Sunday, 29 April 2018

National Stationery Week Review

The other stationery lovers among you will know that National Stationery Week is from 23rd - 29th April 2018, and it's a chance to shout about our passion! Oh, and that it is spelt stationEry not stationary... it matters. But that's the teacher's daughter in me coming out.

Not many people know this (I don't think), but my life BC (Before Children, come on, I'm not THAT old...) involved being a buyer of stationery. After studying Business and German at university, I moved into a research job first of all, and then via a period of working at Gardenex (a federation to help UK manufacturers export their product overseas) I developed an interest in the buying product side of business. My husband says it was the perfect job for me...

So anyway, from gardening equipment I moved on to sourcing homewares for a German catalogue called Heine, and from there onto buying stationery for a couple of different mail order office catalogues. My big breakthrough came when I snagged a job buying stationery and then toys for sale in Asda stores, and I later moved onto Sainsburys - see, I'm very topical given the news this weekend that there could be a merger between the two! 
group photo in front of Hong Kong skyline

Buying was definitely a full-time job, and it involved a lot of overseas trips. I sourced product directly from China, Taiwan and Thailand - exciting stuff when you're in your twenties but a tad more difficult to find enthusiasm for when you have children. The photo above which was taken in Hong Kong is sadly one of the few I have from those days. Much fun was had on the buy trips, from visiting soft stuffed toy factories to watching a random man standing on a table playing the musical teapot... you really had to be there.

So that was a very short nostalgic intro to what is effectively a stationery review post, but I thought somebody somewhere may be interested!
Cross pen in display box

I was sent a few items to look at for this week, and predictably, I loved them all. First up is a gorgeous Cross pen; pretty sure these never made it to the shelves of Asda but I've always considered them to be a premium brand and items to treasure. Lovely red case accessory too which means there's less chance of me losing it. I checked out the Cross website and you can now buy pens with trackers fitted - well worth considering I reckon!
Shaeffer ballpoint pen

A Shaeffer pen also came in the package and I loved reading a bit of the history about this company. An American household name which began back in 1920 and which featured a White Dot on the pens as their branding and mark of quality, this firm was eventually bought out by Cross just four years ago but continued as one of their brands. 
Derwent Intense blocks - art crayons

Next up is a product made in the UK, which I'm all for promoting. These Derwent Inktense Blocks have a lovely colour and texture to them and I know my youngest girl is going to really enjoy getting her hands on them. Incidentally, Derwent is owned by a company called Acco who I did work with a lot back in the day, though I remember them more for filing products.
calli creative duotip brush markers

Last but by no means least was a pack of Calli creative duotip brush calligraphy markers from the Manuscript pen company. Calligraphy is one of those skills which I've always wanted to master but never managed to find time for. It definitely helps if you have some good tools though - and there's plenty of ideas and inspiration on their website

Of course this is such a small selection of the vast array of stationery products available; let me know what your favourites are!

*Disclosure: I was sent these items in exchange for a review; all opinions are honest and my own.*

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