I first met Taradactyl through the mail art community. Every piece of communication she sent to my PO Box was wrapped in tangible love, and I just couldn’t get enough. She’s my first ever Featured Sponsor, and I’m interviewing her today on her creative life.
Since we know each other through snail mail, I want to start by asking you what got you into that community? And what made you stay and flourish within it?
Oh man! I started writing letters to strangers and friends when I was like 12 years old. My start in snail mail is kind of confusing but it also felt super natural. Back in the days of AOL (ha!), I had a bunch of online friends that I talked to everyday. Eventually we all decided that we wanted to write letters in addition to instant messaging. We exchanged letters and I LOVED it. Even at a young age, I kept all of my letters! From there, I found the old postcardX website and starting exchanging mail with strangers.
I just love exchanging mail. It’s the best thing ever! I think connecting with people around the world and exchanging art with folks is the thing that makes me stay. I love opening up to random people I may or may not meet, and the friendships that have formed over the years are like no others I’ve had.
You’ve started your own line of products. What can you tell us about that, and what have you learned in your journey so far as an entrepreneur?
The decision to start selling my stationery was an easy one to make. My shop has now been open for just a year and I just feel incredibly lucky that people are interested in what I have to offer. I absolutely love when I have the time (and motivation) to sit down and create new stationery designs. I do work full-time in addition to being an entrepreneur so my biggest roadblock is just finding the balance between work, life, business, blogging, and writing letters; it isn’t easy but it’s worth it!
The number one thing I have learned from my journey is just “stop thinking and do”. I tend to overthink everything and then I end up talking myself out of doing. My shop came about because, on a whim, I reached out to a local store to see if they would be interested in selling my designs. I wasn’t even remotely ready to start selling anything but that had to happen for me to move forward. I’m still learning how not to overthink everything though!
What other creative outlets do you find yourself indulging in nowadays?
The only creative thing I do is mail art! That has always been my creative outlet aside from dabbling in photography here and there. There are so many facets of mail art, I don’t think I will ever get bored.
Something that always stands out about you in my mind is your travels, different homes, and your ability to pick up and move when you decide to! What advice would you give to someone making a big move for the first time?
Hire someone to pack all of your stuff. When my boyfriend and I moved from Nevada to Rhode Island, his employer paid for all of his stuff to be packed up and it was a dream. They were pros, obviously, and his apartment was in boxes in a matter of hours. If I ever had to do another big move, I would definitely go that route!
What have been some of your favorite places you’ve visited, either in Portland or another city?
I fall in love with every city I go to, I think. I could tell you lovely things about Victorville, CA, if you were interested! I really enjoy the variety of Portland’s scenery though. There are tons of parks, a river that runs through the city, big buildings, old buildings, and trees everywhere. I love walking downtown and walking around the Willamette River trail.
In addition to your passion for pterodactyls, what other things inspire you?
Cold weather, good music, people, and cookies.
Tara is a 27 year-old mail enthusiast and postal modernist pterodactyl. She spends her time writing letters, watching movies, blogging, and playing videos. On the rare occasions she leaves her apartment, she rides her purple bike around Portland, Oregon. You can shop for her amazing products, or check out her blog or Instagram. And tell her Uncustomary sent you!