Biely Shoaf Presents Louise Mulgrew

Thinking of You … in Cleveland

No doubt many of you have already purchased a sheet (or several!) of the marvelous Thinking of You stamps. These were officially released last Friday by the USPS — all in preparation for this year’s Thinking of You Week September 18 to 24. Colorful, engaging and oh so heartwarming, the words comprising the border are actually stickers to accessorize all those loving letters and cards.

The Thinking of You Commemorative Forever Stamps First Day of Issue Dedication Ceremony (as it was officially titled) was in downtown Cleveland, at The Great American Stamp Show — and I received an invitation! So, I brought my daughter Veronica to help, and the video of the ceremony (also posted on my brand new YouTube channel) is below.

Before diving in however, I want to note that The Great American Stamp Show had quite a lot for this paper nerd to nerd out on there! Stamp nerds and paper nerds *need* to meet in the middle somehow, as our obsessions are definitely adjacent.

The pics below were shot in an area devoted to penguins on stamps. Join that group and you’re an official POSSUM — that is, a Penguins on Stamps Study Unit Member. There are currently 125 members — and this is the fastest growing unit in The American Topical Association.

So, what’s the American Topical Association, you ask? Essentially, it’s stamp enthusiasts who collect stamps devoted to a specific topic. During the ceremony, I learned that people in this space collect many of the icons featured on this release — e.g., cupcakes, suns, butterflies, rainbows, cats — so you know this population was excited to get their hands on it! Meanwhile, there were several competitive exhibits around the show.

The ceremony was standing room only, and you will see that when everyone stood near the beginning, my view was not so great. But I hope you stick it out and give it a watch anyway. Not only is it interesting to see just how a stamp is introduced, but hearing speakers from this domain talking about the power of snail mail was refreshing and inspiring.

I did make a few highlight excerpts as well. Here is the big reveal!

Here is Cara Greene, Controller and Vice President, USPS, sharing her thoughts after that big reveal.

Here is Jennifer Miller, Executive Director of the American Topical Association.

And here is Greg Breeding — the USPS Art Director who designed this special sheet.

And now I have something really special for you folks. Meet 14-year-old “grand finale” Christina Esbeck, who has been collecting cupcake stamps since age 6. She was understandably excited about this release — and had a few thoughts to share!

I am so grateful to have had this experience, and I can’t wait to start using my sheet. Enormous thanks to the Greeting Card Association and the United States Postal Service for letting V + I take part.

Meanwhile, I compiled a bevy of Thinking of You card options in the Summer Stationery Trends. And, if you are a retailer or maker wanting to celebrate, the incredible GCA Thinking of You Committee has generated a Media Kit as well as a Toolkit. So score some of these sensational stamps already, and start planning a most prolific, profound week of correspondence next month!