Hello there! We are so happy you found us!
Hi! We are Grace and Leah, sisters who both love creating illustrations that bring joy into this world.
As kids we competed against each other to see who could make the best art, and we hung it proudly on the pantry doors.
Being a productive worker bee, Grace’s door was normally filled top to bottom with work, while Leah was a bit more self-conscious of her art, and her door was sparse but her drawings carefully executed.
At a certain point, Leah’s love for art took off and she ended up going to college to study oil painting. After graduating, she realized that illustration, animals, and tiny houses were more her thing. She tried to make money as an artist, but lacked administration skills and was a pretty terrible business person.
Grace was moving North-South every six months with her husband (who is a golf instructor) and so she started an Etsy store selling individually hand painted cards. Unfortunately, because of the repetitive nature of hand producing cards, she wound up dealing with a wrist stress injury.
Obviously it’s way more fun to create things with a teammate (and who better than a sibling?!) so in the Spring of 2016, Leah suggested that they work together to spread joy into the world.
It was a perfect idea: Leah was filled with creativity and a passion for illustration and web design—but let’s be honest, finances and deadlines are not her forte. On the flip side, Grace is a fastidious record keeper and driven to have “best practices.” Unfortunately, her wrists suffer from carpel tunnel. She was running a custom stationery shop on Etsy, where she sold individually handmade greeting cards. Her work was crippling her wrists. One day as we were having a sisterly chat, Leah suggested that we team up. “Let me be your hands, Grace! (And you can be my brain!)”
The road hasn’t been easy. In August of 2018, Leah/Tiny was in a life altering accident while working construction for Habitat for Humanity (her “day job” while she was hustling at night and weekends to work on T & S). A forklift tipped over, crushing Leah underneath. Her spine was severed. In an instant, she was fighting for her life.
Leah is paralyzed from the armpits down and her right leg was amputated. One of the first questions she asked in the ICU when she could communicate was “Can I still draw?” Miraculously, yes. Tiny can still draw and paint. This company of ours has become more important to us than ever as its growth will mean that Leah can sustain herself as a full-time artist. We are truly sisters: both opinionated, but pretty much on the same page aesthetically. We butt heads occasionally, but in the end we know we are so much stronger as a team. As far as our art goes,
Our motto is: if it doesn’t make us laugh out loud, or ache with the beauty, go back to the drawing board. (Pun completely intended.)
Illustrating unicorns, dogs, and flowers brings us so much joy. We want to help you package that joy and send it to make someone else’s mailbox a whole lot happier. We are obsessed with using the amazing, magical invention of the Postal Service to infuse love into people’s days. In an age of technology, snail mail isn’t just a novelty—it’s powerful. Seeing someone’s handwriting is such an intimate, beautiful thing these days. Being able to cherish their words. Being able to set a card on your desk and bring a smile to your face every time you see it. We believe that technology will never be as gosh darn magical as a paper card. Thanks for following our journey! Your support means the WORLD to us!
Why the name Tiny & Snail?
We searched high and low for a good name. Many a phone call was spent sharing our brainstorm lists with each other. Lots of charming names became contenders but the perfect name continued to elude us – until we discovered that our company name was directly under our noses, coming from the creative mind of a sweet 6 year-old named Ellie. Ellie lives in South Dakota and we’re friends with her family. One day while scrolling Instagram, Leah chanced upon a comic that Ellie had drawn for her dad titled Tiny & Snail. ZING! That was it! Leah had spent the past 2 years designing and building a tiny house and tiny studio. Grace has loved snail mail for an eternity. The name seemed perfect for our sister-sister company (and kind of sounds like a law firm which is extra hilarious and delightful). We reached out to Ellie and asked whether she would be willing to let us take her name into the stationery world and she graciously agreed. Ellie, it’s brilliant and we love your creativity! Here’s a picture of us with Ellie the extraordinary. She’s simply the best.
Leah, Ellie, and Grace
Ellie's comic that inspired our name
Podcasts We've been on:
- Self Discovery with Jaclyn Steele-- "Life Can Change in an Instant: Meet Artist, Poet, & Paraplegic, Leah Nixon Fitzgerald"
- Self Discovery with Jaclyn Steele — "The Way Through with Poet, Philosopher, & Tiny & Snail Owner, Grace Nixon Peterson"
- The Product Boss— "Female Founder: Two Sisters Turned Business Partners Who Keep Dancing No Matter How Many Times They Get Knocked Down with Grace and Leah of Tiny & Snail"
- The Postcardist: "E83: A Big Day with Tiny & Snail"
- Terrible, Thanks for Asking: "Tiny and Snail"
- Committed: "I never got cold feet"