The IF NOTES Story

IF NOTES was born from my own life experience of not knowing what to say or do for loved ones going through big life moments, and also experiencing this awkwardness myself when people didn't know how to be there for me. Showing up with flowers or gifts isn't necessary- but a heartfelt note, a kind and true word when it matters most- can make all the difference.

-Jessica Foote, IF NOTES Founder

It began with IF...

The IF Notes story begins long before I imagined this business. I had struggled through years of infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss, followed by a complicated pregnancy on hospital bedrest and then several months in the NICU with my premature babies. During these times, friends and family wanted to help, but sometimes I felt like I was the one comforting them for not knowing how to be there for me.

What I found most helpful was hearing stories from others who had been there too. I was lucky to find an incredible group of women in an online infertility group who understood just what I was going though, who could laugh about "bad eggs" and the "2WW” and would never ever tell me to “Just relax.”  Even though we had never met in real life, these women virtually held my hand through every test and loss, sending me cards and care packages and messages with just the right notes. They knew what to say (and what not to say) because they had been there themselves.

This is the inspiration for IF NOTES: That those who have lived THE THING have the most powerful voices to help others feel a little less alone. Their authentic words in a greeting card can help friends and family connect with loved ones during life’s biggest challenges.

Recipients feel a little less alone, and we all feel more connected to the complicated beauty of the human experience.  

Thank you for supporting the IF Notes vision of a world with more human connection!

-Jessica Foote, IF NOTES Founder

What's with IF?

“IF” is a tiny but powerful word. It quietly shows up in all kinds of important places in our conversations, literature, computer programming, acronyms and more.

Merriam-Webster defines “If” as:
a function word to introduce an exclamation expressing a wish..”
IF only there was a way to help...
IF only someone understood…

IF also can be a polite request when followed by a verb:
IF you could walk the dog...
IF you could be there when they need you…

IF statements are also common across many computer programming languages.
“IF” begins the line of code leading to potential outcomes.

For those who have had to decipher the many acronyms of infertility, IF is a familiar shorthand for that world.

In literature, Rudyard Kipling's famous poem, “IF” is about overcoming life challenges:

"If you can meet triumph and disaster,
And treat those two imposters just the same…

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you...”

At IF NOTES, we believe in the power of IF to create connection, to express a wish, to remind us to hold on when days are hard and to help each other.

IF you could help someone feel a little less alone, just by sending a note… If you could, we believe you would!