Face to Face: Interview with Present and Correct
If you are a stationery lover (like us!), you will seriously fall in love Present and Correct, an independent stationery store, home to carefully curated supplies that evoke a certain classic vibe. In the recent issue of the Bloesem Gazette, we spoke with its founder, Neal Whittington, about the emotions he hopes to bring to customers through his products.
If you could choose a type of stationery to describe yourself, which would you choose and why?
Definitely some kind of paperclip, because it attaches itself to ideas and clings on.
How do you constantly keep yourselves inspired to create such fun stationery?
We are big fans of the internet! There is so much good stuff online, particularly old design archives, full of things to inspire. Also other people making stationery inspires in that it spurs you on to do your own thing. Travelling to markets and collecting as we go is another great source of inspiration. We have a drawer full of old ephemera, which we always look through for ideas.
Looking through your collection brings us back to the times in school. What kind of emotions do you hope your products bring out in your customers?
That’s good to know, we love old educational supplies. I think a feeling of nostalgia is nice but also a feeling of being organised. A sense that you are ready to get stuff done! Also if the things we supply bring a very basic sense of pleasure then that is great.
We find it hard to keep track of my activities sometimes. What products do you use to keep your life organised?
A good paper diary beats any kind of digital version. A notebook and a pen on your person will always mean you are ready and also a nice watch helps too.
With the shift online, so many people are using online calendars and other apps to replace physical notebooks and stationery, how do you keep your products relevant?
We like to think that a well designed product will always be relevant because it looks and feels good. Also humans are cyclical in that when a way of life swings so much one way it is almost an instinct to claim back the opposite. The antithesis of all that digital paraphernalia is a notebook and a pen. I do wonder whether younger people will feel the same at our age though, as they grow up in a schooling system with more and more technology.
Which Present and Correct product is a hot item and how does this influence your design and purchasing?
The current hot items are the desk caddy and also our paperclip chart and some pencil cases from Delfonics. They have been doing very well this festive period. Our purchasing strategy does not change ever. If we like it then it is in. The shop is our taste, objects we would want to have on our desk.
What’s in store for Present and Correct in 2015?
There are always dreams and lists of things we would like to do. A book would be great, we have one in the works but it is not about stationery as such. It would be great to make some more products next year and also think about a new or another space. We have filled our current shop already! And the website will get an overhaul too. The main thing really is that we keep enjoying what we do and other people enjoy it as well.
Images courtesy of Present and Correct.