If you can dream it, you can do it. Walt Disney was spot on when he spoke these words. The only limits we have are in our own thinking, as our thoughts are self-fulfilling prophecies. Visualizing your goals is the first step to achieving them. Dream big!
As part of our series about young people who are making an important social impact, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lo Bannerman.
Lo Bannerman is a birth and wellness professional turned entrepreneur. At the start of the pandemic, she felt called to go beyond her wellness company and began dreaming big with her husband. Together, they created Positive Post Co. and are now helping people connect and spread love through sustainable stationery.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us about how you grew up?
My family always emphasized the importance of writing letters. The rule was: write your thank you note before playing with your gift. To this day, I have never seen an address book as large as my mother’s. It was a massive binder enclosed in a zippered sleeve. She exclusively sent Hallmark greeting cards and rarely let an occasion pass without reaching out through mail. I thought it was silly (maybe even obnoxious) while growing up, yet here I am embarking on a new journey through my own stationery company. Talk about coming full circle!
Is there a particular book or organization that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
Destiny of Souls by Michael Newton cracked open my spirituality and helped me see the oneness of humanity. It helped me remember I am so much more than my physical body and I am always guided by and connected to a greater source. It reminded me: I am never alone; I have an entire spiritual team on my side if I’m willing to ask and allow. This book also shed light on the intertwined nature of our souls. There is no “us versus them”. Something that hurts another, hurts me. At the same time, an act of kindness is beneficial to both parties. That’s where I focus: how can I instigate the ripple effect of positivity knowing it always comes back expanded? And that’s where my business landed: helping others connect and spread love.
You are currently leading an organization that is helping to make a positive social impact. Can you tell us a little about what you and your organization are trying to create in our world today?
Through Positive Post Co., we are striving to create a sustainable world of connection and love. A world where people show up. Spread cheer. Send mail. A world where everyone knows his/her value and importance. A world where mental wellness is celebrated and honored. A world without barriers, boundaries, or isolation. A world full of love, joy, ease, and connection! We do this through creating and sending 100% post-consumer waste postcards. We prepay the postage and do our best to keep our prices affordable because no one needs more barriers to love!
Can you tell us the backstory about what originally inspired you to feel passionate about this cause and to do something about it?
In the middle of 2020 quarantine mandates, I felt called to connect with people in a tangible way. I had never been one to video chat friends or family and always preferred written word. My daughter had recently turned one and I realized we never shared any photos with our loved ones. The lightbulb turned on in my head: Everyone loves baby photos. Everyone loves happy mail. Let’s send a family photo card with a cute rhyme letting everyone know we’re thinking about them.
We thought we would be flooded with other photo cards like those sent around the holidays, but ours was the only one. We received amazing feedback from our card and it even sparked a few video calls with friends, but still…we received nothing in the mail. So we started thinking, what are the barriers to sending mail? Generational norms (a preference for social media and tech), time, stationery, postage stamps, etc. We decided we could easily remove many of these barriers and help others connect and spread love through sustainable postcards. And there, Positive Post Co. was born!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?
When our little post office was out of extra ounce stamps, we decided to stop at a larger location while on vacation. I hopped in line planning to buy 100 stamps to hold us over for a while and my well-meaning mother-in-law walked over to the DIY machine. She thought it would be faster, but you can’t buy books of stamps there, only individual labels worth a certain amount of money. By the time I finished buying my 100 stamps, I walked out to find her laughing at the machine with a stack of labels in her hand all worth fifteen cents! They were only about halfway through printing and the entire process took at least twenty minutes. It was the least sustainable experience our earth-conscious business has encountered, but we promise to put them to good use!
Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?
After starting this adventure, I learned about various Facebook groups and nonprofit organizations whose sole mission is sending cards to those in need. I jumped in and started sending bits of happy mail to at least one person a day. Knowing we can brighten someone’s day with a postcard is the greatest feeling! It’s easy, sustainable, and fun! We’ve sent postcards to people healing from illnesses or injuries, those walking through mental illnesses, others celebrating 100th birthdays, and more! It’s a lovely reminder of our interconnectedness and humanness. We all need a reason to smile and happy mail can provide that reason!
How do you define “Making A Difference”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?
Many people view making a difference as a large task with lots of to-dos and coordination. To me, it’s all about the power of one. One smile. One hug. One postcard. Simple as that! If I can help one person smile, that smile doesn’t stop there. It radiates on, sometimes exponentially. Sometimes, we get bogged down in thinking we, alone, can’t change the world, but honoring our own happiness creates more happiness. One smile can create a ripple effect of positivity and that is making a difference!
