19 May 2011

Filofax USA Q&A

Last week before the meet up on Saturday, our 'roving reporter' Colie got to speak to some of the representatives of Filofax USA and fired some tough questions at them!  Well in a friendly way of course!

Thank you Colie for these detailed responses:


Marty from Filofax: Tell us more...Maldens, Stocklists, & Warnings

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Marty Kirschenheiter, the area manager for Filofax here in NYC. Marty represents Letts of London, Lamy, Lard-O-Led, and our personal favorite Filofax. He was very excited to meet and seemed genuinely happy to hear about the Philofaxy community! After meeting with him, I have to say he is a real gem and Filofax is very lucky to have someone both responsive and enthusiastic!

Marty said that he did not think the A5 Malden would be produced in red, at least not this year, but he did elaborate on the Malden line itself; noting that the Malden's leather is not bonded leather. It is instead, top grained leather which accounts for the variation we are seeing in the color and pattern of each individual Malden, especially in the Ochre color option.

Like the Philofaxy community, Marty did not really know why the international sites do not have the same stocklists/items but he did mention that all of the printing is done at the same location in England and that the individual countries create special orders for their refills from there. He did not foresee that changing any time soon. Marty warned that we should expect a decrease in the assortment of non-dated refills, as they discontinue items that have not sold well. (gulp)

Marty said that the Apex line was the closest to a kids line that Filofax has produced. He seems to see it more as a teenager's Filofax, but mentioned that it is a much harder vinyl than the Metropol.
        Marty was carrying a black Guilford Extra Slimline with
        month on 2 pages diary inserts
        green ruled paper (whatever he picks up that week he uses)
        the assorted sticky notes insert
        the black ruler insert
        At home, Marty keeps a black Hampden A5 as more of a journal with
        month on 2 pages diary inserts
        lots of business card holder inserts
        address pages

Dominic from Filofax: Tell us more...about FLEX & Print-to-File software

"Everyone in the organization is very excited about Flex.  Before I speak about Flex, it’s important to note that our new Flex product is not a Filofax.  The Flex tagline is “Notes & More”, which really sums up its purpose.  Flex is a brand new concept in the notebook category.  Flex is a product that is used for taking notes, organizing thoughts, making lists, recording memories, sketching, planning and creating.  Flex is designed for thinkers, students, romantics, artists, mom’s, dad’s multi-taskers and everyone else who enjoys (or needs) to write things down.  Flex can be made to include a planner, but a planner is not its primary function.

The Flex product consists of a cover, or jacket, that is cleverly designed with slots that allow you to insert special notebooks inside of it. The design and placement of the slots enables you to insert up to several notebooks at a time.  The notebook inserts are formatted as ruled, blank, as an address book, a jot pad or even as a planner.  There is also a way to customize Flex with multiple pen loops.  The number and format of the notebooks and accessories that you use is totally up to you.  Whatever you decide to put in your Flex is certain to create a unique writing experience that feels great in your hand. Look for Flex to be on store shelves in the US by mid-July."

Dominic DiBella is President of Filofax, Inc. and started with the company way back in 1997, which happens to be the first year I bought my first Filofax! Dominic is a CPA and his first position at the company was as Financial Controller. Then a few years later he became CFO. Responsible for six stores, he really began to learn about the Filofax business. Sadly, none of the Filofax stores are open any more. Then in 2001, when Letts purchased Filofax, Dominic became President of Filofax, Inc.

Dominic uses a black personal Finchley as well as a black pocket Belgravia...
"In my Personal Finchley I use a lot of notepaper, to do lists, and stickey notes.  As for my Pocket Belgravia, I use this when I’m not travelling.  My pocket sized Filofax has just has a calendar, ruled papers and many to do lists.  I usually keep this in my car and take it home for the weekends."

I asked Dominic which item is he particularly fond of that does not seem to get enough attention.
" I really like our Print-to-File software.  When you combine the software with our laser paper, or even with one of our hole punches, you really get a chance to maximize your Filofax...I am a big fan of our Print-to-File software and so I use it to print off all of my sales and financial reports.  I then put these reports into my Filofax so that I can have them at the ready whenever I’m in a meeting.  This saves a lot of space in my briefcase and really helps me to stay organized by keeping my calendar, notes and reports all in the same place."


Note from Steve: I am reviewing the Flex System at the moment for you... please be patient it will be on here soon. Also I would love to know why the Print to File Software isn't available outside of the USA. 

Dominic from Filofax: Tell us more...Philofaxy Q&A

Dominic DiBella President of Filofax, Inc answers Philofaxy questions...

        Butaben: Any chance of an A5 Malden being produced in red?
        "Malden is a great product and there are more colors planned for launch.  Unfortunately a true Red is not presently in the works"

        Alison Reeves: Why on earth don't they have a full range of inserts on their website? there are many on Euro sites - in English - that are not available on the US site. there is a lot of interest in the refills on the Denmark site.
        "If you are referencing the US website, we do presently carry most of the English language inserts that the company makes. Of course with the vast selection of products that we have in production there are bound to be a few that we’ve missed. If there is something that is of particular interest then please let us know and we can certainly see about adding it to our website."

