Craft Focus - April/May 2022 (Issue 90)

49 PROFILE Stationery specialists Gemma Bassett, Head of Marketing at Sinclairs discusses the company’s exciting new ranges for 2022 Tell us a little bit about the company’s history – who started the company and when? Sinclairs was founded in 1837 by William Sinclair who started his career as a printer and book binding apprentice. We’re in our sixth generation of being a family owned and operated business with a couple of the extended family working with us in the team today. Where are you based? We’re based in the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Dales in an historic market town called Otley, just a few miles out of Leeds. We’ve been here since 1837 and in that time the town has built up around us. We manufacture all our products in our factory here and we’re proud of being a modern maker of British paper stationery. How has the company evolved over the years? The business has grown over the past 185 years from being a very small team of just 19 to more than 120 people today. From starting out manufacturing a handful of products from memo books, refill pads and scrapbooks, the company is now producing over 800 products across our brands. We’ve also evolved our product mix from paper stationery into creative and craft with the addition of Artgecko Sketchbooks in 2015. What do you specialise in? We specialise in volume manufacture of paper stationery products including exercise books, notebooks, scrapbooks and sketchbooks. Each year we manufacture more than 30 million exercise books; just under half of our total manufacturing quantity across all our brands and products. We’ve also added an additional 11 products to the Artgecko Sketchbook range over the last 12 months alone! Tell us a bit about your brands. In our Sinclairs family of brands we have Silvine, Silvine originals, Luxpad and Artgecko Sketchbooks. Starting with Silvine; our longest standing range of products and by far our largest range too with products in all categories from notebooks, refill pads, record cards, duplicate and triplicate books and a full creative category too featuring scrapbooks and sketchpads. Silvine Originals was created to pay homage to our ‘original’ memo and exercise books which date back to the 1940s and have been spotted on era related programmes such as Netflix’s The Queens Gambit. With four key products in the Silvine Originals range, it’s perfect for gifting with their special features such as hand sewn spines, bookmarks and banding. Luxpad is a sub brand range from Silvine – designed specifically for the modern paper stationery user, this fashionable yet functional product range boasts style and fashionability for any student, professional or a secret stationery addict alike! Finally; Artgecko Sketchbooks – launched in 2015, Artgecko Sketchbooks have gone from strength-to-strength. Starting out with a handful of products in 