About a week ago I received a really exciting email. Daniel and Linda from Gumnut Hill Stationery introduced themselves and offered to send me some products to review from their range. This prompted me to ask if the brother-sister team would mind doing an interview for StationeryReview.com, and they happily obliged my curiosity!
Not only is their stationery really cool, great for the environment and hand-made, but they are based in Brisbane, Australia (about a 30 minute drive from where I live). Just to whet your appetite, here are a few pictures from their website:
Andrew: Tell us about yourselves
D&L: Gumnut Hill is a home-grown Australian brand of classic-style stationery made exclusively from recycled materials and using eco-friendly printing processes. The range is the ongoing artistic creation of an idea and style we (Brisbane-based brother & sister team Daniel & Linda) wanted to use ourselves and couldn’t find. Think vintage-inspired notebooks and parchment-styled pads reminiscent of past eras and simpler times.
Andrew: How long have you been interested in Stationery?
D&L: Pre-birth? Certainly for as long as I can remember the process of writing has been vital in self-expression…and the freedom/release that comes from allowing thoughts to be focused in words. The writing materials then become significant because they enhance the creative flow – they seem to draw you into the moment, the now. You know, the scratch of the nib on paper, the flow of ink etc.
Andrew: What made you want to start your own business?
D&L: We were on the search for quality writing/sketching paper made from recycled materials for our own use and couldn’t find anything. So we started to make our own, got feedback from others that our stationery inspired them to write – for themselves and letters to others – and realised that this needed to be shared.
Andrew: Why is Eco-Friendly such a large part of your business?
D&L: It’s essentially the reason why we started it. The paper-industry is a massive player in the destruction of the worlds forests and natural environments, which ultimately impacts human life. Obviously it’s happening all over the world. But closer to home, native forests within Australia are being logged for timber to make photocopy paper. As consumers we each exercise the power every time we buy a product to either support or destroy our environments.
The best paper is made from 100% post-consumer recycled waste. All Gumnut Hill paper stationery is made from this (with the exception being two products made from 100% recycled material). Not only does it mean less trees are cut down, but it reduces the amount of paper dumped in landfills or incinerated; less energy is involved in the process when compared to making paper from virgin fibre; fewer greenhouse gases are produced and less water and air pollution are created as well.
Andrew: Has it been hard getting in to the stationery market in Queensland, or Australia as a whole?
D&L: Yes. In terms of sourcing high quality materials for our stationery and making products locally, this has been hard. Not that we knew this before starting. It has been an intense journey of discovery.
In regards the stationery market as a whole: it has been difficult when you’re up against mass-produced mainstream stationery products manufactured cheaply overseas. But the people who use our products are looking for something special that they wouldn’t find everywhere, so our stationery has quite a distinct unique appeal.
Andrew: What do you see in the future for Gumnut Hill?
D&L: Continuing to find creative inspiration in our local roots, sustainable community, eco-conscious ways of living – more ideas and design, offering exciting and new sustainable paper materials.
Andrew: Where can we buy your products?
D&L: In our Gumnut Hill Online Stationery Shop on our website, or at our stall at Northey Street Market* every fortnight (check our website for current dates)
* corner of Northey and Victoria Streets, Windsor, QLD Australia
6am-11.30am, every Sunday
Andrew: And as a final fun question, what is your favourite, or most used piece of stationery?
D&L: Mmm… equally loved and used is a Memo Book for jotting down lists, notes etc, and Fountain Pen for transforming the everyday writing experience into pure pleasurable art.
Thanks a lot guys for the opportunity to interview you both. Personally, I love the look of their products, and am really looking forward to reviewing some of them shortly. Please have a look at their Website and Store, and subscribe to their newsletter while you are at it! They ship internationally, and you would be supporting local (to me!) Australian stationers!
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