Meet the Maker  |  Paper Saver

Meet the Maker | Paper Saver

We're all aware that we live in such a digital world, where the idea of sketches and hand written notes can be seen as a forgotten past time. As interior designers, Jen and I are both avid sketchers, writers and drawers, with the very real requirement for notebooks and paper based creations. Paper Saver comes to the rescue, by addressing the environmental issues associated with paper-based work, with an ingenious product idea that was seen as a necessity for Architect and creator Jon Yong. 

Paper Saver colour range - Photo provided by Paper Saver

Tell us about yourself and how you came to be a maker / owner of your creative business. What inspired you to be where you are now?

Jon Yong, the creator of the Paper Saver, is by trade an architect.  Every day in his office, he prints out many draft designs for discussions and meetings, only to be made obsolete within the same day.  The pile of scrap paper that went into the bin, albeit recyle bin, drove him nuts.  He saw the perfectly still-blank side of the papers, and fashioned himself a cover out of cardboard with an insert inside so that the scrap paper could be secured inside for the blank sides to be used as pages of what he called his "Paper Saver".  Today, of course the Paper Saver is not made of cardboard.

Paper Saver Note Book - Photo provided by Paper Saver

How long have you been working in this role and what do you love about it?

The Paper Saver officially became a business in March 2015.  We love telling customers about our product, and how their facial expressions change once they realise what it is, and how it can help them help the environment just that little more.  Jon also loves that he is able to share his simple idea with so many other people that are just as passionate about it.

Paper Saver Note Book - Photo provided by Paper Saver

Tell us about your daily routine i.e. where is your business based, do you work within a team or individually, within an office or studio space?

We are based in Melbourne, a team of two - Jon as the director of the business focuses on the design and operational matters, while Michelle manages the marketing and business aspects.

Paper Saver instructions for use - Image provided by Paper Saver

What is the inspiration for your product range?

Our inspiration for the Paper Saver is to help as many people as we can achieve their sustainability goals, as paper consumption continues to be a waste and environmental issue, being an item we can't function as a society without.  Hence, with the use of the Paper Saver, we hope that the paper that would've otherwise been binned can be further utilised, extending their life, and helping everyone reduce their overall paper consumption.

At P+P we feel very passionate about supporting other local designers and makers in all aspects of their business. What is one piece of advice you would give other creatives when considering their own start up?

Believe in your product.  Once you live it and breathe it everyday, it becomes a part of you so that other people can believe in it too.  (It took Jon a long time to convince Michelle to believe in the product too, but he did it, and she now lives it too!)

Paper Saver Note Book - Photo provided by Paper Saver

What was the biggest challenge that you came across when starting your creative business and how did you overcome this hurdle?

We struggled with deciding whether or not to manufacture the Paper Saver in Australia or overseas.  We preferred Australia, but the cost of making it locally would mean it would be more than double the price of what it is now.  Our ultimate goal was to make it as affordable as possible for customers as no one should be disadvantaged from helping the environment, and so we decided on an overseas manufacturer.  Today, we continue to seek out potential Australian suppliers that may be able to help us at a similar cost.

There are so many beautiful Australian made products being released at the moment. Are there any particular designers, product collections or bloggers that you love and why?

We love Orbitkey - a key organiser that helps you carry keys better without the jingling.  The design is unique based on a simple idea and great quality.  They are also a startup from Melbourne, so we totally relate to their strategy!

Are there any creatives that you would love to collaborate with and why?

We would be interested in collaborating with different artists and designers for different cover designs for the Paper Saver in addition to the plain coloured covers we have for variety and to add a bit of excitement for our customers.

What exciting things are you working on at the moment and what are your aspirations for 2017?

We would love to continue to help more people achieve their sustainability goals with their Paper Saver. We are looking at different ranges to add to the Paper Saver, and also continuing to look at ways we can improve the design of the Paper Saver.  We are hoping to launch the new design of the Paper Saver in a few months' time!  Stay tuned!
Sally Bostock

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