From another place
Inspiration from people, places and passion
In the beginning of June, I spent a couple of weeks in my birth country, South Korea. Besides from eating and overdosing on kimchi, enjoying the nature, watching the people, learning the language, navigating the Seoul subway, memorising the 12-step K-beauty skincare steps, grooving in the noraebang and many more activities…I spent days on exploring stationery shops in Seoul. I may be slightly biased by my Korean roots – however, for the record Seoul is my absolute favourite shopping mekka of all places. This is the place to shop until you drop (which I did…still struggling with red numbers on my bank account).
In my stationery ecstacy, I found so many beautiful products and wonderful shops, which were so inspirational. Next step is to bring some of these stationery babies to whats|the|story – so stay tuned for more cool Korean goodies 🙂
These beautiful notebooks just arrived from Japan. The stunning simplicity and delicate design is a pure joy to write on. I have never written on ‘junpakushi’ (Japanese traditional thin and semi-permeable paper) before, but I am already a fan. Whether you write with a pencil or a pen the result is so beautiful. The ”see-through” paper just enhances the aesthetic delicacy of the letters, words and sentences. With the smooth surface and the coloured covers that reflect the Japanese seasons, these beauties are made for the true paper aficinado. Gotta love this 🙂
As a newly established entrepreneur, I have been met with many a reactions from friends, family and people in your network. Most reactions have been positive and followed suit with keywords such as; brave, wow, fantastic, cool, exiting. All encouraging and adding to the building of my confidence. However, as with all other things in the universe – balance is yearned for. There have been reactions with a little less impression: “…but who buy paper products these days?”, “Really? But you will keep your corporate job, right?”, “Not very profitable, huh?” Even though the more challenging reactions can make your little boat rock, the critical questions have confirmed my belief in jumping right into the entrepreneurial open sea.
Every critical question has entailed a thorough, internal discussion with myself. So, WHO does buy paper products in these digital days? I can work on detailed market analysis and segmentations, which will perhaps lead me to measureable answers. However, the first immediate answer to my internal discussion was anyone who remembers the satisfaction of putting words and drawings on paper! Personally, I wouldn’t be without my smartphone, tablet or laptop and all three instruments are able to remind me of meetings, holidays, dinners with friends, things I need to do, instant information etc. However, these tools will never be able to replace the special feeling I get, when I open the very rare and seldom phenomenon, the handwritten letter! I must also conclude that I remember things better whenever I take handwritten notes (no, it’s not an age thing). Furthermore, I have a thing with calendars. It is a yearly ritual, which begins with a calendar hunt in November or early December. When “the chosen one” has been selected, bought and brought home I spend an entire evening entering important birthdays, future arrangements and practical information. During the year, the calendar is filled with notes and meetings. It becomes my most important personal assistant. I can honestly say that I will feel just as “naked” without my calendar as without my phone.
So in my opinion, the battle between: analogue versus digital, fear of missing out (FOMO) versus joy of missing out (JOMO), offline versus online cannot be settled with a rock solid winner. Both sides contribute to different needs. Moreover, neither of them is replaceable in my life. Although, the constant access to one’s online life to some extent have resulted in my own little backlash and search for presence and offline time, which I excitingly celebrate with my new-born stationery universe and webshop www.whatsthestorycph.com…(Phone is beeping)…oops, gotta go 🙂
When I was 10 years old, the girl next door gave me a pink diary with a golden padlock. Instantly, I fell in love with the idea of transmitting thoughts in my mind into letters, words, sentences and drawings in the little book. I noted everything carefully in the diary – from first crush, friends and foes, family ties, holidays and memories during childhood.
Today, I still write my plans, ideas, thoughts and dreams in calendars, notebooks and diaries. The passion for stationery has endured and evolved into this little place – my own webshop! I hope you will find some “fine stuff” that will provide you with the same happiness as my first diary gave me.
Finally, I wish that the paper goods in this webshop will support your time for slowing down, writing, reading, drawing – making room for an analogue break in these digital days.