Arts & CultureArts Features

Drunk Journaling Is One Way Good Postage Connects Creatives

Co-owner Jane Manfredi creates unique space for self-expression

Participants at Good Postage's June Drunk Journaling event
Participants at Good Postage’s June Drunk Journaling event. (Photo by Jayme Johnson)

While journaling is often thought of as one of the more solitary activities one can undertake, a quiet hobby that involves personal introspection and time alone, local print supply shop Good Postage in Camp North End has thrown all of that out the window with its popular monthly event: Drunk Journaling.  

Building on the popularity of similar sip-and-paint events that have grown around the city in recent years, Good Postage has created a unique space for collaboration and chatter with Drunk Journaling, which will mark its one-year anniversary during the upcoming July 19 event. 

According to Good Postage co-owner Jane Manfredi, who opened the store with her mother Karen in 2020, the popular event has struck a chord with people who have been more than ready to share space while taking part in an activity that’s usually done alone. 

“We usually see a lot of our regulars coming together to kind of geek out about how they use their journals,” Manfredi told Queen City Nerve. “We always usually have a couple of new people, which is exciting because we get to talk to them and kind of show them what we do. But I really just every month hope to see the community get together and enjoy each other.” 

As a relatively early tenant at Camp North End, Good Postage has welcomed dozens of new neighbors over the last four years, creating new venues for Drunk Journaling such as HEX Coffee, Kitchen, & Natural Wines. 

At the most recent event on June 20, the Canteen at Camp North End provided more than just drinks but also a perky atmosphere for those in attendance, with its tropical vibes and perfect lighting for journaling. 

Some journalers showed up early for the event to prep, as Instagram user @lord_hibachi posted a picture of a colorful set of pens with the caption, “Inking up for the @goodpostage journaling meetup tonight.” 

As drinks and inks began to flow, journalers collaborated with each other and shared how they used their journals with other attendees. Some attendees brought containers full of artistic supplies, and others were more frugal, with just some pens and their journals. Some wrote diary entries, others sketched, some made collages while others made use of Good Postage stickers — all freely chatted and collaborated with each other.

“To be honest, it’s more talking than journaling. It’s more like showing each other what we’re doing. People get inspiration from others and then adapt techniques for themselves. And then it kind of snowballs,” said Manfredi. 

a portrait of two girls journaling together at NoDa Company Canteen
Journaling at NoDa Company Canteen (Photo by Jayme Johnson)

She added that, despite the title, “No one’s getting super drunk.” In fact, June’s event included plenty of folks who abstained altogether. 

While Drunk Journaling is scheduled for 6-8 p.m., it often runs over as journalers write through the night — or at least until the venue closes. During the June event, that meant 9 p.m. 

Manfredi takes the consistent desire for folks to stay over time as a sign that the event is a hit. It’s just what she envisioned when she began Drunk Journaling after picking up on her customers’ interests and talents. She sought to bring them together in a way that they could be collaborative rather than just run into each other here and there in her shop. 

“I initially started it because we would have so many customers come in, and they’d show me their journals. And I would think, ‘These people need to meet each other like all these people need to know each other,’” Manfredi told Queen City Nerve. 

At Drunk Journaling, Manfredi often holds a short activity to provide attendees with a jumping-off point — a sort of icebreaker. On June 20, Manfredi talked to attendees about finding time for their creative routine through the use of a time-blocking method. In preparation, Manfredi illustrated the method in her own journal. 

One attendee, Sydney, said she has been attending Drunk Journaling since it was launched in July 2023, plus other events held by Good Postage. 

Participants at Good Postage’s June Drunk Journaling event. (Photo by Jayme Johnson)

“I just really love the community that [Jane]’s filled, and I continue to come to all the events,” Sydney said. “It’s a fun place to meet a bunch of creative people.” 

Outside of Drunk Journaling, Good Postage hosts a slew of other events in hopes of connecting creatives in Charlotte, including a TRAVELER’S Company Travel & Sketch Meet-Up on June 15, in which participating artists took part in a sketch crawl around the Camp North End campus after Manfredi put on her own watercolor demonstration. 

Good Postage holds around two events monthly, often with fun themes or promotions like the Valentine’s letter writing meetup held in February. 

a portrait of the co-owner, Jane Manfredi smiling with an orange background
Co-owner of Good Postage, Jane Manfredi (right) (Photo by Jayme Johnson)

Manfredi said the response she’s seen from the Charlotte community in reaction to events like Drunk Journaling night has been stronger than expected. 

“The response from them, the people I expected it to be good from, was good,” said Manfredi. “But then from strangers, like random people get really excited when they hear about it on Instagram or I post videos. So I guess it’s much, much better than I ever thought it would be”.

Not a picturesque start

While things have looked great for the Manfredis as of late, the mother-daughter team did have to navigate through rocky waters in the beginning. Having launched as an online company in 2018, they opened at Camp North End in June 2020, just months into the pandemic. 

“We opened the physical store in the thick of COVID,” Jane said. “We would only invite four people in the store at a time and we had to sterilize everything, it was crazy. So just starting was a huge obstacle.” 

