Posts Tagged ‘gift’

What’s the value of hand made, personalised stationery?

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

I had a really unusual email this week from a woman wanting  to know how I justified my ‘expensive’ stationery.

Fortunately her email signature had a telephone number, so I decided to call her.  We ended up chatting for 20 minutes on the phone while I described to her my definition of “hand-made”, “Australian-made” and “personalised stationery”.

So I thought;  if one customer didn’t understand the Note Couture process, other people may not either, so I decided to share it with you.

Note Couture  is made by me alone, from start to finish. 

And when I say “start to finish” I mean everything.   Printing out your order, personalising your  item with your name or message,  printing, padding , folding and creasing (Note Cards), guillotining, labelling, packing in cello bags or boxes, binding (Spiral Bound Notebooks), wrapping in tissue and packing with a strong sheet of corflute so that the satchel can’t be bent or using corflute wraps (for boxes of Note Cards, Correspondence Cards and Note Sheets) to ensure goods arrive in pristine condition, then packing into post satchels  that I’ve hand-written with your name and address.  Finally I hand deliver your parcel to the post office.  


Then there are the evenings I sit and hand-assemble the boxes which Note Cards, Correspondence Cards and Note Sheets are packed in.

Once your post satchel is dropped at Australia Post, I then sit down and email you confirming despatch and provide a tracking number –  that’s me, not an automated process.  This attention doesn’t change if it’s a large order or a single Note Card.  This process happens for each and every order.

Everything that can be purchased on Note Couture is made by me, here in Melbourne, on 100gsm Australian paper and high quality Australian card stocks. 

Note Couture is also about me choosing stationery that matches, such as envelopes for card stock.  And  card is like paint;  consider how many ‘whites’ you have to choose from at a paint store.  I take painstaking care to ensure a blue-based white card is not matched with a yellow-based white envelope.  There’s nothing worse!

Then there’s all the back-end work of briefing illustrators for illustrations, choosing a typeface to go with each design, placing each illustration into a format template (notepads, to do lists, shopping lists, address labels etc) on my PC, and saving each format image and uploading it to the website so you can view and purchase the item you want. 

As you can see, I am every aspect of your Note Couture experience; and I love it, it’s my passion.

The other stores sell generic stationery items that are purchased in large quantities – anything from 10,000 to 200,000 depending on the retailer.  Their stationery is (usually) made in China, and shipped to Australia using goodness knows how many greenhouse-gas miles, then distributed through stores.  They are printed on Chinese paper stocks – usually 80gsm (which is the same as your average photocopy paper).  They are not hand made or personalised

So, yes, my notepads don’t sell for $12.50,  you’re not going to get a hand made, personalised notepad for that price - it’s not a five minute process.  The stationery you purchase at Note Couture doesn’t sit on the shelf waiting for you to buy. 

My stationery is made – just for you – by me, which I think makes it rather special, and that’s what Note Couture is all about. 

And in case you’re interested, the woman who emailed asking why my stationery was so expensive ended up placing an order about 40 minutes after our conversation ended.

    Oh dear … those Gorgeous Ladies!

    Thursday, March 15th, 2012

    If you’re after a range of characters with comments that are wickedly irreverent, notoriously naughty, politically incorrect, or  just plain old ”don’t give a rodents rectum”, then the Gorgeous Ladies will be right up your alley. 

    With comments such as For the record, the only problem is that I’m running low on vodkaSome people say I’m high maintenance, I say “Well duh”! , and I gave up shopping once, it was the worst 15 minutes of my life!  they’re a humourous addition to your desk or kitchen bench.

    Today’s new Gorgeous Ladies illustration is guaranteed to bring a smile to the face of all true exercise-prevaricators!  I didn’t make it to the gym today … that makes 5 years in a row!

    Enjoy  :-)

      Need some Christmas inspiration?

      Monday, October 24th, 2011

      For those of you who struggle to work out what gift to give to who at Christmas, here are a few suggestions:

      For your husband or partner,  what about a mousemat notepad ($37);  obviously the design would depend on whether he would be using it for his home or work desk.  Think of  the fun you could have for the home option (I think I have a beer injury!  My wife says I don’t listen to her … or something like that!   Born to golf, forced to work.)  Or if it’s payback time and you feel like giving him the equivalent of that new iron you received last christmas then you could organise a To Do List ($18.50) - that way you can write up the list of ‘chores’ that need to be done by him each weekend!!  Add some humour and have a #1 item printed on each page ($1) – eg:  Put out the rubbish!

      Born to golf Mousemat Notepad

      Born to golf Mousemat Notepad

      For children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren – book labels ($16.50) are a fabulous gift – the littlies love that they have their name printed on the labels, and take great pride in sticking them in their story books. 

      Selectin of book labels - Adventures of Superman, Castle and Hoo?

      Selection of book labels - Adventures of Superman, Castle and Hoo?

