I still remember standing in a stationery shop in Guernsey aged 12 waiting for my dad to finish a meeting. I didn't have any money to spend but I was happy just looking at all the pens. I am surprised they didn't ask me to leave as I am sure I was there for over an hour. At the time I lived in the middle east and was at boarding school in Edinburgh. I remember an absolute obsession with scratch and sniff stickers when living in Bahrain and I loved the independent stationery shops in Edinburgh where I spent most of my pocket money on brightly coloured notepaper which I convinced myself I needed to write home. Not sure I did much of that... Sorry mum.
Fast forward many years - we don't need to say how many - and I was a litigation lawyer and spent my days helping businesses resolve commercial disputes. It is fun and challenging at times but my stationery requirements were limited. Truthfully I had forgotten about the joy I obtained from stationery until Eva, my 12-year old daughter, discovered bullet journaling and spent a vast amount of her pocket money on one from abroad. I couldn't quite believe she was prepared to spend that much money on a notebook and she suggested we start a business selling high-quality journals because she was sure we could develop some which would be popular given the difficulty she had encountered finding one she liked.
I told her we could do it if she came up with a name and logo - thinking that would put her off - and she promptly came up with The Ink Pot and drew the logo which we use today.
We started very small with our Original A5 Dot-Grid journal in five colours. We couldn't believe the reception the journals got at our first sale - they sold out - and we now have a much larger range with A5 and B5 journals, lined and dot-grid, cork-covered journals as well as linen-covered and journals with black, Kraft and white paper: 33 journals in total and a wider range is coming.
I was concerned that someone could just come along and copy our journals and I asked Eva what she thought and she suggested we offer to customise journals for people so that they can choose the colour they want, the image they want on the front and the foil colour. It was, in my view, a genius idea for a 12 year-old and she even drew some of the images we use today. Others are drawn by our neighbour, Anne, who is a wonderful artist who illustrates children's books.
Today I manage the business whilst Eva is at school, juggling with the legal business and the three dogs. Eva is the creative brains behind everything we do and I do the stamping, packing and, the best bit, buying all the pens!