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  1. Although we sell at different locations around Scotland and northern England as well as over the internet Margaret and I had always wondered if we could ever open a shop.  After all it would be a chance to get all our stock on show but the crunch would be would we ever get enough people into the shop to look at and buy what we had for sale?  Over the last couple of years there seemed to be headlines predicting the end of the high street almost every week so it was a thought that we put to the back of our mind.

    Everything changed when we saw a notice in a shop in our local town that said it was available for rent at a very reasonable rent.  So here was a chance to put our ideas into action.  We appreciate that gift stationery is something of a niche market so we asked a friend of ours and a fellow trader to join us.  Pauline runs Polliwallydoodle and sells handbags and fashion accessories.  Half of the shop will be everything (and more!) available on our website - www.WriteatHome.co.uk and the other half will be devoted to Polliwallydoodle. 

    The shop is on the one way circuit around the town centre so everyone will soon be aware that we are there.  There is quite a bit of car parking within easy walking distance and our marketing will include posters, leaflets with opening offers, marketing through social networks and even an article in a local newspaper.  We are also going to receive some expert help in the form of Dee Yau, who has many years’ experience in the stationery business. 

    This is a very exciting development and fills us with trepidation and exhilaration at the same time.

    Watch this space for further blogs about how we get on.  

     

  2. Whenever the Write at Home team are on the road at different retail events we always meet people who know that stationery is an important part of their lives and those who have yet to be convinced.  Among both groups there will be customers who pick up one of the notebooks that we sell, feel it in their hands, open it to see the quality of the paper, imagine what they might use it for and then either buy it or put it back  with a thoughtful look on their face.  Little do they realise that they have just held the latest edition of an instrument that helped change society.

    An article in the October edition of BBC History highlights the importance of notebooks in changing scientific and medical thought.  The article looked at a project that is being carried out by Cambridge University and the Max Planck Institute in Berlin to investigate how notebooks were used between the 15th and 17th centuries.  It is easy to forget that at this time paper was becoming cheaper to make and used more widely and so more people could disseminate more information more quickly.  The project will look at naturalist’s fieldbooks, physician’s casebooks, traveller’s memoirs and household journals to see how information was spread and used. 

    As we live through the current technological revolution of smart phones and tablets it may be tempting to think that the notebook has had its day.  However at a recent market a teenage girl bought one of the Life Books from Organised Mum that we sell, to help her plan her schoolwork.  Her grandparents then asked why she had bought it when she already had a smart phone that could be used to do the same job.

    “Because we are not allowed mobile phones at school.” was the reply.  It seems that the  humble notebook still has a place in today’s revolution.


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