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Stationery that leaves its mark
WELCOME to Cult Status - a new column by The Business Times dedicated to sharing with you some of the best products, services and experiences we've come across. Each month, we will feature one - or more - of such items that we have personally used and admired.
Most of the items will have been purchased by yours truly, while some may have been provided by corporate sponsors (in which case we'll say so); but do know that none will make the cut unless they've achieved cult status with us.
Our way of sharing the love, if you will.
But enough of the preamble, and onto the first range of offerings that have made the cut: Bynd Artisan's stationery and leather goods.
The products are designed along clean, contemporary lines, and pleasingly hushed pastel shades. I also love the fact that everything is so well-made and of such good quality.
And the range of offerings - from diaries to notebooks to leather book jackets, tablet and phone cases, card holders, mousepads, luggage tags, lanyards, wallets and bags - is extensive enough to make both the stationery lover and the gift-giver lose themselves in blissful rapture. (Fans of Japan's stationery paradise, Itoya, might like to know that Bynd Artisan's products are similar to Itoya's Color Chart offerings.)
But that's not the best part. You can personalise any of their products, within half an hour! You can also customise a notebook for yourself or your friends, choosing materials from a vast spectrum of covers, inserts, bindings, and clasps.
I introduced Bynd Artisan to some friends last year; one stepped into the shop and promptly customised notebooks for many special someones over Christmas, according to their varied personalities, while another fulfilled the bulk of her Christmas shopping list with the company's products.
My daughter couldn't escape the allure either, and asked to customise and personalise a notebook for herself. And it was such a pleasant experience, not least because the artisans who work on your products - who are locally trained in the traditional ways of bookbinding and leather working - were endlessly patient and helpful.
What also doesn't hurt: Bynd Artisan's moderate prices - S$30 for a leather-covered notebook or diary, S$45 for a leather mousepad. Products can be personalised with metallic foil hot stamping at a rate of S$30 for 15 characters.
And, for those of you who want the same experience without the fuss of having to cart yourself down to one of Bynd Artisan's brick-and-mortar outlets: just about all of the retailer's offerings - yes, even its customisable notebooks - are also available on its website. Only the hot-stamping has to be done in-store.
The company also holds regular workshops for those who'd like to take things one step further and try their hands at creating their own products: there are workshops on bookbinding, leather crafting, monogram painting, calligraphy, and even sketching and painting.
Bynd Artisan now has five outlets in Singapore (and one in Hong Kong), with the latest having opened at the end of last year as part of Pedder on Scotts.