Wednesday, August 19, 2009

o-check, stationery and focus

Those in Melbourne can now find my work at Incube8r. 321 Smith St in Fitzroy. Hoorah!

With setting up Incube8r, catching up on accounts, organising my space and uni, I feel like I haven't been on track with Heidi & Seek for a while. I haven't been keeping up with my non-schedule, mostly because other things were the priorities, but also because once I feel I'm in a rut I kind of give up and just want to escape making things (self-sabotage?). It doesn't make for good productivity.

So I've decided to give up uni for the forseeable future. It's a Bachelor of Arts degree with an English major and I'm not far off from completing it. For a while I've known that the career path I want doesn't require a uni degree, but I kept on keeping on because it's useful to have one. But it's not working for me. I can always go back if Heidi & Seek fails horribly. I'm an optimist, though. The concerning thing is that I think I'll still be overloaded without uni, because I'm still doing my pattern-making course and looking after Ellie.

I keep coming up with new ideas: new venues to sell at or new products to make. I suppose that makes me impatient. I didn't understand until now that spreading myself too thin means that I won't be great at anything. I need to focus. So for now, I'm going to be exclusively working on clothing for Etsy, Incube8r and the odd wholesale account (except for in my spare time, when I can make what I like).

I've been fixing up my taxes the past couple of days, and I had to use the floor and another chair for more working space. It was terrible ergonomics. I realised that one thing that's been affecting my productivity is my desk space. It's small and unorganised and easily gets its surface taken over with papers and bits. The clutter makes my brain cluttered. It's kind of strange how you just end up with a set-up that doesn't work for you in your space and since you've had it for ages you don't even realise.

I found a wooden box I'd been using to store fabric and used it as a shelf. Going vertical means I have more surface space, plus I've pushed the box right to the wall, where the desk used to end a couple of inches away. And before you think it, yes that couple of inches makes a difference!

I'm starting to envy those with a pretty white Mac computer - I think the black is out of place here. If only I could decoupage it...

Anyway. I'm going to confess something: I'm a big stationery freak. I used to spend all of my pocket money on stickers and pens and notebooks. I still get a thrill from entering a stationery store, even a boring one like Officeworks.

I recently discovered these Bantex Ecoboard lever arch files from Officeworks and I am utterly obsessed. I filed the entire house's papers and important documents in 4 of them. The one pictured contains my tax information. I got rid of the chunky, messy archive boxes and suspension files to save space. I turned the suspension files into hangtags, which I'll talk about in a future post. The boxes might make notebook covers or something. I just love that they've finally made a folder that doesn't look like it belongs in a very uncreative accountant's office.

The reason I'm talking about stationery is because I went on a strange internet journey. Somewhere recently I found this amazing stationery shop on Etsy called nothingelegant, which stocks things from Asia. I went e-searching and found this whole mass of gorgeously styled, unique stationery and homewares from Korea and Japan. But all the sites were in Korean or Japanese.

I finally found a stationery company's website that had an English menu! Score! They're called O-Check Design Graphics. I traced their stockists to an Melbournian online shop, Notemaker. At this point it was late at night, but I couldn't pull myself away because this is the stationery I have been searching for my entire life. O-check is vintage-inspired, but not in a kitschy way, plus they are environmentally conscious. A lot of their goods are made from recycled content and natural materials.

I put about 20 things in the shopping cart, and then whittled it down to the weekly planner and the ruler - "essentials". I want to try making my own repurposed notebooks and things, because it's nicer to my wallet and more environmentally friendly to make them myself.

Notemaker is run by the same people who own The Source newsagent in Melbourne CBD. I haven't been yet but the next time I'm in the city I'm definitely going to pop in. I'm still wondering why I ever wasted my time in Smiggle, hoping to find something nice...


helena said...

love the little shelf, very clever:) and yep, Notemaker is pretty their range!


Kerry said...

Wow! Stationery heaven! I'm a little obsessed with Kikki. K. But I'm always open to other stationery... o-check is rad!

Heidi and Seek said...

Helena - Thanks! I'm wishing I'd found out about them sooner.

Kerry - Yay, another of the stationery obsessed. I always seem to be a bit disappointed with Kikki. K. Might be that I know they're everywhere and popular, but also their designs lack something.. naturalness or a unique edge.
Glad you like O-Check!

-- Carolyn -- said...

Great find. I'm starting to lust...

Was beginning to think you were a Superwoman, juggling all those duties! Glad you have decided on a way to make things work. Good luck with it!

I sometimes feel misunderstood. People think because you work at home for yourself, it means you don't have much to do. Sigh. Yeah right. Brainstorming, creating, photographing, research, updating, blogging, sourcing, practising painting, going to art class, housekeeping.....anymore ings'??!!? =p

JoolzGirl said...

Congrats on the new stockist, and well done with prioritising your schedule. Uni isn't everything. Running your own business is such a huge job and you are doing so well :)

WristieLove said...

Love o-check! And now let me tell you that I am also experiencing the too small cramped desk syndrome which leads to lost sewing needles and 'oh my gosh i forgot to ...'. I've moved out of my New york apartment and really have no excuse now!

It is all about organization. Thanks for the post!

Sana @ WristieLove

Heidi and Seek said...

Carolyn - Haha, sleeping! That sneaky bugger takes up like a third of my time. :P

I know what you mean about feeling misunderstood. I take comments that imply I'm not doing much really personally, because I feel like I should be doing more and it hits home. But then there are the encouraging comments where I'm reassured that I'm doing great, and they are very uplifting. They only started after I started making real money though, so during the beginning I just had to keep plodding along and ignore the doubt.

Joolz - Thanks so much. I've been umming and ahhing over the decision for a long time.. I wish I'd done it ages ago!

WristieLove - It must be so nice having extra space! I'm a bit of an organisation freak, it's just that with everything on my plate I dismissed it as something I didn't have time to do. But when I'm organised I'm more productive, so it makes sense to make time for it.

Best of luck with getting your space organised!

Field Notes said...

O-Check is such a great stationery find in Australia when usually we don't get cool stuff like Japan and Europe. We love it too and visit NoteMaker for their latest additions to the O-Check range!

Your desk is looking fabulous BTW!!! We love what you did with the shelf and we haven't seen those kraft lever arch files yet in Officeworks - will be sure to keep our eyes peeled.

Thanks again Heidi and Seek for another great blog entry, we love reading up! Hope incub8r is going well. :)

Natalie Low said...

they're stationary is really nice, i have the album! You can also find their stock at FAT in GPO and NGV's gift shop.

Good luck at incub8r :)

Arielle Antoinette said...

OOh i love love stationery too!!