Summorie is a local stationery brand of personalised notebooks and miscellaneous cool products. With simple practicality, each design carries an inimitable quality that is delightful to hold and behold. Summorie aims to offer users a smooth writing experience and encourage people to write more or start journaling. Today, we had the chance to talk with Pei Ying Tang, one of the co-founders of Summorie.
Why did you name your brand ‘Summorie’?
We drew the name from the phrase ‘summarising memories’ with a notebook that looked and felt good. We aim to inspire people to jot down their thoughts and memories in the analog way. It is a little bit cheesy but it was what we wish to bring to the people when we first started.
How did the idea for ‘Summorie’ first come about?
Both me and Cynn (another co-founder of Summorie) are notebook users. Before Summorie, we were using notebooks from either Moleskin’s or Muji’s. The truth is that there were not many choices for quality journals in the market that were customisable. To us, we believe that a good product should be unobtrusive.
Hence, we wanted to create a highly flexible notebook that was capable of note-taking, sketching, planning, journaling, scrapbooking or anything the user desired. Users could also choose the innards that best match their usage and we hope that the notebooks created by them would be functionable to its maximum capacity and have a beneficial impact on their lives.
How has the brand changed since you first started?
Since we first launched on the 26 October 2018, we have met many like-minded notebook users and stationery lovers who share our passion. With that, it really helped to build our brand awareness and brand loyalty and it was also nice to grow along with our amazing notebook and journaling community!
As a brand, we are constantly reflecting on ways we can improve on our products, production, and customer service. As notebook enthusiasts, we know how important it is to have the right notebook and we communicate closely with our customers to answer any queries, provide suggestions and advice to help them craft the right notebook that tailors to their daily routine. We believe that this is one of the reasons our customers buy what we create.
Ideally, we would like to change people’s perception on local products and craftsmanship and disrupt the mentality of “it should be cheap if it is made locally”.
As for the team, we are keeping it small but I could see the rapid growth in each of my team members and that is a beautiful thing to see in entrepreneurship.
What was an unexpected lesson you have learned from running your brand?
The importance of building a team with a growth mindset. A ‘growth mindset’ allowed us to thrive on challenges and see mistakes or failures as a learning curve to improve on our existing abilities. Rather than seeing our end goals as wins or getting approvals from other people in getting their work done, that mindset has created a strong passion in our team to learn.
As a team, we are still learning how to better implement this growth mindset but it did bring significant change to our brand. Through it, we learned how to push the boundaries of our products and working process and we became better problem solvers. At the end, running a brand can be very overwhelming so it is important to make sure you truly believe in what you are doing!
Where do you normally source materials for your product.
Our materials come mostly from Europe, the United Kingdom and the States. We pay close attention to new materials in the market and we are always catching up with innovative materials as well as non-virgin materials that are recyclable. As a brand, we do our best to play our part in preserving the environment and papers that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council always come first in our mind since they met certain social and environmental standards.
What do you hope to achieve with your brand?
We wish to get more people to understand the beneficial values of using a physical notebook and pen while reminding them of the sentimental value of note-taking. We also hope to continue our effort in creating a community that spreads the joy and happiness of journaling and writing.
Ideally, we would like to change people’s perception on local products and craftsmanship and disrupt the mentality of “it should be cheap if it is made locally”. The truth is artisans, designers and printers put in lots of effort and time to master their professional skill in their career.