Kerri Binnie – the ‘B’ in Busy B – is actually a genius at designing stationary. As a product designer her life was busy, as a Mum life got even more crazy, and now as the lady at the head of Busy B, she really knows what mayhem means…. and what it means to get organised.
Lucky for us, I was invited to attend the launch of the new Autumn/Winter ranges from Busy B – and can now share the joy with you!
On November 9th, I headed to The Glasshouse and was escorted to the Calton Suite glasshouse. Set in a rooftop garden, I basically discovered stationary heaven lit up by fairy lights and candles. With a glass of bubbly in hand – and canopies a plenty – I had time to explore the three new collections – Contemporary, Fashion, and Pretty.
I was delighted to be given the chance to choose a diary for 2018 and have it personalised by Christian from Laila Lettering! You can find more of her work on Instagram or in her Etsy shop too.
Personally, I was really attracted to the Contemporary range – partly because the colour scheme was closest the Edinburgh Life with Kids palette but also because I really liked the design of the Perfect Planner Diary. In the first section, there’s pages in which you can see the entire month – which is really useful for planning content – but then further in the diary, there’s also a page per week section for all my endless to do lists. I love the provision of stickers and an extra notebook at the back of the diary too. My only problem is that I need to wait another month to make use of it!
After perusing all the collections – and drooling over the hamper of goodies containing a bundle from Busy B and The Tartan Blanket Co. – it was time to learn all about Busy B from Kerri herself.
We heard that Busy B actually started in Kerri’s spare bedroom in Leith! Her first product – a Christmas card holder – was snapped up by the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the business just went from there.
But it wasn’t all plain sailing. It took 15 years to get to a million pound turn over and although things have grown a lot quicker since then – it was really hard work.
Kerri shared a story in which one of her products was printed with a spelling error. All the items had to be pulled off the shelf, and they had to get them all reprinted with a crazy deadline. It was only really by a small miracle – and thanks to an amazing printer in Nottingham – that the story ended well.
I found this kind of honesty during the session really encouraging. For anyone starting a business – or running their own business – I think it’s really good to appreciate how much work is actually involved. Things don’t just happen automatically or overnight. It’s not like winning the lottery!
Kerri advised that the three things needed to succeed in business are ‘determination, tenacity, and to keeping going whilst rethinking and adapting.’ She said that it’s important to know your own strengths and to look for people who will help with your weaknesses.
This was something I could really relate to as I really value the people behind Edinburgh Life with Kids – not just Alison, Caroline and Charlotte – but all the people who encourage me and want to work with us as well. As I wrote the other week – no woman is an island either!
At the end of the evening, I was sorry to have to leave and not continue to marvel at all the stationary for longer. I’ve already ordered my own desk pad and have got my eye on the family calendar – which includes storage pockets for those endless part invites etc.
However, we were all lucky enough to be gifted with a goodie bag packed with loads of fantastic gifts, not only from Busy B but lots of awesome local businesses – Bellfield Brewery, Nice Stuff, Coco Chocolatier, Bookspeed, Eteaket, Shaken Udder, not forgetting Busy B branded cupcakes from Judith Bond Cakes!
It was such an enjoyable event, I really hope to have the opportunity to attend another in the future – but if not, I’ll really enjoy using my stationary in the meantime!