I started collecting postcards when I was about 5 years old. My only Grandfather lived in Germany, and it was a fun way for us to correspond and have some sort of relationship. I adored the "Hilde" postcards, and he soon started sending me a different one each time he wrote. I had a special bond with my paternal Grandfather, even though I only met him in person a few times.
A few years later my adopted Grandparents in Denver started sending me postcards from their road trips throughout the USA. I learned about the US geography through tourist landmarks and icons on illustrated. Friends and neighbors also donated postcards they received in the mail.
My collection continued to grow and eventually filled two binders. As my collection grew, my mother started adding postcards to it from the collection she started when she was a school girl in Germany. I had so much fun dreaming of travelling to exotic (and not so exotic) places! I would sort and re-sort the postcards by type, location, like/dislike, etc.
It wasn't until I was in my 20's, when I sorted the postcards chronologically by sender that I realized there were a few postcards from my maternal grandmother to my mother. My mother was an older teen when the postcards were written and was visiting family in Berlin, when my Grandmother wrote her and asked her to come home early because my Grandfather's illness had taken a turn for the worse. My Grandmother died a few months later of an unrelated disease, and my Grandfather several weeks after that.
I also found a postcard from a ship that my paternal Grandfather sailed on to immigrate to the USA. He mailed it back home to his parents in Germany telling them that when he got seasick, the crew told him to eat rollmops and drink beer and hot cocoa (yes it worked)! Those few words gave my great-grandparents relief that he had arrived ok (sense of humor intact) and me a small window into a world where my young grandfather started a new life.
My postcard collection is now divided into two sets. One set is the pictures I like - exotic places, animals that make me smile, costumes that I dream of making and things that make me smile (Poisson d’Avril being my favorite). The other set is from family and pieces together our story.
I started selling postcards in 2011. I trade a lot of postcards internationally on postcard trading websites and I found it difficult to purchase postcards in the USA that were comparable to postcards offered in countries with large collecting communities like Russia, Japan, Netherlands, Finland, Germany, etc. -cute illustrations, clever maps, vintage travel posters, multiples and mail-themed. From there my business grew to include antique French postcards and other mail-themed items that postcard traders & collectors would love - like postage stamp Christmas ornaments, DIY postcard embroidery kits, and postcard games (like mailable literary mad libs).
I still send postcards when I travel and am an active trader – I send more than 300 postcards a year. You can find more about me and my ramblings online at MaxAndCoPost.com