to thank someone without opening up the notelets, you can also nominate them for the Make Me Joyful ‘Thank You of the Month’ which is exactly what Vicky did. Vicky is the co-founder of the fabulous Post Pals charity which I featured earlier in April and she wants to recognise her beautiful friend Kate.

Over to Vicky.

Kate makes me joyful because…

I set up Post Pals and run it with Kate’s help; without Kate there would be no Post Pals. She is ill too, having to spend most of her time resting in bed, using her laptop causes pain and more tiredness but she does it for Post Pals. Kate is one of those rare people who is happy working away in the background with very few people knowing what amazing things she is doing. She will do the kind of jobs that others don’t want to, just because she knows they need to be done for someone.

She is also the best friend anyone could have, so please can I nominate ‘My Great Friend Kate’ for the thank you of the month?

Thank you Kate xx

I love this. Don’t we all have an unsung hero of a friend who just beavers away in the background being fabulous? Let’s all promise to tell them how special they are right this second. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

Whether it’s a friend, family member or even a kindly stranger,  if you’d like to honour someone publicly let me know who needs a special thank you (and a MMJ treat in the post) and email me your nominations now: hello@makemejoyful.com

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Workplace pleasure

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Yesterday I had a day of inspiration. I gathered with 80 other people who believe that happy workplaces should be the norm rather than the exception; people who understand that productivity and profits swell when employees feel cherished; and people who understand that, when you spend more time at work than anything other than sleeping, being somewhere that enables you to thrive is vital. Yes, my kind of people.

My contribution to the proceedings was hosting a workshop on how Random Acts of Joy can boost morale in the office. In order to showcase the benefits of being joyful, I channelled my inner game-show host (without whitened teeth or a sequined jacket, alas) and hid lucky tickets under chairs. A little ticket hunting later and the winners received a mini act of joy. There’s nothing better than seeing a 50 year old CEO, squealing like an eight year old girl when he realises he’s won a book token. Amazing.

We also talked about the magic that is made when we properly thank our colleagues for the work that they do. Happiness being Handwritten, everyone took a freshly stamped post-card and penned a note of praise. I’m not ashamed to admit that I got a little giddy when I thought of all those unsuspecting employees receiving real post from someone who recognises that they count. Ok. I’ll stop. My sister recently told me that I speak like an episode of  the Waltons, so I’m trying to keep my gushing in check.

Yesterday was a day of many joyful acts, and today? Well, it’s the last Thursday of the month, which means that it’s time to announce the winner of April’s MMJ Care Package. You can see the London themed package which went to South Africa in the picture below, but this month’s Spring themed box is staying in Britain and going to Jennifer. Hoorah!

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Be sure to sign-up to the mailing list if you’d like to be included in next month’s draw:

Photo courtesy of the beautiful Lana Lou Style. Here.

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Stationery week inspiration

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As someone who believes that Happiness is Handwritten, I’m pretty darn excited about the fact that it’s National Stationery Week. A week devoted to paper pleasure is a wonderful thing. We’ve discussed ways to gather more pen-friends here and we’ve talked about making children smile for the cost of a first class stamp here, but what about supplies? Where do you go when Basildon Bond has become boring and tattered sheets torn from a notebook have started to cause you shame?*

I admit that I probably get a little more excited than appropriate when I browse beautiful stationery. Whether blind embossed or letterpress, a quick fondle in a stationery shop is guaranteed to give me a thrill. I once confessed to a chap that I had a bit of a stationery fetish and he turned up to our next date with a protractor set from WH Smith. Not quite what I meant, but I had to give him points for trying.

In the past, I’ve found that the most original and beautiful supplies have come from the US or Japan. And for traditional but beautiful quality, France.  The UK seemed to have been stuck in a plain pad rut. If you were lucky, you’d get the lined template to go beneath the paper so you didn’t write on the wonk, but that was about as exciting as it got. Not so now. Small printers and designers are creating beautiful, beautiful things.

So, because it’s St George’s Day, I’m picking five of my favourite English stationery makers:

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Archivist Press. These tactile notecards are letterpress lovelies. I particularly like the London prints for sending to people around the world.

 

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Alice Gabb. Whimsical delights for your ‘formal informalities’. If you’re in the area, you can also visit Alice’s stall at Broadway Market near London Fields too.

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Present and Correct. Their shop is amazing and when you want less whimsy and more quirky, their Science Letter Set is perfect. It’s made from genuine science journals from the 60s. Oh yes.

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Lucy May Schofield. Sometimes the best love letter are scrawled on a scrap of paper and left on the fridge, but when something more delicate is required, try these love letter kits. Real works of art.

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Jo Heckadon. Jo currently works on bespoke stationery orders, but I’m very happy that she’ll be doing gorgeous ‘ready to write’ sets later in the year. Hoorah.

So, where do you buy your stationery from? Share any recommendations in the comments below. And if you’d like to do some social letter-writing, save the date: 21st May for a very joyful evening. Details coming soon.

* Never be ashamed of your writing supplies. The fact that you’re even putting pen to paper makes you marvellous.

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