Introduction by: Abi Koh | Photographs by: The Love Parcel
When I first stumbled onto The Love Parcel's website filled with beautiful photographs of eclectic treasures and vintage goodies, l immediately fell in love with it. The Love Parcel is run single-handedly by Miranda, and can be viewed at www.theloveparcel.com.
What is The Love Parcel?
The Love Parcel is a mail art project that involves “treasure trading” with strangers. It has become a community of people that I exchange parcels with, via snail mail. The parcels can include anything from found treasures to handmade, one–of-a-kind pieces.
How and when did The Love Parcel start?
The Love Parcel began in November 2012. I was brainstorming gift ideas for a friend, who lived overseas and had been visiting for a while but was soon returning home. She was (still is) a very special girl and deserved a very special gift. I ended up creating a small parcel filled with an assortment of random objects that I thought she would enjoy, as well as photos and souvenirs of the time she spent in the states. When I presented her with the parcel, she unexpectedly opened it in front of me and her reaction was amazing. I knew that I wanted to recreate this experience with strangers. That night, I made a post on Tumblr that if anyone messaged me and gave me their address, I would send them a surprise in the mail. Within the first hour, my inbox was flooded and The Love Parcel was born.
What is your favorite package you’ve ever received?
This is a question that I am constantly asked, that I have a really hard time answering. People put in so much time, effort, and love into the parcels that they send me that it would be impossible to not appreciate everything I receive for different reasons. I can say, however, that I really enjoy clever packaging. I once received a pair of earrings from France that were hidden inside of a walnut shell, which was super glued shut. It hadn’t even crossed my mind to try prying the walnut open until the sender asked if I had (I legitimately thought it was just an ordinary walnut). I’ve also received little trinkets hidden inside seashells that were glued together. I really appreciate transforming ordinary objects into a magical experience.
Has The Love Parcel changed aspects of your life? If so, how?
I’ve always suffered from social anxiety. I’m sure this isn’t a huge surprise, considering the fact that I created a project that allows me to interact with people, strictly at a far distance and never face to face. It’s been such a great way to interact with strangers and it definitely serves as a reminder that people are good and people are kind. It’s so easy to live our lives being close-minded and judgmental without realizing that we are being this way. The world is so big and we are so small. The project, in general, has helped me break out of my shell and has actually helped me to feel more secure and comfortable with talking to strangers in “real life.” I guess it’s taught me that people aren’t so scary, after all.
How would you describe your personal artistic style?
I definitely like to mix several different styles together. At the end of the day, I think my goal is romance. I strive to make everything romantic.
I chose snail mail as the outlet, because it’s romantic. I hunt for vintage treasures to incorporate into my craft whenever I can because the idea of something belonging to someone else, before it belongs to you, is romantic. I enjoy light and airy colors but I also enjoy the color of dirt because things that are dirty have really lived. I like when things look soft to the touch. I want to give someone the sky and the stars and the mountains.
I’m obsessed with loneliness and “home” and what it means to miss everyone you’ve ever known.
At the end of the day, my goal is definitely romance.
Tell us more about your shop! What sorts of goodies do you sell?
The shop is a really important part of The Love Parcel. In the beginning, the project was simple: Send me something, I’ll send you something back. After some time, I began to receive a lot of messages from people saying that they didn’t know what to send me but they were dying for me to send them something and could they, please, just give me money. So, the store was born.
The money that I make from shop sales goes towards the cost of postage and supplies for the project. The Love Parcel became so much larger than I had anticipated, that it soon became really expensive for me to send out so many parcels a week (especially with the high cost of international shipping). Even to this day, I have a huge stack of mail that I send out slowly, as I achieve the funds to do so.
The shop has also pushed me to expand on the products and side projects that I work on. The shop used to just include parcels for purchase but now even includes prints, zines, brooches, and more!