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Tactile journals: Why we are glad to see the end of lockdowns

A5 Elm Cluster Journal
A5 Elm Cluster Journal

As retailers sign up to attend this year’s London Stationery Show, Luke Gosling from Bark & Rock explains honestly why getting in front of the right buyers is key to the business.

 

The last year has been difficult for most. While we are a young team and were able to carry on work in our small Surrey workshop (socially distanced of course) we really felt the impact of the coronavirus when we could not get out to meet buyers face to face. We are not the only ones but when you have luxury products, such as our handmade journals, they need to be seen and handled to be fully appreciated.

 

Before lockdown we were only in our first year, finding our feet. While we had orders from high profile clients and a few consumer enquiries online, it was really the retailers that we felt was the best route for us.

 

Stockists included boutiques in Monte Carlo, luxury furniture retailers in Japan, garden centres in the UK and a few interior designers. Then coronavirus struck. Orders did dry up, especially because international retailers were shutting up their shops. Instead of a receiving double orders as predicted we were making three books per month to order, on average.

 

It wasn’t all bad though, our craftsman Tamas got to perfect his exquisite marquetry skills, where he inlays exotic woods and even mother of pearl into the covers of our books, all by hand; we launched our Walnut Burr range, made from the same veneer you would see in the interiors of a Bentley and began making guestbooks that can be used for weddings and in the hospitality sector.

 

We are passionate about journaling and working with woods to create timeless notebooks and sketchbooks that can be refilled and used over and over again. Working with these wood veneers is like creating a piece of art because no two pieces are the same. We have also engineered our own fittings to integrate the refillable paper notebook together with the cover, making sure the spine of the books could move easily but be sturdy enough to last a lifetime.

 

So, with the product ready and things hopefully, opening up again soon we realised the London Stationery Show was the only place to showcase our items this year. We look forward to meeting the visitors to our stand, those buyers and retailers looking for something special, a one-of-a-kind, handcrafted journal. We want people to come and see our stand and our demonstration, to touch and feel the woods from tree to finished product.

 

Once the retail sector recovers fully, we hope to establish a range of wood inlay books and other luxury wood products. Journaling is good for the soul; many people took to sketching or writing down their thoughts during lockdown and we want to keep that alive, the traditional way.

Tactile journals: Why we are glad to see the end of lockdowns

A5 Elm Cluster Journal
A5 Elm Cluster Journal

As retailers sign up to attend this year’s London Stationery Show, Luke Gosling from Bark & Rock explains honestly why getting in front of the right buyers is key to the business.

 

The last year has been difficult for most. While we are a young team and were able to carry on work in our small Surrey workshop (socially distanced of course) we really felt the impact of the coronavirus when we could not get out to meet buyers face to face. We are not the only ones but when you have luxury products, such as our handmade journals, they need to be seen and handled to be fully appreciated.

 

Before lockdown we were only in our first year, finding our feet. While we had orders from high profile clients and a few consumer enquiries online, it was really the retailers that we felt was the best route for us.

 

Stockists included boutiques in Monte Carlo, luxury furniture retailers in Japan, garden centres in the UK and a few interior designers. Then coronavirus struck. Orders did dry up, especially because international retailers were shutting up their shops. Instead of a receiving double orders as predicted we were making three books per month to order, on average.

 

It wasn’t all bad though, our craftsman Tamas got to perfect his exquisite marquetry skills, where he inlays exotic woods and even mother of pearl into the covers of our books, all by hand; we launched our Walnut Burr range, made from the same veneer you would see in the interiors of a Bentley and began making guestbooks that can be used for weddings and in the hospitality sector.

 

We are passionate about journaling and working with woods to create timeless notebooks and sketchbooks that can be refilled and used over and over again. Working with these wood veneers is like creating a piece of art because no two pieces are the same. We have also engineered our own fittings to integrate the refillable paper notebook together with the cover, making sure the spine of the books could move easily but be sturdy enough to last a lifetime.

 

So, with the product ready and things hopefully, opening up again soon we realised the London Stationery Show was the only place to showcase our items this year. We look forward to meeting the visitors to our stand, those buyers and retailers looking for something special, a one-of-a-kind, handcrafted journal. We want people to come and see our stand and our demonstration, to touch and feel the woods from tree to finished product.

 

Once the retail sector recovers fully, we hope to establish a range of wood inlay books and other luxury wood products. Journaling is good for the soul; many people took to sketching or writing down their thoughts during lockdown and we want to keep that alive, the traditional way.

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