Getting to know...Wilder.

by Stuart Lennon

We asked Rupert, one half of Wilder. to give us the inside track, and this lovely photo of lockdown hair. He's a bit sniffy about it, but we think it captures the zeitgeist beautifully.

We're delighted to have added Wilder. to our growing list of home-grown brands and will be stocking everything that this wonderful couple dreams up. 

Why did you start designing notebooks?

I have always loved stationery.  Anything from books to pens and pencils.  It’s odd as being dyslexic means my writing and spelling was always weak (and still is largely). I was ‘forced’ at school to have extra handwriting lessons with the Berol handwriting pen. I hated it, but remember it vividly.

I remember as a child at school, I used to glue pages of my exercise books together to speed up the process of getting a new one.  That and spacing out handwriting was a great way of munching through page-space.  You had to be careful not to glue too many though as teachers would notice (I am amused by how clever I thought I was as a child but it would have been so obvious to my teachers).

Both Sarah and I love stationery.  Sarah (an accountant and Programme Manager), loves to use pen and paper to work things out - to slow down and clarify ideas.  She has a brain the size of a planet and is remarkably capable and you can almost hear it working when she’s hunched over a pad, intently scribbling away - formulating or finalising something (or writing today’s endless list of jobs for me).

How did you get to where you are today?

My interest has come and gone over the years and I am a huge fan of gadgets so tech and apps do have a place but lately, I have been using and carrying notebooks with me a lot - for journaling, gratitude lists and various plans.

It was in a search and (the beginning of a mad shopping spree) for some Field Notes that I stumbled on Nero’s and built a collection of pocket notebooks into my odd mix I already owned, but never found one I really loved, as they were too US-centric, with many brands in this space.  We thought there must be an avenue for a UK-based brand, celebrating our great things from the past and present.  So we set about sourcing what we could from local suppliers and UK manufacturers - lo and behold! one of the world’s best papers is made here still.

We had a friend do our branding and found a manufacturer, registered with with the Made In Britain organisation and here we are.

Who are your notebooks for?

This is a tough one as clearly, pan/pencil and a blank sheet of paper give rise to infinite use-cases. However, we make Wilder. notebooks for people who enjoy the feeling of a product that has been well thought through with particular attention to supply chain and the quality of the raw materials. We have also been surprised by friends who have admitted their stationery addiction to us too since starting this.

I know that our growing list of customers contains product designers and artists, graphic designers and some remarkable stationery enthusiasts whose knowledge of the industry is astounding.  We felt it may be the case but it is turning out to be mainly creative people, creators or business owners who benefit from having a notebook handy for moments of inspiration and ideas.

We feel very honoured to have had some wonderful feedback from many of our varied customers who are enjoying using them.

How do you use notebooks?

Pocket Notebooks. Up until we started Wilder., I’d have a pocket notebook nearby at most times, whether in my camera bag, on my desk in the office or bedside table. Normally for things I need to remember or phone calls and notes for my photography clients. Now, each morning, I use a lined pocket notebook for a gratitude journal (housed in a lovely brown Lochby cover - delivered beautifully by Clare from Neros)

Spending so much time on a laptop I am the first to admit that I love and abuse notebooks. I get a lot of pleasure out of the second page of a notebook, I can never use the first page for fear that I’ll write something wrong or messy! It’s where I scribble, doodle and get creative both at work and in my downtime. Writing and drawing things out help me understand and visualise problems, solutions or ideas.

What’s next for Wilder.?

A5’s and some record cards are in the pipeline. We’re also speaking to a lot of potential creatives in talks about some custom designs, limited editions and putting together some quotes for company-specific designs and branded sets.

Describe yourself in three objects?

Bicycles (as plurals allowed)
Leatherman multitool

80’s hair
Chocolate brownie

Notebook, Notes App or both?

Both have a place. but thinking on paper using a pencil works best.

What’s in your pencil case right now?

Rupert: Wingback rollerball, 2x Kaweco fountain pens (brass and aluminium), Wilder pencils, Blackwing pencils (MMX and 602), 1 Rotring rollerball and 1 Rotring mechanical pencil

Sarah: A Blackwing and a Wilder. ;-)

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

Rupert: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Billy Connelly, Don McCullin

Sarah: Bill Bailey, Freddy Mercury, Michelle Obama

What’s the best thing about the place you live?

Open space

What’s your most treasured possession?

Rupert: Our home.

Sarah: The dogs.

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

Nero’s.  Are there any others? Sometimes, The Journal Shop. I do love an independent high-street store too.