Tiny Letters and Tiny Packages Are In

Lea Redmond and her team at Leafcutter Designs mail thousands of tiny letters and packages around the world.


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Photo by Lance Yamamoto

The World’s Smallest Postal Service began in 2008 when artist Lea Redmond set up a roaming post office at various locations around the East Bay. As she transcribed tiny letters by hand for people, she didn’t realize that she was launching a business. However, after the publication of a Boing Boing post about her tiny Valentines, she received hundreds of orders, and a business was born. She and her team at Leafcutter Designs have mailed thousands of tiny letters and packages around the world.

This fall, Redmond is fulfilling her dream of opening a brick-and-mortar version of her whimsical postal service a couple of doors down from her downtown Oakland studio. To anchor the space in a historic building on 15th Street, she found an antique postal counter on Craigslist, complete with 80-plus engraved brass P.O. boxes over 100 years old. She describes her new venture as a “magical coordinate on the globe that offers creative experiences, since we all need little moments of wonder and delight in this crazy world.” Customers can rent a P.O. box to receive tiny mail in honor of a birthday or other celebration or watch a puppet show staged in the postal window. The staff will wear vintage postal worker hats and “official” postal aprons hand-sewn by Redmond.

The Southern California native offers other “curious objects” at her shop of wonder, including DIY tiny stationery kits, mini mailboxes, trade tokens, and a selection of her many books, including the best-selling Letters to …  and Little Letters series published by Chronicle Books. Her playful items appeal to a wide audience — from a 6-year-old child who is just learning to write to an 80-year-old man who wants to send a tiny bouquet in a miniature package to his sweetheart.

The World’s Smallest Postal Service is a lovely holiday shopping destination for a host of stocking stuffers, tiny chocolate packages to spread the joy, or even a tiny advent calendar, which consists 32 tiny letters with vintage postage stamps to send from Dec. 1 to Jan. 1. All Leafcutter Design products and a curated selection of other fanciful items are available at the shop or online at LeafCutterDesigns.com. The World’s Smallest Postal Service, 337 15th St., Oakland, LeafcutterDesigns.com.

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