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by Andrew Graham
February 26, 2018
By far our biggest focus last year was the launch of James Sinclair Collection, an exclusive range of bespoke gift stationery items, all produced in the U.K. We actually started work on the brand about 2 years ago but it took a little longer than we had planned to find a suitable wool material which was workable in both design and quality. The answer was much nearer to home than we could have ever imagined, in fact, Ross Tweed our supplier is based right here in Hexham. Working with Ross was very enjoyable and we quickly chose 4 designs of 100% wool tweed cloth (Alnwick, Bamburgh, Langley and Norham) and soon made up in samples - the pen pot, rocker blotters, stationery folder and memo pad holders are actually made here in the shop. Other samples were produced by our book binder. We were delighted with all results, however Andrew had another idea, by turning the tweed design 45 degrees on each product, it not only greatly enhanced the looks but it also showed more of the rich colours of the design on each product. After various tweaks and alterations the core range was established and production commenced.
As Christmas 2017 was now looming there was no time to waste and 12 product lines were chosen and sent into production - there are actually 48 lines altogether as there are 4 designs per product! The range at present is stationery and fine desk accessories and consist of full and half-demy desk blotters; large and small notebooks in plain and lined formats; large and small address books; five year diary and pencil case. Each product is handmade using time served skills and techniques - and as each product is hand covered in patterned 100% wool tweed, each one can look slightly different from the next. Each sku (technical term meaning stock keeping unit) in its own right has done very well and we delighted with the brands performance even at this early stage.
The stationery range is part of Andrew's long term goal to develop a quality range of gift stationery products that will enhance both traditional and modern surrounding and of course each product has to have a practical use too! The actual name, James Sinclair is part of Andrew's full name and you know what they say about pride of ownership, so you can be rest-assured these are all dependable quality products.
This year will see further products being launched including a range of guest and visitors books; photo albums (large and small) which can be personalised for special occasions such as weddings, birthdays, retirements and corporate b2b events too. Further down the line we are planning a range of small leathers, ipad cases, portfolio cases and briefcases.
'It's not just a rocker blotter, its a James Sinclair rocker blotter...'
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by Grace Shah
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