Dearpost—An Online Platform That Rekindles The Joy Of Sending Postcards, But With A Twist - The Grey Alley

Dearpost—An Online Platform That Rekindles The Joy Of Sending Postcards, But With A Twist

Dearpost

Would you like it if the good old postcard came back into your life in 2018? Well, if you are someone who likes receiving postcards then you should definitely check out Dearpost.

Dearpost?

In a nutshell, Dearpost a platform where you can send custom postcards to your loved ones—it’s easy, fun, affordable, and can be used for more than just gifting. Interesting, you can send postcards anywhere in the world right from your mobile phone.

Dearpost was born when two friends Elayabharath Elango (a UX designer and front-end programmer), and Nagappan Nachiappan (a software developer with extensive experience in backend infrastructure) were goofing around with the idea of building an experimental chatbot around postcards. As their creative idea kindled, they roped in their third partner in crime, Swetha Kanithi, a Graphic Designer. This was over a year ago.

Their idea has now transformed into a fully functional site, which not only promotes a medium that was a thing of the past but also encourages art and culture.

We at The Grey Alley, catch up with Elayabharath, Nagappan and Swetha, who tell us about Dearpost, its relevance, promoting a lost form of communication, and more.

Elayabharath Elango Dearpost
Elayabharath Elango

How did the idea of Dearpost come about? Could you take us through the inception of the company and everything in between?

Elayabharath: The idea of Dearpost came one evening when my friend and I were goofing around on the idea of building an experimental chatbot. Since postcards were easy enough for chatbots to understand, we thought we could build a product for people who wanted to send them anywhere in the world. As a technology-first person, my partner and I didn’t take it seriously enough—but we saw the potential delight in receiving them.

Swetha instantly came to our minds since she is passionate about postcards. And we reached out to her. We put the product together and now anyone can send postcards anywhere in the world from the comfort of their mobile phones.

Nagappan: EB and I wanted to re-create a postcard bot as a weekend hack. Once it was ready, we were looking for people to collaborate with and Swetha’s Instagram posts came to my mind. I called her up the next day and walked her through the idea.

She was extremely delighted as this was something very dear to her. Fast forward to a year, and it’s been a pleasure building a community of postcard enthusiasts.

Swetha: Both partners had already been working on this, as a side project (Nagappan and EB have been friends are roommates since uni and have always kept busy with side projects and competitions).

Nagappan and I have known each other through a friend. So when he heard about my love for postcards, he gave me a call and it all started from there—one year into building the product and finding a more inclusive way of collaborating with artists. We want to give our customers a great range of choice in designs, through all the talent we have in India, whose thinking and creative is very native and builds a market for postcards, which currently doesn’t exist in India.

Our main product being custom postcards, we want to be able to bring back its value, but with a new twist! And the fact that it is easy, fun, and affordable, people can use it for more than just gifting.

Swetha Kanithi Dearpost
Swetha Kanithi

The USP of the company? Why should people choose Dearpost?

Elayabharath: For the digital-first generation or people who haven’t sent a postcard in their life, you can send a postcard to anyone in the world from the comfort of your mobile phone. For postcard connoisseurs, we aim to build an amazing collection of artistic-themed postcards

Swetha: We help create custom postcards and deliver them. Nothing can get more personal, and valuable than sharing your memories with people and we help you do that. We also have a great range of artist postcards to choose from, whose work celebrates various aspects of India.

Nagappan Nachiappan Dearpost
Nagappan Nachiappan

In the digital age, is a postcard still relevant?

Elayabharath: With the increasing vector of digital-everything, we believe in the delight of physical cards. We believe postcards are special because it is not an everyday messaging platform, but a special thing you use for delight. We want to give access to more people who are digital first and also love postcards.

Nagappan: Most of the photos we take on our mobile are never revisited and fade away in time. Postcards could be constant reminders of special moments when pinned on your desk or stuck on the wall.

Swetha: We feel it’s all the more relevant now because we live in a world where texts, e-mails, pictures etc, can remain permanent, a postcard could be so much more tangible.

