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