Tanni for Danceof Chaos
(a) The childhood love
I have been writing, scribbling ever since I was child. My study notebooks from school days always finished 10 pages early, because back of the notebooks would be dedicated to scribbling stories. Sometimes my grandmother, who is was my Thamma, and my mother would end of inspecting my rough notes, practise sheets and discover some sort of fanfiction based on my current daydream.
I do not want to describe what happened when I got caught writing fan fiction about my TV crush.
My sister and me started maintaining daily journals around our high school days.
In the beginning we would compete to do household chores and win that one office diary that our father will get first. Then there was a phase in my university days when those boring diaries started losing their charm. That is how my hunt for my perfect notebook begun, back when I was an undergraduate student in India.
Our grandpa, our beloved Dadu would hunt into different stationery shops to find the best notebooks and journals and stationery articles for us. You see, the craziness about stationery is a genetic thing. My love for multi coloured pen, different shaped erasures, funny pencil sharpeners were all inherited from that amazing old man.
(b) The broke student love
In 2008, I moved to Germany for higher studies. Here was the land of pencils and notebooks. As a poor Indian student, I could not indulge much, I would spend hours in Thalia and other books stores that sold beautiful stationery and plan what to buy when this notebook finishes.
For study purposes, I had to , I mean, I absolutely had to buy colourful pens. How else would I differentiate and colour code my notes? At least I told myself that when I spent my meagre student earnings on fineliners and highlighters.
I would visit India around the Christmas New Years break and get myself the diary from my father. They had lost their charm before. But now, living thousands of kilometres away from my lovely family, the simple, basic diaries were their hugs and good wishes wrapped up in papers.
(c) The working woman’s love
My love of stationery and notebook kept on growing through the years, but it was yet to reach its peak.
When I started working, I started training in dance again, as a balance. The first notebook hunt was to find the perfect notebook to write down the dance notes and theories.
From that point onwards, my ascent into the realm of notebook and paper expertise started. I have tried out so many different brands and sizes. I have tried personalised planners and journals. One of my favourite brands is a small, female led stationery brand called unorthodox peeps. Someday, I will bring her products to followers here too.
(i) Notebooks I have used
I was looking for smart notebooks or notebooks where I can digitise the data and that led me to whitelinespaper notebooks, rocket book and oxford scribzee journals.
I write a lot, I take a lot of notes at work, for my dance, for learning languages and I am always looking for different notebooks. A good notebook usually last for a year with me, I jot down so much stuff.
My husband knew pretty early into dating how crazy I am about notebooks. His first spontaneous present for me was a spiral bound ruled notebook and a gel pen to write on it. I used it for dance notes.
I love giving my sister and my close friends notebooks as present. I gave some of them customized planners and journals from Unorthodoxpeeps and took great pleasure in designing those journals. I loved design of some notebooks I used and gave one of my closest friend one of those notebooks. I have managed to turn her into a notebook enthusiast now.
(ii) Stationery I use and stock in my shop
I was looking for eco friendly and a little premium quality notebook sand ended up finding archer and olive.
I was despairing over how expensive the shipping cost of the archer and olive notebooks were and how I had to wait quite a bit to get my hand on them that I discovered Nuuna by brandbook.
I wanted a coloured page notebook, as I was lusting after the beautiful black paged layouts by so many talented Instagram and Pinterest journaling accounts. But I was not sure about black. That is how I ended up finding Nuuna. Their red coloured notebook was the first one I ever bought.
I think Instagram suggested me my other brand, Pepalani and I was blown over by their fresh design and the cute undated calendars.
I am probably one of their very first customers and I was so happy to find them. Check out their beautiful products on their social media page too.
I have a weakness for gelpens and I have tried it from many brands so far. This is how I ended up finding the pentel pens I currently love. I have their Energel in probably every single colour including yellow and coral pink.
Anyone who journals and are not a good artist rely on washi tapes and stickers. I am not an exception. While trying different washi tapes and stickers from different artists on different internet platforms I came across Willwa. I was blown away by their design.
I loved the unique work of Sally Stevens so much that I decided to buy some cards and bookmarks and gift tags from her for our shop too. She is such an amazing and beautiful artist.
(d) So just start already
As you have probably totally understood from my almost thousand word ramblings, I am crazy about stationery. It was the next natural step to guide everyone about the notebook they would find the most useful, collect notebooks for like minded people and present them in a store.
But I was still not confident that I could do it.
I would think about it, sigh and tell my husband, “Do you think it is a good idea”.
After I spent one hour chatting and telling one of my friends about the merits of different notebook size and paper size, he threw up his hand and said :” You are an expert! Just start already!!”
That is how the ball started rolling.
The next couple of posts on this series will be on how to plan a business start, the processes and paperwork involved . Just stay tuned.
Graphic created by Christian Schroedel. Do not copy without written permission
Read Part One of the series : From Dream to Launch: Seeds of Dream