More than a year ago, the doorbell rang, and when we went to answer, a small bouquet was waiting on the doorstep. Consisting of two yellow roses and a small pineapple nestled thoughtfully in a green coffee mug, it was the perfect quirky salutation. There was a card that said only “A small gift to brighten your day.” It was signed “Chester York.”
The problem is, we don’t know anybody by that name.
Our days were brightened. Considerably so. The good feeling lasted a week or more. Someone out there had invested the time and money to send us an anonymous gesture of goodwill. Whenever we passed someone on the street, the thought raced through our minds: “That could be Chester York.” We felt hopeful about the world. Having been the recipients of unattributed generosity, we felt inspired to pass the good feeling along to someone else.
What’s more, we soon learned that others—dozens of others—in and around Chestertown had also received flowers from pseudonymous Chester York, all with the same simple message printed on the cards. We were suddenly members of this new community, a network of good feeling that gave the entire town a lift.
Inspired by Mr. York, we’ve been stewing for a while on a plan to give others an easy opportunity to tap into this same gesture, to send an unattributed burst of goodwill. And with the launch of Haywire, we finally have that opportunity.
Our anonymous greeting card service Anonygrams gives anyone the chance to have us anonymously send a beautiful art print on their behalf. You choose a design that conveys the desired sentiment (congratulations, condolence, affirmation, love, etc.), give us the address, and we take care of the rest.
Each Anonygram is sent in a beautiful blue envelope bearing an address that has been hand-lettered by Robbi. Inside the envelope is a card with a secret code that the sender can use to send a reply—without ever knowing the sender’s identity.
Our hope is to provide a way for people to create goodwill by combining beauty, generosity, and anonymity. And humor, as the case may be.
Our plan is to eventually have dozens of anonygrams, but here are the designs we have ready so far:
For when you need to let someone who is going through a rough patch know that they are not alone.
For when someone you know has done something great and needs to know that someone is out there clapping.
For when the sky is falling and you know someone who needs a pick me up.
For those times when someone needs to hear just how great they are. And who better to speak these important words than a cute little kitten?
For those moments when only the unrivaled enthusiasm of a hedgehog will do.
For those moments when only an ass-kicking ninja can express what you’re feeling inside.
For when the enthusiastic truth must be spoken and all other words fall short.
For when you need to let someone know how you feel but don’t yet want them to know its you that feels that way.
For those times when someone needs to hear that their contributions are being noted.
For those times when you just want to let someone know that you like the way they go about their business. Think of it as an anonymous fist bump.
As a parting note, I should add that Anonygrams are 5″ x 7″ and are printed in two colors on sumptuous 600lb cotton rag, which makes them feel substantive and which also enables Jodi to give the paper a heavy punch, creating exquisite contours and rich, bold colors that are not possible on lighter stocks. Which is to say, in addition to sending good feeling, when you send an Anonygram, you are giving someone in your life a framable art print.
Whenever you find yourself wanting to reach out and make someone feel good, Anonygrams are here to give you a way to make that gift even more special by subtracting yourself from the equation. Because true generosity is giving without expecting a thing in return, even the pleasure of knowing they know that you’re the one who did the giving.
We like to think of Anonygrams as emotional philanthropy—a way of printing happiness and sending it in the mail. We’re betting that there are plenty of you out there who would love to give someone in your lives a nameless nudge, an unattributed lift. Who would like to turn a tiny, selfless gesture into a big reward.
Come help prove us right.
And Chester York, if you’re out there, this one’s for you: