Products we love: Notes from Camp
with Pamela Sand, Founder of Postscript Designs
Pamela Sand, creator of Notes from Camp, shares a little about her entrepreneurial journey, how Notes from Camp came to be and why letter writing is so near to her heart.
Kind Human Club: Tell us a little about you and your story.
Pamela Sand: I began building Postscript as a side project about 8 years ago, after completing my master’s degree in architecture and while working as an urban planning consultant in Toronto and New York. As a multi-faceted designer, I have always believed in the power of the detail – how thoughtful design can promote personal connections in meaningful and beautiful ways. And so, I began to take on projects in what I call creative correspondence – using design to tell stories about ourselves, our milestones, our brands. Over time, this has grown to an offering of personalized paper correspondence for every day, and brand identities for small businesses. Our ethos is an attention to everyday details – the texture, typography, packaging, and whole experience of correspondence – to produce a product that is the epitome of luxury.
KHC: What inspired “Notes from Camp”? Where did the idea come from?
PS: I’d like to say it was inspired by my years as a camper, but it wasn’t! As a child, I was a homebody through and through and so overnight camp was not in my summer calendar. But as a mom, and a designer, I have been challenged by this year of lockdowns, anticipation, and longing – and the impact it has had on our kids. Knowing how hopeful many families were for camps to resume, I envisioned a playful stationery set that could add a little excitement to a camper’s pack and inspire even the most reticent of writers to keep in touch with their families (who aren’t used to their absence) back home. When I pitched the idea to my friend/colleague/client Caron Irwin, founder of Roo Family, she shared her success using similar prompts to encourage children to share personal experiences and emotions through writing – and the idea took flight!
KHC: How did your collaboration with campers, camp counsellors, language specialists and child development specialists play a role in bringing this product to life?
PS: Since I’m not an experienced camper, I consulted a few qualified friends who helped me fine tune each detail. The “camp alums” informed me about camp letter writing etiquette – things like trading stickers, swapping paper, frequency of letter writing days, and how campers store all their stuff. Caron, as I mentioned, helped inspire the writing prompts, and I consulted with another friend, Rebecca Drory, founder and clinical director of Babbling Babies in Toronto. Rebecca – a language expert and camper herself – helped me fine-tune the prompts so that they help young writers reflect on positive daily experiences and minimize feelings of homesickness or fear.
KHC: What has been the best thing about working on this project?
PS: The set is part of my PSkids line of correspondence products that hopes to encourage the next generation of letter writers, in an age that is very much digitally-driven. So, I was very excited and inspired to learn that camps still promote sending notes home – from all campers. For me, that is the best thing.
KHC: What impact do you hope the “Notes from Camp” letter pad set will have?
PS: I hope that it helps families feel connected and secure this summer. For so many, this will be the first time in a LONG time that they are away from their child/parents. If Notes from Camp can help a nervous youngster feel closer to home, or a nervous mom find comfort in the adventures her child is having, that would be pretty impactful for me.
KHC: If you had this product when you were attending camp as a kid, what do you think it would mean to you today to be able to reflect on those stories and experiences?
PS: My husband and I are big letter writers – I have every note most people have ever written me as an adult saved in a box. But I don’t have much from my childhood and would love to have a glimpse into my thoughts and experiences as I discovered the world around me. Since launching this product, people have DM’d me to say they still have their letters from camp—and I can imagine that being a very interesting memory of your more youthful self.
KHC: What do you hope or anticipate parents or recipients will experience when receiving "Notes from Camp"?
PS: I hope they will find comfort in something we all once took for granted as summertime fun, but has been so lacking for some time – pure childhood joy. Even if things aren’t quite back to normal for us adults, we can revel in the reflections of our kids at camp. I hope that parents, grandparents, or even older siblings are able to connect back to the fun of a home away from home.
KHC: What are a few of your favourite books, apps, or tools for fostering a growth mindset and creativity in children?
PS: My girls are 1 and 3 so we spend a lot of time reading, exploring and storytelling! I find their interests peak when they can see themselves in a character or have fun with playful prose and wordplay. Some of our favourites are Oona, by Kelly DiPucchio; The Wonderous Road Ahead, by Wonderbly; the works of Andrea Beatty; and all of the classic nursery rhymes! For productive screen time, we absolutely love our subscription activity boxes from Smartiepants – another local business whose creative and skill-building video activities keep our eldest engaged when we are trying to work from home.