I spent a super morning recently with Alice Henderson, who is the creator behind the luxury leather stationery company The Caradoc.
Alice’s initial idea when planning her business was to create beautiful leather stationery for every day living, both useful and stylish pieces to help organise your life. Alice admits she has a stationery obsession, and loves to both buy and organise her stationery, so really it seemed only logical to create her own. Her background is in garment technology, she did an HND in Fashion Technology and has been working as a garment technologist since, so she does know a thing or two about materials and how they are put together.
What she has achieved, is something most people spend their days dreaming about. At age 28 she has launched her own business (whilst working in a full time job) and achieved her initial aim – the production of luxe leather stationery pieces, exquisitely made from the most gorgeous leather which are thoroughly useful and functional. I am still in awe of her notebook design (I have a great love of a good notebook) – the leather ‘book’ is both a refillable notebook and a diary, you slide the paper into the inside leather flaps of the outer cover, and there is a dividing leather leaf in-between the diary section and the notebook section, the perfect two in one. I’m not sure my explanation really does it justice – so please have a look at it here
There are currently six pieces in her collection, the refillable notebook diary, a pencil case or make-up bag, a laptop case, a pouch or clutch, a card holder and a key ring, and they are all made from the softest spanish bulls leather and lined in a thick cotton.
It is her attention to detail in the design that really makes each one of these a joy to own. The quality of leather, the thickness of the cotton, the sturdy zip, each piece has been hand-made and finished with real care, they are made to last forever. And the pieces are instantly stylish. In black, with gold details, a chevron detail on the zip pull, and with the name ‘The Caradoc’ elegantly gold stamped on each piece, they easily become an every day staple, seamlessly fitting in with your current wardrobe.
Alice drew up the specs for the pieces herself, first creating paper mock-ups. The leather pieces are made in a tiny factory in London, she sources the leather and trimmings herself, and the girls at the factory create the items from her specs. She has done a lot of research into the best leather, linings and trimmings to use, always ensuring, above all else, that the quality is the very best. The first few samples just weren’t quite right, it was rather nerve-racking to start with, but she honed the details, and has been very strict about how exactly the pieces are put together, and now has her six perfected items. She was tempted to make other types of stationery, but has currently stuck with her capsule collection – the six pieces you really do need in your life. She would like to eventually go into other colours with a tan and a dark green next on her list.
I own the ‘Beatty’ pouch, and I am not sure what I was doing before it came into to my life (actually I do, I was endlessly scrabbling around at the bottom of my handbag looking for keys, wallet etc). This pouch has a divider in the middle and a small pocket on the side – perfect for organising everyday bits and pieces. It fits easily into a handbag, or can be used as a clutch bag on it’s own. I find it absolutely ideal to use when popping out for lunch at work, or when I want to ditch my handbag in the evening and just use a clutch – everything I need is already neatly organised inside. The leather really is super soft, and it both looks and feels luxurious. And surprisingly for me (I don’t really do black) it has fitted so easily in with my wardrobe that it actually feels like the piece I have been needing for a long time, an elegant black clutch that goes with everything.
Leather ‘stationery’ crosses the boundaries between fashion accessory and stationery which I think is rather marvellous – items designed to both help organise your life and look the part. I often think these items are very personal choices – the wallet you pull out of you handbag every day, the notebook you use in meetings – particularly as they are always on show. To find something elegant and unassuming can be no mean feat, and The Caradoc really does fill that gap, any of the items would look entirely respectable at a meeting or interview. And I really do think it satisfies both the stationary lover and the fashion lover, men and women and the price range is certainly far kinder than Smythson 😉. I am completely infatuated, I think next on my list will just have to be a laptop case…
So because the stationery is just so wonderful, we are offering 40% off with the code ALICEFRANCES on the website www.thecardoc.com across all products. Happy perusing and shopping 😍