About 18 months ago, I realised that I was recycling a lot of envelopes. I was about to start working at Waste Watch, a charity that encourage people to think about their waste. Most of those envelopes I was recycling were blank bits of paper.
It was good, of course, that they were being recycled, but they actually could be used again.
So I decided to keep them, and convinced colleagues to keep their envelopes. When I gathered them all together, I bound them into notepads. So I got busy with a letter opener, slicing every envelope apart.
At that time, Borders bookshop was going out of business. They had ridiculously low liquidation sales, with maps of all types selling for very little money. Thinking "I'll find a use for them!", I bought some (well, lots actually).
Those two ideas came together: the maps could be nifty covers for my envelope notebooks.
And since then, I've gone through a series of different versions (proper designers might use the terms 'iterations' or 'prototypes').
The first type was very basic, still showing the ragged, cut edges from the letter opener.
So I brought the notebooks to a printing company, who nicely trimmed the edges. Lovely.
Later, having given some to friends and colleagues, I realised that a different type of binding would be better. So I brought some new notebooks to a binder, and had them ring bound. And they're lovely.
And so now, my staple-bound map notebooks are on sale on folksy, and I have a decision to make.
I'd like to keep this idea alive, but I don't really want to spend hours and hours making these notebooks. A lot of the stationery that sells online are luxury, high-end, artisan notebooks, but, to me, these notebooks are just notebooks. They're to be used and not treasured.
So I'm looking for ideas, inspiration, a partner, a way forward. Your suggestions are welcome.