Many young people would not know what steps to take to start to create the change they want to see. But you did. What are some of the steps you took to get your project started? Can you share the top 5 things you need to know to become a changemaker? Please tell us a story or example for each.
- If you can dream it, you can do it. Walt Disney was spot on when he spoke these words. The only limits we have are in our own thinking, as our thoughts are self-fulfilling prophecies. Visualizing your goals is the first step to achieving them. Dream big!
- We are meant to co-create together. Once you know what lights you up, you’ll likely be talking about it to everyone. See if it sparks something in them. If so, include them in your team! Collaboration creates miracles!
- Focus on your unique strengths. It’s easy to get caught in a competition mentality or to compare your beginning with someone else’s middle. Both are negative mindset traps. Instead, celebrate you and your uniqueness. People will join your cause because they want to interact with you more so than your product or service. You are the only you. There is no competition.
- Do what lights you up. Passion can pull you through any low. Focus on why you got started and your personal and organization’s mission and let them guide all decisions.
- You are here for a reason. The world needs your light. Share your story and find confidence in your life purpose. We need you. Keep going.
What are the values that drive your work?
Positive Post Co. values love, positivity, connection, and sustainability. That is our core and our mission. We’re here to break down barriers and help people connect and spread love through sustainable stationery.
Many people struggle to find what their purpose is and how to stay true to what they believe in. What are some tools or daily practices that have helped you to stay grounded and centered in who you are, your purpose, and focused on achieving your vision?
We are all given a beautiful guidance system from birth: our emotions. If you are doing something that brings you joy, you are aligned with your purpose. From here, you can spread more love and joy to others, but you have to start within. All the answers are within! Think back over your life’s happiest moments. Where were you? What were you doing? What were you feeling? How can you bring some of those emotions back to your present life? Emotions are always guiding us as a perfect indicator to our alignment. Short answer: Find your joy! The rest will take care of itself.
In my work, I aim to challenge us all right now to take back our human story and co-create a vision for a world that works for all. I believe youth should have agency over their own future. Can you please share your vision for a world you want to see? I’d love to have you describe what it looks like and feels like. As you know, the more we can imagine it, the better we can manifest it!
I see a world where youth are celebrated and encouraged to become the fullest, most authentic versions of themselves. A world where uniqueness is celebrated, not stifled. A world full of collaboration, connection, support, and love for our earth and all who are on it. Children, specifically, are our greatest teachers. It’s time for us to sit back and become students. What can our children or our youth teach us? How can we emanate and illuminate the sparkle in their eyes? How can we allow our inner children to express themselves as well? A loving world is the answer.
We are powerful co-creators and our minds and intentions create our reality. If you had limitless resources at your disposal, what specific steps would you take to bring your vision to fruition?
With unlimited resources, I would hop in an RV with my family and travel to small towns and farmers markets selling positive postcards and spreading love everywhere we went. Together, we would bounce around from place to place, sharing stories and smiles, connecting, and feeling the oneness of the world!
I see a world driven by the power of love, not fear. Where human beings treat each other with humanity. Where compassion, kindness and generosity of spirit are characteristics we teach in schools and strive to embody in all we do. What changes would you like to see in the educational system? Can you explain or give an example?
I would love to see schools teach character and trade skills (through example) instead of fact memorization. I would love to see society lead by example and cultivate mentorships and relationships to help guide all youth. I would love to see joy and connection in all that we do and a growing emphasis in creativity, individuality, and betterment. We don’t need to teach children how to sit, listen, and take an exam. We need to foster their love and creativity and allow them to fully show up as themselves in our world.
If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?
I would remind young people about their power as an individual. Picking up one piece of trash may seem minuscule, but think of the ripple effect. Maybe someone saw you and was inspired to pick up another piece. Maybe the good feeling you felt carried on throughout your day, allowing you to share more love with others. Maybe you helped save a duck who would have been trapped by the piece of trash you removed. Although we often can’t see the direct impact of our actions, our actions are still valuable. Find that knowing within yourself and keep moving forward.
Is there a person in the world with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I would love to have lunch with my current mail lady, Nisha. She is the kindest soul and a diligent worker. Even though she’s always on the go, she delivers packages with care and always stops for a moment or two to engage with my daughter whenever we’re playing outside. She is a highlight of my daughter’s (and my) day and I would love to get to know her better.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Outside of postcards, our favorite way to connect with others is through our weekly email newsletter. Each Sunday, we send a little piece of positive news happening in the world. Sign up (and grab some postcards) at www.positivepostco.com or follow us @positivepostco. We’d love to watch the positivity ripple effect in your life!
This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!