When I am asked what I do for a living my answer is always somewhat hesitant: 'I make stationery?!'. The usual response isn't the desired, 'How thrilling! Tell me more', it's 'Oh good, I need post its'. The word stationery in your occupation just doesn't have the same flair as saying I'm a stunt woman, elephant trainer or ninja gardener and trust me, I have tried to find alternative responses that don't involve the S-word, because the S-word to most people means biros and toner, not Montblanc fountain pens and hand engraved letterheads. Tusche is better than toner (flicks hair). Still, we have to be realistic. In our day and age how relevant is personal stationery? Does the convenience and drop dead laziness of email and instant messaging mean we have literally lost touch with our old friends, pen and paper?
Ok I’ll get off my high horse. Up until a couple of months ago the last time I wrote a genuine unforced letter was aged five to the German equivalent of Father Christmas, the Christkind (yes, it means Christ child. No, it's not a santa baby jesus, it's like a big blonde angel and it's invisible and it leaves golden dust on the presents and it’s awesome, ok). Let's face it, no one likes writing thank you letters, but the sense of relief when you finally drop that envelope in the postbox after weeks, or in my case months, of the nagging and agonising guilt in the back of your mind, is totally unrivalled. It's ecstatic, it's relieving, it's orgasmic right up to the moment when you have to torture yourself to put pen to paper once more.
But alas, fear not! Help is near. If the media teaches us one thing it is that even the most dated hobby can experience a comeback. Think Take That, think hiking, think the Great British Bake Off, think crack!
I've done serious research (Instagram) and the comeback of traditional printing techniques like letterpress and hot foiling as well as the art of script and calligraphy is undeniable. Even just sending something by post has become such a novelty these days it is now referred to as 'snail mail'. How trendy is that?
Obviously us 'stationeriophiles' have been hibernating and keeping our obsessions secret for years now, but let's sharpen those pencils, dip those quills, lick those envelopes! We are free to come out of the stationery cupboard once more and declare our love for all things paper. I don't mean just hoarding and stroking it in our rooms, but actually using and sharing it with others. Creating the Tusche collection has actually made me want to write to people. I have reached a level of Zen I never knew, no more crippling guilt, not more grovelling apologies for tardiness. Get a pen and simply watch it fly across the page before sliding that card into a tissue lined envelope and dropping it in the postbox. Ooooo, yes! There's that feeling again.
I confess, I'm addicted. I've now written so many letters I'm struggling to find reasons to write at all. A quick note for those butterfly hair clips in 2001, a thank you for that coffee the other month or even just to say hi, hi there, how's it goin'?
Now, however lovely all of this may be, the fact remains that no one has yet found an appropriate synonym for the S-word. So, I give in: I make stationery and I'm proud of it! Just please don't ask me for postits..
If you’re unsure about how cool it is buying a stationery set just tell yourself this: 1. You can buy it for someone else 2. Worrying about overdue thank you letters gives you ulcers, so our writing sets are basically medicinal. Get one and see for yourself, you might even receive a letter in return and who doesn't love that?