Archive for The Inside Scoop
The National Stationery Show® held at the Javits Center in NYC, is the world’s most comprehensive collection of social stationery and related products for gift giving and self-expression. The show is open to retailers and wholesalers and if you are are going, be sure to stop by Booth # 2637 to check out a few new Clairefontaine and Rhodia products that we are thinking of importing. As always, we welcome and appreciate your feedback!
While at the show, we will be doing some live Tweeting and also sharing photos and Vine clips on our @Exaclair Twitter account. Karen Doherty (our VP of Marketing) will be at the show on Sunday, May 19 from 9-3 pm and Tuesday May 21st from 9-11:30am if you’d like to meet her, but please feel free to stop by the booth any time the show is open.
More good news: Pen World is publishing an article on Exaclair’s stationery. The edition should be distributed at the show.
The show hours are Sunday-Tuesday, 5/19-5/21 9:00am – 6:00pm and Wednesday, 5/22 9:00am – 12:00pm
I wanted to respond to some Rhodia fan comments/requests on two issues: Rhodia dot spiral notebooks and the darker lines on Rhodia grids.
Rhodia Spiral Dot Pads
In 2012 we introduced spiral dot pads in the No. 13, No. 16 and No. 18 sizes, but discontinued importing the pads by spring. The reason: we discovered the dots were larger than expected and the wrong color. The large purple dots in the spiral pads were supposed to be small grey dots. This was ultimately due to a human error in manufacturing.
Clairefontaine and Rhodia share paper (Clairefontaine paper) but have separate manufacturing facilities. Spiral pads are usually produced at the Clairefontaine facility, since they have the expertise in this particular production process. For this batch production was done at the Rhodia facility, where they made a mistake and printed them in violet. They also used the wrong dye in printing the dot grid.
The mistake has been corrected, and when the stocks of purple dot spirals are gone we will resume importing them to the U.S. There is no ETA yet, but I hope it is later this year.
Dark Violet Grid Lines
The violet ink is darker on Rhodia’s grids. This has presented a practical and aesthetic problem to a number of Rhodia users. We have been badgering Rhodia to see if this change is permanent, or, will Rhodia go back to the softer, faint-colored violet grids we printed in the past.
The answer from Rhodia’s product development, management and engineers: we heard you and we’re trying to get back to the old violet color.
Some background: as per environmental policies, the ink used in Rhodia pads is 100% natural. In terms of the intensity of color, this means while the ink color is the same when printing, the “new ink” is not as sensitive to UV rays as the “old ink” was. The chemical additives in the old ink helped it to lighten within a short period of time.
The sources Rhodia uses for dyes are experimenting with different mixtures to try to reach as close as possible the standard violet they had until 2010. Since the beginning of 2011 the formula is slightly more blue because the company who made a base component of the violet closed.
In both intensity and hue, natural inks also tend to show more variation from one production to another. They are more sensitive to machine speed, direction of paper fibers and other variables. Each run of notepads requires its own fine tuning.
Restoring the notepads to faint violet grid is a company priority. While I do not have an ETA on this change, when we last discussed the issue with our corporate parent a few weeks ago, they were confident a solution will be found soon.
Exaclair will continue to press on the importance and necessity of making the grid color change. We have conveyed your unhappiness and frustration to Rhodia. They heard you, and they are working on the problem.
Any news and updates will be posted on Rhodia Drive and Rhodia Drive Facebook.
“Any plans to make the webnotebooks in SOFT cover? I’ve been using the webby, and love them, but I wish it came in soft cover!”
Rhodia does not make a soft cover Webby. Should we? Do you think there would be a large enough demand vs. hardcover?
The Rhodia Unlimited pocket notebook has a very soft touch cover. However, it has a lot less sheets than a Webnotebook, and only comes in pocket size. Our sales for the Unlimited continue to grow, especially since it is now available in ruled as well as grid.
The ePure line by Rhodia (which is currently not imported to the US since the paper is made in Asia, not France,) includes soft cover leather journals and a thin, flexible leatherette cover. Both are available in large and pocket. The leatherette version is thicker than a Webby.
I have a few samples of ePure available if Webby owners want to try them out and share what they experience with others on Rhodia Drive. Please comment and let me know of your interest.
Rhodia originated as part of a family business “Papeteries Verilhac Freres” (Verilhac Brothers, Paper-Maker). Clairefontaine (also a multi-generational family business) acquired Rhodia in 1987. After the acquisition, some Rhodia family members stayed on with the brand.
Didier Verilhac, a descendant of one of the founders and a current employee of Rhodia, described Rhodia’s origin: “Around 1880, Samuel and Albert Verilhac lived in Lyon and were wholesale merchants for printing paper. At that time there was no direct distribution system between the manufacturer and the printers. The company sold its product in the south of France as well as the French colonies of North Africa.”
