So I had planned a nice day in Berlin, checking out some stationary stores during the day and visiting good friends in the evening. Jenny over at The Finer Point was a great inspiration on what to look for. I would recommend adding Modulor to your list if you want to check out the Berlin stationary and crafting highlights.
Last on my list was the highly recommended Luiban, a lovely stationary shop with a great selection that is somewhat exotic for the German market. Good stuff that is hard to find elsewhere.
When I got there I was delighted to see that the store was very busy. The staff quickly informed that they had a special event, Travelers Company was there to sell custom made spiral bound notebooks and talk about their products. While I picked out and paid for my items, the gears in my mind started turning: Didn’t Midori just split off the Travelers Notebooks as a separate business unit? Could it be…?
While checking out some Travelers notebooks I was approached by some very kind people from Travelers Company, and we quickly confirmed that they were indeed the new company for the Travelers Notebooks.
We had a very pleasant chat and they quickly asked me if I am a user of Traveler Notebooks. After some awkward hemming and hawing I admitted that I prefer a different paper size and showed off my “Timbori” (a term Andreas came up with and which I’m forever grateful for).
The ladies and gentlemen where very interested and asked me some questions. One gentleman in particular was very curious where I get my material from. After a few minutes he invited me to stay for the Q&A session that was about to happen.
Imagine my surprise when he got up on stage and introduced himself as the designer that came up with the Travelers Notebooks 10 years ago.
I felt an immediate pang of embarrassment. I was practically plagiarizing his idea, and I was not doing nearly as well him in his own trade.
The presentation and following Q&A were very informative, and I was lucky enough to ask a question about the inspiration behind the Travelers Notebook. Turns out they are a pretty original idea, based mostly on the paper format that was popular at Midori at the time.
After the session I asked him how he felt about people like me, that felt inspired to make their own Travelers Notebooks by his design. He showed an admirable sense of humor about the situation, stating that he would prefer it if people by his product, but that things like that can’t be stopped in a creative enterprise.
What a great chance to meet such an influential creative person and businessman. Thanks to everybody at Luiban for setting this up.
And once again it turns out: pen people (and notebook people) are the nicest people.