Though she describes that time as scary, having her mother there to help her made all the difference. 

While Manfredi designs Good Postage’s cards and leads on the creative side, her mother helps mostly on the business side. 

Inside Good Postage at Camp North End. (Photo by Jayme Johnson)

“When we started, I was 21; I had no idea what I was doing,” Jane said. “I didn’t understand how business taxes worked, how to set up an LLC, or how to do all those legal logistics stuff. And she was kind of helping me do that and teaching me how to do that.”  

They launched with 100 original reading card designs by Manfredi and “just kind of winged it,” as she put it. Their perspectives sometimes conflict, but the two always come to a resolution.

“I usually have an idea, and she doesn’t like it, or she has an idea, and I don’t like it. And we’ll argue about it,” said Jane. “One of us will give in usually … It’s give and take. Sometimes, I’ll put my foot down. Sometimes, she’ll put her foot down. And then sometimes we give in and we’re like, ‘Alright, we’ll see what happens.” 

Inside Good Postage at Camp North End. (Photo by Jayme Johnson)

There is a certain competitive spirit between the mother and daughter, Jane admits, adding that if she pushes back on a certain card design only to give in and it becomes a good seller, Karen will be sure to remind her that she fought the idea in the first place. 

Though Karen has recently taken a step back to work on her own home renovation project, she continues to help with some of the business aspects and is someone whom Jane constantly runs ideas by. 

Jane said she expects her mom to return in a more involved way after her hiatus, but in her absence, shop dog Winnie keeps her company. Winnie was voted Best In-Store Pet by Queen City Nerve readers in 2022 and 2023.

Jane has included the dog in sticker and T-shirt designs sold at Good Postage, calling Winnie her “pride and joy.” 

Beginnings in art

Manfredi’s decision to launch Good Postage came after multiple attempts to turn her passion for art into a career during and after college. She did freelance illustration, including a full children’s book, which she found interesting but ultimately not her idea of a good job.  

“I think from doing so much freelance, you deal with so many bitchy clients, and I was like, ‘I would love to do something where I’m drawing and I’m not having to answer to clients,’ and this was that perfect area,” said Manfredi.

Drawing on the skills she learned earning her bachelor’s degree in Illustration from the Art Institute of Chicago, Manfredi designs all original Good Postage goods, having also created original art series and merchandise for the shop. 

Good Postage is constantly releasing new, original pieces from Manfredi, including the recent CLT Letterpress Collection, which featured 18 one-of-a-kind pieces letter-pressed with woodblock letters on cardstock.  

Each wall and countertop in Good Postage is decorated with artsy items and intriguing decor. The shop sells paper goods, writing utensils, art supplies, notebooks, original art, merch and more, with some products imported from around the world and some created in-house by Manfredi. 

a portrait of Good Postage's rustic and warm interior at Camp North End
Good Postage’s interior (Photo by Jayme Johnson)

The energy inside the store is cozy yet vibrant. Warm, dangling lights illuminate the store, and the air is filled with customers’ conversations and groovy music from a speaker. 

Through the store’s cool lighting and eye-catching products, Manfredi hopes Good Postage reflects her intentionality in curating high-quality products. 

“I just want people to know that it’s really geeky and intentional, and that if they are new to [journaling], this would be a great place to come to learn, and if they’re experts, I would hope that it would be a great place to be like, ‘Oh shit, she’s got the good stuff,’” said Manfredi. 

Good Postage has seen strong growth since opening its physical location at Camp North End, which Manfredi credits to moving away from online retail so as to connect with her customers and receive direct feedback while building a relationship with regulars.

“Having the physical store has really helped us grow and help people come to know us. People will drive from hours away to come see us, which is really cool,” said Manfredi. 

She stays connected with her customers by staying active on social media, and of course, events like Drunk Journaling. As we were speaking before the June event, Manfredi was getting notifications from excited participants preparing for the evening. 

A participant’s journal at the June event. (Photo by Jayme Johnson)

“That’s so sweet and exciting,” she said, reading the posts. “I think when things are hard or like it’s not going our way, knowing people enjoy it matters so much. Because sometimes you feel like you’re just doing something and no one gives a shit. And so then to have these moments where people are like, ‘This is so cool.’ There’s a lot of geeky Facebook forums about journaling, and people will talk about Good Postage. For me, that really makes it validating and very worth it.” 

Manfredi hopes those people feel as inspired by her as she does by them when they walk into Good Postage or any of the events the company holds at Camp North End. 

“I want them to walk in and feel like they want to spend time with a pen and paper and a journal,” she said. “I think a lot of people do have that feeling, but I just want it to be inspiring.”

Located in Suite 106A at 1824 Statesville Avenue, Good Postage is open 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Wednesday-Friday; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. The shop’s closed on Monday and Tuesday. Good Postage will hold its next Drunk Journaling night on July 11 from 6-8 p.m. at NoDa Company Canteen. Admission is free. 


SUPPORT OUR WORK: Get better connected and become a member of Queen City Nerve to support local journalism for as little as $5 per month. Our community journalism helps inform you through a range of diverse voices.





Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *