Diversability

Diversability is an award-winning movement to rebrand disability through the power of community.

Diversability is an award-winning movement to rebrand disability through the power of community.

Meet Maki of our Yamakimoto x Diversability "Nevertheless, She Persisted" Cards #NeverthelessShePersisted

Did you know that April is National Letter Writing Month? To celebrate, we have partnered with our favorite Etsy store (and Diversability supporter) Yamakimoto to offer these limited edition "Nevertheless, She Persisted" cards, a message that has resonated with so many in our community to break barriers.

We'll only be offering these through the end of the month, so buy one (or save and buy a pack of 4) for all the people who inspire you in your life. Buy the cards at http://bit.ly/diversabilitycards

Learn more about Maki and Yamakimoto below.

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I spent two months in Nagano, Japan the summer before I turned thirteen. Instead of a summer of ice cream cones and lazy afternoons, I attended school there. Swim class was required, school lunches were healthy, students cleaned classrooms, exams were hard, words were proper, no school buses existed, I laughed, I mostly cried, mosquitos loved me.

When I returned to the US, I eagerly replaced memories of the summer with new ones in my American school. Then, one afternoon, my mother excitedly showed me a bulging envelope, the return address neatly written with a school’s address. I opened it, and handwritten messages written on beautiful stationery (seriously, where did Ayasa find that flower stationery?) and accented with colorful words and stickers spilled out. My fellow classmates that I had spent the summer with had taken their precious time to write to me.

また来てね!(Come back again!)

今度来たら、夏祭りに行こうね。(Next time, let’s go to the summer festival.)

英語の勉強をしてるの。(I’m trying to learn English now.)

Each note was unique and filled with sweet sentiments or contained information about their day-to-day lives. I unfolded and refolded every note countless times. It didn’t matter that I had basically memorized the contents of each letter; the rush I felt from unfolding them felt new every time.

This is when I fell in love with snail mail. This is when I felt the power of snail mail.

Years later, I wondered if I could make my own cards. Using blank white cardstock as my canvas, I decided to design my own cards and cater them to each person. I ended up loving it so much that I opened an Etsy shop because I wanted an outlet and an accessible way to share my greeting cards.

Last autumn, I turned thirty and we elected a new president. There was such a fire and desire that filled me, and I furiously took pen (and pencil and paintbrush) to paper. Tiffany and Francesca reached out to me at the peak of my frustration and defeat. Let’s work on a collaboration, they said. I was flattered.

Candid photo of Diversability founder Tiffany and Maki chatting at #DiversabilityAMA, October 2015

Candid photo of Diversability founder Tiffany and Maki chatting at #DiversabilityAMA, October 2015

I’d always admired Tiffany’s work ethic and mission-driven purpose with Diversability. Ever since I attended one of her Diversability AMAs in New York, I knew I wanted to help. We decided to use the quote ‘Nevertheless, she persisted’ because it encompassed the drive that we had. We wanted to send along this powerful message to women and allies everywhere.

All of my greeting cards are purposefully left blank inside because I want people to take the time to write personal messages to loved ones. Seeing that the world seems more divided than ever, I want to empower all to use their words for good. I hope you’ll consider sending a card to someone soon. They need to hear from you more than you know.

Special for our readers: Use code SHIPSHIPAWAY for free shipping on Etsy, or contact us if you’d rather buy offline.

Yamakimoto x Diversability Limited Edition Cards, available through the end of this month at http://bit.ly/diversabilitycards

Yamakimoto x Diversability Limited Edition Cards, available through the end of this month at http://bit.ly/diversabilitycards

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