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.