In case you haven’t noticed (ha ha), we’re living in highly charged political times. Many people upset with our current administration put on their protesting shoes for the first time to join the Women’s March in January, and it seems every major announcement from President Trump–hello, travel ban and healthcare bill–gives us more and more reasons to protest. Best friends Isadora Connor and Emma Shannon, both 33, realized that while marching is great, further action needs to be taken to truly enact change, which is how Let’s Go Postal was born. LGP sells ready-made kits for a postcard writing party, including smartly designed postcards and tips on what to write and who to send them to.
I chatted with Isadora about the inspiration behind LGP, what it’s like to work with your bestie, and why she was *just a little* disappointed in her bat mitzvah.
Describe the moment you guys came up with the idea for Let’s Go Postal:
My business partner/BFF since kindergarten, Emma Shannon, and I were having dim sum together in NYC a week after the inauguration and Women’s March, eating away our sorrows. We’ve been marching on Washington since 2004, and I’d been reading a lot about how protesting makes people feel like they took action but that such events rarely actually ever cause for any change; it’s the individual and sustained contact to Congress that results in change.
So at dinner when I mentioned someone else’s plans to get together with girlfriends and write postcards to Washington, we both agreed that was a genius way to harness the feeling of a protest with actual action for change. But we knew it would only work if it was easy. (Because no one wants to go to the Post Office.) We mulled over the idea and realized that between Emma’s creative background and my years in sales and business development, we could actually create this product and service, and thus Let’s Go Postal was born.
Obviously there was a lot of momentum around the election/inauguration as far as people protesting and taking action. Have you found it’s dropped off at all as we get further into the year?
We definitely thought things would slow down, which is why we launched LetsGoPostal.com with such urgency (we were up and running in about a month), but truly this administration’s ability to piss people off has kept everyone really angry and really motivated.
What have been some of your favorite postcards you’ve seen people make from your kits?
One of our personal favorites, and one of Instagram’s faves, was to Jared Kushner over Passover no less, that just said “WTF?! Signed, Everyone in NYC” and that was before the FBI started investigating him. God knows the kind of mail he’s getting now.
Let’s daydream for a second: It’s 2018, Trump has been impeached, and a new, peaceful reign has taken over American politics. What does that mean for the future of Let’s Go Postal?
We get that question a lot. We see the post-Trump version of Let’s Go Postal being very local, where we think it will be even more effective. If you want to legalize marijuana in your state, you better write a LOT of postcards to your senators and governors. But if you just want to see something in your neighborhood protected from demolition? Your postcards will make even more of a difference. We’ve started taking on custom projects with some localized groups already so they can have unique cards for their upcoming events and rallies.
Does being politically engaged feel like a Jewish thing to do?
In the past, it felt much more important to be politically engaged as a woman in an effort to protect our reproductive rights and ensure equal treatment in the workplace. But over the past 18 months, considering the hatred and racism this country is experiencing, and that Trump appears to be encouraging, toward Muslims and racial minorities, it suddenly feels important as a Jewish person to be involved. On one side, I am the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, and on the other side, an extremely brave Red Cross nurse. History has shown us that it’s too easy to ignore injustice if it isn’t happening to “your” people. In reality, we are all safer and freer when the rights of all people are protected. As the federal government continues to restrict the number of refugees we’re letting into this country, I find myself thinking about the SS St. Louis–the ship of Jewish refugees that made it to America during World War II and was turned away. Today, as a nation, we must be better than this hateful rhetoric toward refugees.
What’s it like to work professionally with a close friend?
It’s been a lot of fun! We recognize that we bring different skills to our work at Let’s Go Postal and we try to do as much as we can with our separate abilities before calling on the other to join forces. I think it’s probably good that we live in separate cities; we text and call each other more than our husbands, but we’re not sitting in a office together eight hours a day.
Did you have a bat mitzvah, and if so, was there a theme?
Yep! I was nowhere near sophisticated enough to understand that the whole thing would have been cooler if I’d picked a theme. Live and learn. One of our friends had her bat mitzvah on Purim and she got to have a costume party. I’m pregnant currently with our first child and now that you’ve got me thinking about it, I should definitely try to help her lock in a bat mitzvah date around Purim when the time comes…
Describe your perfect bagel:
Well-toasted everything bagel with full fat cream cheese, lox, red onion, capers, and a squeeze of lemon. Sliced in half. Heaven.
Describe your perfect date:
Well thought out rum cocktails, a romantic walk in lieu of dinner, and a giant slice of chocolate cake.
Although my husband recently told me about America’s first Nutella Cafe and I’ve been seriously considering going on a date with myself and cashing in my miles for a day trip to Chicago. He can come if he likes…