As designers by trade we printed a lot of paper, most of this paper was hardly used and often blank-on-one-side. We started to feel guilty putting this perfectly good paper into recycling bins. Together we came up with the idea to repurpose this used paper into something we use everyday - notebooks!
We are now a team of four and have our own office space - What?! That escalated quickly. We’re currently in 'growth' phase and rapidly building our customer base and notebook sales. We have big plans for the future.
Crowdfunding time! Oof.. this was a whole new level of excitement, stress and hustle. Raising $20k really takes it out of you. During this time our crowd of supporters backed us 100% and we thank them all, we also gained many more supporters along the way.
We had already been hustling and working overtime for the past 10 months but we felt why not push ourselves even further. Enter the Low Carbon Challenge, a six-week course of workshops and clinics made for sustainable and local companies to rapidly test and ideate for their business. We were put through our paces once again to be able to receive a $15k grant from the Wellington City Council. We successfully matched the $15k by running our PledgeMe crowdfund.
Coincidentally World Water Day too. This was the very exciting day where we received our collection boxes. We were now ready to ship them all out to the customers we had lined up to start collecting and repurposing their paper.
After the whirlwind going through the Lightning Lab Manufacturing Accelerator, it had come to an end, we were ready to move out of the accelerator bubble into our new exciting co-working space. It was here we met many awesome people and made great friends with other startups. We knuckled down and really started to build our business.
What a ride. This three-month all intensive business accelerator programme put us through our paces and it was here we tested, pivoted and hustled hard. We built our business model, made our financial forecast and basically learnt how to create and run a proper business. We were no longer just selling notebooks, we were a proper business with services and paying customers.
It was here our passion for design, paper and stationery combined with the guilt we felt by printing way too much paper sparked our idea of making stationery out of already used paper. During this course is where we had our first taste of business, we even walked away from the paper making a bit of extra money!