Mail’s Here: Hand-lettering artist behind Hello Sweetie talks snail mail and dealing with rejection
Hello Sweetie is an indie card studio based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia featuring hand lettering & and digital illustrations. During the day, owner Crystal Picard runs her own freelance design business, working with small business owners to craft content to grow their companies. When she clocks off for the night, you can always find Crystal curled up on the couch with a cup of tea, and her iPad, with 3 cats on her lap — working on new illustrations for Hello Sweetie.
What is your first memory of getting mail?
The first mail I ever received was from my Dad. He worked in the Navy when I was growing up, and for months at a time the only contact we had was via postcards he sent me from around the world.
I still remember feeling how special it was to get something in the mail, knowing that he was thinking about me even when I couldn’t be with him. He would tell me about the places he was visiting and when I grew up, my first job was on a cruise ship so I could go see all the places he’d sent me postcards from. So, you could say it made quite an impact on me.
It seemed only fitting to then name my stationery company after him. At the end of each long trip—he would come home, toss his keys on the stairs and look up at me from the landing with a big smile and a ‘Hello, sweetie!’
Where do you find support in your creative endeavours?
I’m lucky enough to have a partner who is also a graphic designer. I’ve been with Jason Ballantyne for almost 8 of the happiest years of my life, and I couldn’t imagine a better partner. If I have a project that’s too much, he’s always there to help take some of the work off my plate and I think that’s so unique to us.
He understands my late nights and hard deadlines, and he’s always picking up the slack in the house chores for me when he knows I’m swamped with work or trying to get a product line out on time. It’s a huge relief to have a partner who just gets it—no matter what ‘it’ is.
What is 1 thing you wish you knew when you first got started?
I wish I had known more about handling rejection. I was lucky enough to be mentored by Stefanie of Paper Hearts — along with taking a lot of skillshare courses on wholesaling — so I knew that rejection was coming and how to handle it. But I wish I had realized how disheartening it would feel getting 2-3 rejection emails a week (or sometimes even a day).
I knew from being mentored that it was NOT personal, and what kind of system I would need to create in order to stay in touch with people that I really wanted to work with.
So if I could share one thing with anyone starting out, it would be:
Yes, it’s absolutely going to feel awful to be rejected or not have your emails answered, but if you keep going and keep getting to know people and put in the work—the times you get a ‘Yes!’ are the absolute best feeling in the world, and they outweigh the rejections and ‘not yet’s.
Want to be friends with Crystal online? You can find her on your favourite social platforms right here:
Photo credit Michelle Doucette Photography