      For older children, a spiral bound notebook (Standard $24.50, A4 $33) to write down their thoughts (and hide somewhere you can’t read them!) – even ‘speak their language’ and choose one of the emoticons from the ‘Txt Spk’ collection, or Calling Cards ($40) are a great idea for teenage girls so they can hand out their mobile and email numbers to new friends.

      Carrie - Chatterboxes (v1) Calling Card

      Carrie - Chatterboxes (v1) Calling Card


      Selection of 'Txt Spk' stationery

      Selection of 'Txt Spk' stationery

      A stationery set ($40) would be the perfect gift for Mum – a notepad to sit on her desk, a to do list to pop on the fridge and a mini notepad to keep in her handbag for the inevitable reminder one always needs to jot down when you’re out and about (knowing that if you don’t write it down – right now – ‘goldfish memory’ will hit and 30 seconds later the thought will have disappeared!)  Stationery sets are available in our top 10 designs.


      Grandmas always love notecards (Standard 12 for $37, 25 for $60, Deluxe 12 for $75, 25 for $125) and correspondence cards (Standard: $42, Deluxe $58) - if you want to give something extra special, then go with the deluxe version – very bespoke.  And how about a set of address labels ($16.50) to stick on the back of all their letters and cards (so much easier than writing your address details on each envelope).  Or even a pack of Recipe Cards ($25) and that way you may finally tempt her to write down all the ingredients for that favourite recipe that only she can cook so well.

      Wisteria Deluxe FC  v2

      When it comes to Grandad – a Big Note ($27.50), a box of Note Sheets ($22 for 100 sheets, $28 for 150 sheets) or A4 letterhead ($50) with their name in an elegant typeface - personalise it that little bit more with a line like ”From the desk of Joseph G Browning“  (well – only if their name is Joseph G Browning – you know what I mean)  ;-)   Add some matching envelopes while you’re at it and the jobs done.

      Note Sheets - Elegant Name Edwardian

      Your Gal Pals will love you the whole year through with a Calendar – choose from the A4 wall hanging calendar ($38) or the mini CD desk calendar ($25) - available in Carrie, Gorgeous Ladies, Shoes & Handbags, Dogs, Cats and Doodle Girl versions for 2012. 

      The Gorgeous Ladies A4 Hanging Calendar

      The Gorgeous Ladies A4 Hanging Calendar

      Alternatively if one of your friends has expressed the desire to shed a couple of kilos as part of her New Years Resolution, them the Food & Exercise Diary could be just the item to help her achieve those goals.

      Personalised Characters Food & Exercise Diary


      The kids’ teachers will be rapt to receive a personalised notepad ($17.50) or mini notepad ($9) and there’s around 20  teacher-specific illustrations available on the website.

      3 x Mini Notepads from the Teachers Collection - "read", "A+" and "You can't scare me, I'm a teacher!"

      3 x Mini Notepads from the Teachers Collection - "read", "A+" and "You can't scare me, I'm a teacher!"

      And what better as a ‘stocking stuffer’ (or as ’spare’ gifts for those last minute prezzies) than a selection of cute mini notepads ($9)- I always have one in my handbag (helps with my ‘goldfish memory’) and have them placed all around the house (along with the to do list which is an essential on the bedside table for those items which always pop into my head at 3am in the morning – as soon as I write them down, I can go back to snoozie land).

      Now all you need to do is work out which design is best for each person.  Don’t forget to use the ‘Image Search’ option if you’re trying to source a specific image – just type in what you’re looking for (eg:  chocolate, dogs, shoes) – click the search button and hey presto (and remember your search word needs to be a minimum of 4 letters, so type in “dogs” not “dog”).  Alternatively if you’re seeking a product which isn’t available across all illustrations/designs (eg:  Shopping Lists, Calling Cards Calendars, Recipe Cards), again, use the Search option, but tick the appropriate box in the list of formats on the right hand side of the website page.

      So hopefully I’ve provided a little inspiration to make your life easier, so time to grab a cuppa and a tim tam and go online and get organised.  (And always remember, I’m only a phone call away if you need any help.)

        Butterfly Kisses

        Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

        I spend a little bit more time than I probably should checking out other people’s websites and reading their Blogs, and one of my favourites is Love Paper Scissors.   The business is run by Chelsie who lives in country Victoria and she creates absolutely stunning, three dimensional, miniature paper works of art.  All done by hand – just with paper and scissors – oh …  and love of course :-)

        My absolute favourite is her range of paper butterflies, but Chelsie can also do one-off custom designs … just for you.

        Paper Butterflies

        You can purchase her fabulous artworks online, plus there is a selection of stores around Australia that stock her artworks, so there may be one close to you if you want to have a closer look.  What could be nicer than a beautiful piece of framed art to celebrate the birth of a child, their christening or name days, or a wedding.    So have a look at the website and I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it’s a winner!

        Hmmm – now who can I buy for next?