Me You Paper

Brookline,  MA 
United States
https://www.meyoupaper.com/
  • Booth: 5511

Me You Paper is a friend- and family-run business started by longtime friends Annika and Jen. Our collection of greeting cards, journals, stationery, and gifts are created to inspire and encourage people to connect with one another, and themselves, through writing. We strive to source local, and to print, package, and ship our products in the most earth-friendly ways we can. We believe in the power of representation and inclusion, and our designs aspire to use empathy, not generalizations, to illuminate the bond that connects us all. Fill the space between by sending love from Me to You.


 Press Releases

  • Published: Bostonia Magazine, November 1, 2018

    By Amy Laskowski

    Born in Sweden and with a South Asian heritage, Annika Sarin was used to not seeing people who looked like her on the greeting cards she bought. And as a mom of two young kids and with a hectic career as a graphic designer, she wanted a more flexible schedule and the opportunity to be creative outside of work.

    Sarin (CAS’95) is now achieving that in partnership with her former BU roommate, Jen Ramella (COM’95), in their new stationery business.

    “I said, ‘I have this crazy idea,’” Sarin says. The idea was to start a paper and greeting card company with original designs, many that would depict interracial couples and families. A professional graphic designer, she pitched the idea to Ramella: Sarin would lead the creative side, and Ramella would use her marketing background to handle the business side, although the two collaborate on both aspects.

    “Annika knew I would have the same kind of passion,” Ramella says. “We both loved writing, we both loved sending cards. Writing is important to us, as it connects people to each other in a way that an email or a text just can’t do. I said yes immediately.”

    Officially launched in March 2017, Me You Paper sells birthday, sympathy, holiday, and any-occasion cards, journals, invitations, and other paper goods. They print on 100 percent postconsumer recycled paper, use sustainable packaging—like kraft paper boxes and card sleeves made of compostable plastic sourced from plants—and design and print locally.

    The outside of their cards often has a caption, but the inside is left blank intentionally. “We want to leave it up to you,” Ramella says. “The cards can mean so many different things—like the whale breaching. It means different things to different people.”

    Their products are sold throughout Greater Boston, including at Brookline BooksmithBarnes & Noble at Emerson College, and farmers markets like Central Flea in Cambridge’s Central Square, and online. While the two women did not want to share sales figures, they say sales have been steady. They are planning to expand to more stores and markets.

    The name Me You Paper was inspired by a poem written by a friend of Sarin’s that “talked about sending something from me to you,” Sarin says. “It’s this idea of sending a letter from me to you, sending love in this space…. It’s a personal journey that needs to start with me—it can’t start with you.”

    Their designs are often inspired by their own lives—one of the first prints was based on an Indian flower tapestry hanging in Sarin’s home. Others are more abstract: a tusked elephant pattern populates one, while another is a blue and turquoise water print.

    Sarin—the daughter of Vinod Sarin, a College of Engineering professor of mechanical engineering—says empathy plays a big role in her designs. When she started the work, she asked friends and family to send her personal photos for inspiration, and she tacked them on a bulletin board. It gave her a wide range of relationships to draw from, and she still refers to them.

    “Representation is very important to us: representation matters because everyone deserves to have images they can relate to,” Sarin says. “I really believe that a lack of inclusion is why we’re in this place that we’re in in this country. Me You Paper is part of a small tidal wave of change that is happening to get people represented. Varying skin tone is very important to us, interracial couples, interracial same-sex couples. Major greeting card companies would make you choose—either you are interracial, or you are same sex.”

    One design portrays a young boy with flowers in his hair sitting in a woman’s lap. Ramella says that one time when she was selling her cards at a farmers market, a young teenager stopped by, lingering on a print featuring the image of two grown men embracing. “He had his hand on it, like he wanted his parents to buy it for him, and they were off doing something else and said they would come back,” she says. “These were grown men on the card, and that seemed to mean something to him, I think, seeing this in print. Seeing who you are and the culture you live in makes you feel part of it.”

  • Brookline Tab, Posted Jul 12, 2018
    By Nick Greenhalgh


    When Annika Sarin and Jen Ramella were roommates at Boston University, they shared a passion for writing.

    The duo would write letters to family, friends and each other when they were miles apart.

    They’d write in journals and read old letters saved by grandparents.

    It was a passion for them.

    When Sarin recently moved back to Boston with her family, the two rekindled their love for writing and launched Me You Paper.

    Me You Paper is a stationery company based in Brookline that creates eco-friendly greeting cards, journals and other paper products.

    After moving back to Boston from New York, where she had a career in graphic design, Sarin was looking for a way to express her creative ideas.

    “I realized I wanted to get back into making things. There was a lot of stuff building up inside me,” the Brookline resident said.

    That’s where the collaboration with Watertown resident Ramella began and Me You Paper launched in March 2017.

    With Sarin’s background in print design and Ramella’s marketing experience, they began building the business. They tapped into their own backgrounds to design the cards, while showcasing their passion for writing.

    “It’s the love of writing and wanting to bring that back to a world that’s so technology-based,” Sarin said of why the two decided to start Me You Paper.

