Strangers, mostly, although I had a few friends there.
I know it sounds weird, helping strangers write love letters, but it's one of those things that sounds completely normal to an Austinite.
My beautiful and talented friend, Jennie Chen, one of my earliest Twitter friends, chef, goat bringer and cupcake cannon inventor, organized the event in conjunction with TEDx Austin - the most incredible, inspirational day of awesome that we have in this town. And we have a lot of incredible, inspirational days.
She hatched the idea of having people write love letters to the people and companies that make TEDx happen every year, and I was lucky enough to be the one she picked to make the love letters pretty. Then our friends at Outbox - an awesome startup here in town that is eliminating junk mail for the world - would work their Outbox magic on them and turn them into digital art.
So I set up my table, with some pre-stamped cards, and some blank ones for people who wanted to stamp their own, and I waited for people to arrive.
I wasn't sure what to expect. Our guests were some of the brightest, most successful people in the country. Would they want to write a love letter? Would they rather just have a beer and some cheese?
Well it took about 30 seconds to take off.
People LOVED telling these companies how much they loved them and why. One young man came up to me and told me about how Whole Foods (one of the sponsors) had radically changed the quality of his life because he had what he described as a "crazy" diet that required lots of special items that no one else had.
Tons of people (and the crowd was mostly men) used the word "love" more than once or drew little hearts. The men were the ones most likely to stamp their own cards.
At one point, spontaneous group hugs broke out at my table and each new person that came up got one of these awesome group hugs.
It was insanely fun and rewarding.
People love to thank people.
People love to love people, and companies, and experiences. It was, as my friend Jennie says - oxytocin filled. And that's a good thing.
It reinforced what we already know. Making cards and giving them to people is heartwarming for the people on both ends. Do it more. I know I keep saying that. But you know I'm right.
I made a little time today to send a love letter of my own. This is for my Stampin' Up! Business Development Advisor - Ann Maxwell, who is made of cupcakes and kittens. I adore her. I thought I should tell her.
Accessories: Bermuda Bay & Real Red Markers, twine
You're freaking out over these stamps aren't you?
I know you so, so well.
You should be freaking out because they are awesome. And the bundle is only around for a month or two, so you should get it now. You can do that here.
After you do that, you should watch this awesome video that Outbox made with the love letters everyone wrote. It will warm your heart.
Thanks, Jennie, for an awesome experience. You make Austin infinitely more fun.