Will you be my Valentine? A simple question that is on a lot of people’s minds on the 14th of February and written down on thousands of cards. It’s a simple question, yet the intention behind it has a bigger purpose since it allows you to show your special someone how much you adore and appreciate them. On Valentine's Day, people make gestures -  big or small,  just to be able to pop that question and express their feelings. But putting one's feelings on a card and selecting a suitable gift can be a challenge. Esther Howland, also known as "The Mother of the American Valentine” had the perfect solution for this. 

When in the 1800s she received a beautifully decorated card from one of her father's business associates from England, decorated with lace and flowers, she was intrigued by the handcrafted and unique card. However, she thought she could do a better job at designing the cards. She gathered a group of local women and friends to create an assembly line to carefully craft the cards she designed, and with this, a thriving Valentine's business was born. 

Each card was beautifully decorated with ribbons, lace, artistic illustrations, extra secret doors, and little envelopes on the inside, where one could store additional hidden messages, locks of hair, or even engagement rings. Esther realized that some customers had trouble finding the right words to write on their cards. Inspired by a booklet written by her father a few years prior,  she wrote her own verses in a 31 page booklet where customers could choose from that would allow them to express their feelings to their valentine.

Whether you want to give a beautiful piece of jewellery or send a carefully selected card - in the end, it is about the intention and taking time to show your loved one how much you appreciate them and what they mean to you. Not only on February 14th but on any day when it feels like Valentine’s Day.