Postcards from Mexico Sandhya Prabhat
Postcards from Mexico Sandhya Prabhat

We see that you also have artists like Enlightened Jamun and Sandhya Prabhat on your platform. Why and how did you incorporate them into your site? Will we see more such artists like them in the future?

Nagappan: Apart from photo postcards, we wanted to promote exceptional artists and their work. Our initial reach out got us talking with EJ and Sandhya and it was a major milestone to bring them onboard. It has been an absolute pleasure working with both these artists. We will continue to look out for more artists to join this growing community.

Swetha: Absolutely, we are collaborating with more artists to showcase different collections and styles, to give customers quality choice.

Our main product being custom postcards, we want to be able to bring back its value, but with a new twist! And the fact that it is easy, fun, and affordable, people can use it for more than just gifting.

The idea is to reach out to artists whose works centre’s around themes like Indian, pop-culture, humour, references, and more, and set up shop pages for them. We will take care of everything for them—everything from onboarding to payments and profile management. This is a great way for an artist to showcase their work, and also reach out their work to all kinds of people inside and outside the country. This could give birth to all sorts of collaborations.

Dearpost postcardHow does India fare, as far as postcards go?

Nagappan: Postcards are perceived as a thing of the past. We want to change that perception and bring back the joy with ease.

Swetha: Currently, there is barely any choice in designs around India. The only places you are likely to find postcards are when you travel to popular sites and they might have a few picture postcards at souvenir shops, and of course a few online platforms and artists, sparingly. This has been the biggest motivation for Dearpost to come about.

Deapost postcardsThe challenges you faced so far?

Elayabharath: The challenge is that postcard delivery isn’t really reliable. Postcards are meant to be public and people understand that and so there isn’t exactly a privacy concern. But we fear censorship on postcards. Postcards that may be provocative or mildly personal photos, we fear they may not be shipped by the Indian postal network.

Nagappan: The Indian postal system is a massive network and there is a small chance that the postcards could get lost along the way. In such cases, we just send another card without any questions asked. Also, we have started giving the option of tracking postcards to add reliability.

Swetha: Initially, privacy was a bit of a concern, but now we have the option of sending postcards in an envelope which solves the problem.

Dearpost customised postcardsCan postcards be used to promote mediums like art, painting, photography and more? Is a simple postcard connected to us in more ways than one? Your thoughts?

Nagappan: We believe postcards are a beautiful medium of expression. On one side, you have a canvas for expressing visually your artwork, paintings and photography, on the other, you can complement with a heartfelt message, poem or a quote on the other side. Together they make the postcard much more memorable.

Swetha: The power of a simple picture and a few words if largely underrated. Just as an example, artists, designers, photographers and more can send out a sample of their work to anyone, so conveniently.

And everyone can share their pictures as a tangible memory with friends and family after small/ big travels, and memorable moments with ease.

Elayabharath: Personally I’m excited about postcards being extremely personalised.

Dearpost black and white postcardsPositive and insightful things you have experienced since you started Dearpost?

Elayabharath: Getting thank you postcards from strangers and thank you messages from people who received the cards is always delightful.

Nagappan: The strong support and love from the community.

Swetha: We love how, people who usually don’t send postcards, or not acquainted with the idea, have embraced custom postcards quite well. It makes us happy when they share their experience and how the receiver felt when it reached it. This was always the motive for the company, to be a part of people’s experiences. It’s almost like sharing the pride and excitement that comes with being the mailman (laughs).

Dearpost send postcards via mobilePlans for the future?

Elayabharath: Be the go-to place for postcards is the overall goal.

Nagappan: Collaborate with more artists. Reach out to postcrosser community worldwide.

Swetha: We want to bring on a whole collection of Indian stamps, collaborate with artisans and small companies that make handmade journals. Also maybe other stationery like washi tape, pens and more—anything and everything that encourages authentic communication.

Follow Dearpost on Facebook here.

Follow Dearpost on Instagram here.

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