Getting to Know... Lois Ho of Pebble Stationery Co.

by Stuart Lennon

Minding our own business, counting pencils, a message from the website disturbed us. Lois wanted to know whether we might want to talk...

We interrogated Lois Ho, the woman behind Pebble Stationery Co. Pictured here with her husband, Joohn.

What’s behind your concept?

At Pebble Stationery Co, we believe in learning and creativity and to support this, we have designed beautiful, minimalist, well-made products that are fun and easy to use, and that are also easily accessible.

We are passionate about supporting creativity and learning across the globe, especially those in need, so we have made a commitment to donate a pencil to a child in need for each packet of Tomoe River notebooks we sell. After our first Kickstarter campaign, we were able to donate 200 pencils to a primary school in Nepal which was severely affected by the earthquakes in 2015. It was a great feeling to be able to do that!

Who are your books for?

Anyone who loves stationery. Particularly, we designed our first notebook with people who use pocket notebooks in mind. People who value portability and a larger number of pages, (we were always migrating things across notebooks because we kept finishing them too quickly). We also chose to stitch our notebooks together because we were clumsy and kept snagging our fingers and scratching pens on staples that are more commonly used in this size of notebook. We chose a simple, understated, minimalist approach so people could tailor our products to their style and fit their needs.

Do you take notes?

YES! My old boss complained that I took too many notes. The act of writing helps me remember and understand things. If I don’t write it down, I won’t remember it. It's how I got started in bookbinding, and then ultimately, why I started my own notebook company. I went through so many notebooks, it was getting really expensive, so I started making my own.

What’s next for you?

We really want to grow our range of products. We started small, to test the water first, so we’re looking to expand our offerings first. We have already started working on our next release, which is really exciting.

Describe yourself in three objects

Espresso machine (I always start my day with a coffee)

Fountain pen (it's what I use every day)

Book (I am always reading something)

Notebook, Notes App or both?

Notebooks only.

What’s in your pencil case right now?

Franklin Christoph 66 Italian Ice, Sailor 1911 Large Demonstrator, Sailor Professional Gear Pink Gold, Nakaya White Roses, Faber Castell Ondoro (wood), Uniball Signo dX 0.5mm black and a Pebble Stationery Co 2B Pencil.

Pencil, ballpoint, gel, or fountain pen?

Everything but Ballpoint!

Which three famous people, (living or dead) would you like to have dinner with?

This was a hard question.

Angela Merkel – she is such an inspiration as a strong, educated woman who has come from a science background to adapt and excel in a different working environment, (it gives hope to me as a science graduate!)

Jamie Oliver – he taught me how to cook (through his shows and books). I love his recipes and so would love to pick his brain.

Mary Beard – I am the biggest history nerd – I love learning about history, so I would love to learn more from her in person, I’ve always found her documentaries and historical books engaging and interesting.

What’s the best thing about the place you live? (Australia)

The weather is great! Today its 26 degrees (C), sunny skies with a slight sea breeze.

What’s your most treasured possession?

Other than my dog (I’m not sure she is a “possession”) I would say my Nakayas. I love them all, especially the Dorsal Fin 2.

Where are some of your favourite Stationery spots on the Internet?

Before Pebble stationery co, I would visit Jetpens and Cultpens for paper, and Classic Fountain Pens and La Couronne Du Comte for pens. Ink wise, Vanness Pens always has a broad range of inks from across the globe and I love that they have sample sizes so you can try before committing to a large bottle.