        A: Consider releasing a kids-line? have you ever done a kids line? {For kids: sturdy cover, no leather, many different inserts, many compartments, room for photo ID and library cards, variety of calendars (due to different school systems with different time tables),all kinds of world maps, chemistry/physics/math inserts (not really cheat-sheets but general overviews) and maybe some small dictionaries. An English spell-well insert would be great too.}
        "To my knowledge we have not produced a line that was aimed at young children.  Over the years we have produced a large number of products aimed at the school market, however most have been targeted towards university aged students.  We are currently working on a "youth" offering for next year. At present this line is targeted for the late teen/early twenty year old age group.  The suggestions for a young student product will certainly be taken into consideration."

        Lee Ann: Will there be another sale soon?
        "I believe this question is related to our UK website.  On occasion the US website will offer discounts on items that have been discontinued from the line, but we currently do not plan to discount any of our new or existing lines."

        Lee Ann: Could they have a competition that is open to US residents?
        "Yes there will be contests for US residents.  We are working on some fun contests for the third and fourth quarter.  Check back with www.filofaxusa.com in the fall to see what we have."

        Lee Ann:  Any chance of discounts to email subscribers?
        "US and Canadian customers who are on our mailing lists do receive exclusive coupons for free shipping and other "gift with purchase" promotions. Anyone who purchases from our website is automatically added to our email list unless they choose to opt out.  You can also add your name to our list without a purchase by going to our homepage at www.filofaxusa.com.  If you scroll to the bottom you can click on the link to add your name to our list."

        Aunt Gloria: Are any plans to produce the personal in a larger ring size - any where from 1 1/4 to 2 inches?
        At this time there are no plans for a ring size of 1 1/4 to 2 inches.  We are always reviewing our ring size offerings and will take your suggestion into consideration."

        Kanalt: Any plans to sell the travel and / or city packs in U.S.?
        "Yes, we can add these to our US website. Give us a few weeks."

        David Popley: What can you tell us about the time management professional system that is on the UK site? Any chance of it coming to the US? Is it something Filofax plans on continuing?
        "This product has been around for many years and is quite popular in the UK. Unfortunately I am not well acquainted with this range and so I cannot pass along many details. I do know that there are no plans to bring this product into the US at this time."

        justenoughsalt: How are Letts, Lamy, and Filofax related?
        "Filofax and Letts are part of the same company. Back in 2001 the owners of the Charles Letts & Company purchased Filofax Limited and then formed the Letts Filofax Group, Ltd. (LFG). The LFG is headquartered in Dalkeith, Scotland.  LFG also owns the Yard-O-Led brand of writing instruments that you see on our website. As for Lamy, LFG does not own them. Filofax, Inc. (The American subsidiary of LFG) is the US distributor for Lamy. Filofax, Inc. are also the US distributors for Caran d'Ache fine writing instruments."

        justenoughsalt: When will the new organizers be out and in stores in N. America?
        "Many of the new Filofax organizers will begin shipping in early June."
Thank you Colie for asking all of the questions on our behalf. 

13 comments:

  1. Thank so much, Colie. I was hoping you were going to write this info up for the blog!

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  2. Thanks to Colie for writing, and Steve for publishing! Great post!

    I just don't like the passage saying that some undated inserts will be discontinued :( Looks like I will have to buy a couple of my favourites in advance...

    Once again an big thank you!
    Thomas

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  3. Thanks Colie, this is great information!!

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  4. awesome! thanks for doing this. i find it interesting which products filofax insiders use. i'm worried about the items to be discontinued though...

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  5. Great post! I especially like the news that perhaps the travel and city dweller packs will come stateside. I've always wanted them but could never justify the shipping cost from the UK.
    Any chance we could get a list of soon-to-be-discontinued inserts? I'd like to be able to stock up . . .

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  6. Thanks for trying, Colie. They certainly aren't very forthcoming with specifics, are they?

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  7. Really interesting. Thanks for sharing...

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  8. Very interesting post. Thanks for sharing it. I love suring the international Filofax sites and comparing products and looking for bargains. I've just picked up a half price Personal Piazza in a glorious sunny yellow from Filofax France. I feelquite chic!

    Like Steve, I wonder when the print to file software will be available outside the US. A comprehensive international site would be a dream come true!

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  9. Thanks Colie. Just fabulous the comment that A5 Maldens are being considered in new colours, and that the quality of leather on them is such top grade. Thanks for arranging what sounds like a great meeting.

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  10. Bravo!! This is a fabulous interview/writeup for those us interested in what's happening now & in the future in the USA filofax world. Thank you very much!

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  11. Ah, good to see another fan of the Finchley and Belgravia -- those are two of my favorites!

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