“Albert had three sons; the oldest son died in World War II, the second and third sons created the company Papeteries Verilhac Freres in 1932 in Lyon. They started with 50 workers manufacturing various paper products. One brother had studied engineering, the other was very good in marketing. Together, they made a powerful duo. In 1934 they purchased an abandoned arms manufacturing plant and moved production from Lyon to Grenoble.”
“The first Rhodia pad was made in 1934 in Lyon. In Lyon there is the Rhone river. People born in this region are called Rhodaniens. The name came from there. The two trees in the logo represent the two brothers, these trees are epiceas (spruce). If you take a look at them, these trees are not identical. They are linked by a line to show that the brothers work together. The brand and the logo was invented by their mother whose name was Marie.”
Both brothers were close to 40 years old when World War II began. They discontinued production of Rhodia pads during the war because they couldn’t get supplies of quality paper. In 1947 production resumed, and the brothers opened a warehouse and and office in Paris to be able to distribute all over France.
Friends, your voices have been heard.
We are manufacturing a 2012-2013 Rhodia WebPlanner academic edition in pocket and large. They will be available in black or orange covers.
The academic year editions will begin to ship to retailers in early May; calendar year by mid-June.
We are completely sold out of the large 2012 WebPlanner….right down to the two samples we had in the office!
If you want the planner of your choice, please see your retailer early in the season.
Stephanie will host some WebPlanner raffles when they roll off the presses so stay tuned!
Rhodiarama Rhodia is a new product for 2012 – it basically 15 colored versions of a pocket Webbie. Colors include: black, chocolate, taupe, beige, anise, turquoise, sapphire, iris, purple, lilac, raspberry, poppy, tangerine, orange and yellow. The paper is 90g, and the size is 3 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ or A6.
You can see them on the French Rhodia website here.
Here’s the biggest reason we are not carrying them now: they aren’t made yet. What you see on the French site is a prototype.
We expect the manufacturing to be done this spring, and hope to have some samples on hand at the National Stationery Show (May) and for Book Expo (June).
If there is sufficient interest by our retailers we may bring in some? all? of the colors to have on sale by June or July.
They are expensive—and will retail somewhere between $18.50-$20 each. Are you willing to pay that amount for a pocket journal?
If so, what colors do you like?
Thank you! Your votes make a difference!
If you’ve ever wanted to view all of the Rhodia products currently available in the US, be sure to visit rhodiapads.com where you can also search for a local or online retailer.
Located in New York City, Exaclair is the exclusive US distributor for Rhodia products and also the other brands under the Clairefontaine umbrella which include: Clairefontaine, Quo Vadis, J. Herbin, Exacompta, G. Lalo, Brause, Mignon and Decopatch.
If you have questions concerning product availability in the US, you can submit your question here.
If you have questions about Rhodia products outside the US, please submit your question here.
Every year at Exaclair we have a sale of of all kinds of stationery products in the office: samples from France we decided not to carry; discontinued products; and some current products that are a little banged up and cannot be sold. There is something for everyone–stationery, cards & envelopes, notebooks, organizational products, calligraphy items and fountain pen inks.
The sale will be held on December 6th & 7th from 10 AM to 4 PM. We are located at 143 West 29th Street, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10001. We’re not far from Penn Station, on 29th Street between Avenue of the Americas and 7th Avenue.
I will look forward to chatting with you if you are able to stop by!
But another size is rapidly closing the gap…the No. 16…which is sized at 6 x 8 1/4. So much so, one of the top two may be replaced by the end of this year.
Are you surprised? What is your favorite size Rhodia pad?
We have been getting lots of inquiries on where to buy a WebPlanner with an orange cover.
We received this inquiry from Lorraine in NYC this morning: “I need a 2012 calendar and am only finding black. What happened to orange? I have all your pads and I need the matching calendar for my office.” The answer is – the 2011 WebPlanners with black covers tremendously out-sold those with orange covers, so for the 2012 we only went with black. This doesn’t mean we can’t reconsider for the future, but we have to feel confident the product will sell out.
We were very surprised at the sales of the orange-covered WebPlanner vs. the black, since orange Webbies outsell black by a good margin. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case for the WebPlanners – just the opposite.
Last year, a lot of people wrote to use asking for a hard-cover WebPlanner, vs. the soft-cover we had when we introduced the product. The hard-cover WebPlanners have proved to be very popular, and sales continue to grow.
That being said, your feedback is very important to us. Please let us know your thoughts on this product. Thank you.
-Rhodia will be introducing a No. 18 Dot Pad.
-Dot Pads will be available in several spiral sizes, including the popular No. 13 and No. 14.
-There will be a Dot Pad cover in orange.