    Sarin was born in Sweden and has South Asian heritage in her family. She’s used this background as a template for some of Me You Paper’s designs.

    “Our house is Swedish glass and South Asian textiles,” she said of her family’s home. “A lot of these patterns are a combination of these worlds coming together.”

    The company also values representation in their products, something Sarin and Ramella say isn’t always apparent in paper products and greeting cards from other companies.

    “Representation is very important in our design. Representation matters because everyone should have images that they relate to. I think we’re at this moment in time in our country because of lack of representation, so this is our tiny little contribution through greeting cards to get people more realistically portrayed,” Sarin said.

    Their cards feature same-sex couples, biracial families and other underrepresented people in the community.

    As the company continues to grow, they want to make sure they do it at their own speed.

    “It’s grown carefully, our design and our product is number one. We are continuing to evolve that and get it right,” Ramella said.

    In the future they’ll look to expand their products, offering new journal sizes and bindings, and have explored going into textiles, such as towels and bags.

    “We have great designs and we know they can go on other things,” Ramella said. “We really believe in what we have and our product.”

    Me You Paper products can be found periodically at the Brookline Booksmith, at Tiny Hanger in Brookline, Magpie in Somerville, Parchment in Nantucket, and online at meyoupaper.com.

    Sarin and Ramella tell stories of sending letters to their family, or reading letters saved from a grandparent gone serving in the military decades ago.

    They wonder aloud what written treasures will be left from this current, digital generation.

    They hope their family history and passion for writing will aid in the preservation of this seemingly forgotten mode of communication.

    “It’s in our blood,” Sarin said.

  • Boston Voyager - JULY 17, 2018

    Today we’d like to introduce you to Annika Sarin and Jennifer Ramella.

    Annika and Jennifer, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.

    It started 25 years ago when we were roommates at Boston University. We connected on many levels, including a love for art, design, and writing. We each kept journals, and felt comfortable sharing their contents with each other early into our friendship. Throughout college and the years after, we would send each other cards and letters whenever we weren’t in the same city or country.

    After BU, Annika moved to New York City for art school and worked as a graphic designer for many years before returning home to Boston to raise her family. Jen worked in digital, print, and e-commerce marketing in Boston across various industries including travel, entertainment, and fashion.

    Back in the same city we met up at a cafe in Brookline. With two small children, Annika was looking for a creative outlet with meaning and flexibility. We decided to merge our talents and loves to start a stationery business. It would be something close to our hearts that would reflect our stories and the things that we care about.

    Me You Paper believes in the power of representation and inclusion. Our designs aspire to use empathy, not generalizations, to illuminate the bond that connects us all. We hope to inspire and encourage people to connect with one another, and themselves, through writing. To fill the space between by sending love from Me to You.

    Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?

    We have encountered our share of obstacles big and small. Whether it’s figuring out shipping costs, who will host our email server, or finding envelopes that close properly, it is a constant learning process. We have had to educate ourselves on all the materials we use and find ways to use the most eco-friendly products while giving customers the level of quality that is important to us. Sometimes it seems like just when we think we have it figured out, something goes wrong, or we discover something isn’t working as well as we had thought. For example, we had no idea how complicated eco-friendly packaging would be. Once our first round of cards, stationery, and journals were all printed we had to figure out the best way to present and protect our products. After several weeks of research trying to find bio-degradable plastic, we learned that despite claims, it doesn’t really exist to the extent that we had hoped for as of yet. So we had to re-think the best packaging for our customers, future stores, and the environment. We were just a few weeks from launch but we all put our time and energy into getting it done and made it work in the nick of time. Finding partners and suppliers that we trust has really helped.

    Me You Paper – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?

    Me You Paper is a collection of greeting cards, journals, stationery, and gifts that are created to inspire and encourage people to connect with one another, and themselves, through writing. We believe in the power of representation and aspire to create inclusive representation in our greeting cards by using empathy and not generalizations. There is a clear lack of mainstream greeting cards depicting interracial couples and families, and we hope to change this. By getting to the essence of life’s moments in our designs, we expose the common emotions and feelings we all experience at these times. Every detail in our illustrations is thoughtful and deliberate; from varying skin tones amongst couples and family members, to flowers in a young boy’s hair. We want to be mindful of the manner in which so many of us actually live and experience life together.

    We also strive to source local, and to print, package, and ship our products in the most earth-friendly ways we can.

    What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?

    Our families and friends have been incredibly supportive of Me You Paper, but they know and love us. When we sell our products at Markets like SoWa and The Central Flea we get to see and hear stranger’s reactions to our designs.

    We did our first market this past May at The Central Flea Market. We were selling our new Mother’s Day cards and a woman came over to check them out. Her face lit up and she said, “You have cards with interracial families! I love this card. I am going to tell all my friends, they are all in interracial families too.” The card she had gotten so excited about is a drawing based on a picture of Annika’s cousin and his mother surrounded by a field of daisies near their family home in Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh. She bought the card and later connected with us about purchasing an Art Print of the same card. The fact that an illustration of a personal family moment touched her in the way we had hoped when creating it was a very proud moment.

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