Saturday Market: The Letter Farmer

Last week my friend Becky and I met Rachel Weil, aka The Letter Farmer. Rachel has a red van, decked out with a fancy script logo that she parks at different venues around Seattle – Occidental Square for the night markets, downtown Bellevue for the Bellwether Art Walk, Walnut Street Coffee, Peddler Brewing, Madison Park, Westlake Park… you get the picture – she’s mobile. You can find her calendar here on her website.

Inside the van, Rachel has a mini-retail shop set up. She carries letter press greeting cards, unique postcards, elegant stationery, fountain pens and ink, vintage stamps, and more. I purchased 2 letterpress birthday cards, an antique Parisian Norte Dame postcard, a blank letterpress postcard, a Seattle letterpress greeting card with a yellow Salty Sailor on the front, a J. Herbin pocket fountain pen and some Gris Nuage j. herbin ink cartridges.

But, really it’s not what’s inside her van that is special – it is what is outside. Rachel sets up a white canopy with red tables and chairs, an antique writing desk, free postcards and a plethora of pens. If you build it, they will come? Yes, they do. People come from all around to write and send a letter, card or free postcard. It’s like Rachel has harnessed the ability to hit the “pause” button on each persons life just long enough for a sentiment to be scribbled out, address written and postage stamp applied. Hit “play” again and the correspondence is dropped into the antique mailbox on the back of the van, writer continues on their way and Rachel succeeded in coming one step closer to saving a dying art.

Becky, Rachel, Tess (Rachel’s sidekick) and I chatted, shared stories and ideas and wrote postcards for over an hour – yes, Rachel and Tess were willing to write messages on our postcards 😉 As other people drifted into our little slice of paradise, I couldn’t help but think how refreshed I was that I took that little pause from my busy Friday.


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