Hello! My name is Julia Neises and I am the lady behind Eva Moon Press. I got my start by working at neighboring letterpress shops in Berkeley, California. Now, I live with my husband in Portland, Oregon and run my business out of a tiny room in our home. The work I do includes graphic design for small businesses, stationery design, styling, and selling collections of ephemera.
I first caught the ephemera spark when I was introduced to traditional letterpress printing. But it was just last year when my in-laws gave me two giant boxes of my husband’s childhood stamp collection that really led me to stamp and ephemera collecting. Pouring over all the stamps in each glassine envelope, drawer, and album and learning about their origins brought together all my years of print production, design, and a general curiosity about the world. Since then, I have attempted to better organize the collection and add to it where I can. While I have a lot to learn about the ins-and-outs of philately, I find such delight in sharing my collection and learning from others.
Antique shops and vintage paper fairs are my favorite sources for finding materials. I love chatting with shop proprietors and dealers and hearing the history of the pieces they are selling. I am learning that if I take the time to listen, other collectors have a lot of knowledge to share! At vintage paper fairs, dealers are generally interested to know what you collect so it’s handy to keep a wish list. My wish list always includes airmail labels and first day covers, postcards of post offices, and post office labels from other countries.
The materials I collect come in handy not just for design inspiration when working on a branding project, but also in letter-writing:
- I love adding vintage post office labels to letters and envelopes. (Tip: Wrapping labels around an edge is a fun way to add interest on each side of a piece.)
- In addition to using the appropriate mint postage, I occasionally add a cancelled vintage stamp to an envelope for added color and texture.
- I’m really drawn to airmail ephemera (I love stripes and primary colors, so it’s a perfect match) and collect airmail labels in lots of languages. When putting together an ephemera swap or letter for a pen pal, I will often include a vintage label from their country or a place they’ve traveled to. It’s fun to match pieces of my collection to people I know.
- Saving interesting package is a good way to mix old and new ephemera. I recently bough some seeds from Floret, a great flower farm in Washington, and their beautifully designed seed envelopes have worked their way into my letters!
Because I correspond with about 20 different people across the world on a regular basis, it’s not easy to pin-point favorite letters sent and received. I am continually delighted by the creativity of my friends!
The favorite letters that do come to mind are in two categories: Ongoing missives and a special occasion. My first memory of receiving mail is a valentine sent from my grandparents when I was child (my grandpa has the best cursive!). They love receiving mail, so now I send them pretty postcards of things I know they will like with little notes about what I’m up to. For the special occasion, I created a paper booklet that unfolded with four pockets for my pen pal Victoria Vu’s birthday. Victoria and I share a love of paper and gardening, so I filled the pockets with vintage ephemera that I knew she would like.
Polly, my dear friend and pen pal (we both live in Portland and are still pen pals!) is the queen of tucking sweet little treasures into her letters to me. Her generous spirit overflows into everything she does—even in the mail! She has a great eye for color and I love the way she combines old and new materials. One of my favorite pieces from her is a very simple white card with a vintage Canadian stamp on front and wrapped with delicate orange thread. So inspiring!