December is the busiest month of the year at Exaclair, the U.S. distributor of Rhodia.
As many of you know, we also import J. Herbin inks, Clairefontaine notebooks, G. Lalo social stationery and other brands from our French parent companies. The Quo Vadis planners and notebooks we distribute are designed in France, but made our our plant in upstate New York. All of our notebook and planner products are made with Clairefontaine paper from the Vosges mill in France. Our sketchbook and fine arts papers are made at the Schut Mill in the Netherlands owned by Clairefontaine. You can read more about our mills here.
Every part of Exaclair is going full throttle to process orders, ship products, finalize the 2010 catalogs; get all the review samples and raffle winners on their way via USPS, field hundreds of calls and email messages about products and where to find them in the US or elsewhere.
We are all ready for “a long winter’s nap” by the time Christmas Eve finally arrives and things calm down. The week between Christmas and New Year’s is the sweetest of the year: quiet, peaceful, and a time for unharried reflection.
We have some good things coming in 2010, including two new notebooks from Rhodia. The Rhodia Weekly Notebook line, introduced this year, sold out two printings. Next year we plan to expand the line and production.
Also on tap for 2010 is a blank journal with 90g paper.
2010 will mark the 340th anniversary of the founding of J. Herbin. That is a company rich in history–J. Herbin produced its first sealing wax in 1670 when Louis XIV, the Sun King, was 32 years old. The first pen ink was produced by Herbin in 1700. “Perle Noire”–still the name of our black fountain pen ink–was produced a few years later. When I look at a bottle on the shelf, I try to comprehend that ink of the same name was used 300 years ago. In this age where nothing seems to stay or last for very long, that says something to me.
I would like to introduce Clairefontaine paper to new communities of people who like notebooks as creative tools, or who enjoy the simple pleasure of writing, whether in the quiet of a studio, lab, living room or even out on a trail. When you are ready to leave the virtual world behind for a little while, a notebook is a perfect companion.
This description of our notebooks by Russell Hemsworth, owner and paper buyer for Nota Bene in Montreal is very apt: “Someone suggested I could call it intellectual stationery,” he said, but prefers to categorize it as “stationery for creative minds.”