A few years ago I set up The Book Hut, which is my Bookbinding and Conservation Studio in Worthing. Here I have a small public outlet for my handbound books, tools and stationery. Since then, I have slowly merged my maudie.made stationery into The Book Hut brand, which some of you will also know from my Etsy shop and website.
Before I get going on the interview, I would like to take a moment to thank phILOFAXY and all their wonderful readers for all the huge amount of support I have received over the last seven years. I have always been a small sole trader, and make everything I sell myself by hand, so the support is always immediately appreciated -THANK YOU!
Website - www.thebookhut.co.uk
Etsy, Instagram, Twitter: @thebookhutter
1. When did you buy your first organiser and what was it?
My very first was a mini Microfile from WHSmiths, I think I was about 13 or 14 and just allowed to go shopping on my own! I wanted a leather Filofax, and slightly bigger, but could only afford the mini Microfile and was very glad that I’d got that one in the end as I LOVED it and used it for years! I still have it in the cupboard! This was very much in the 90s when Filofax only made white paper for the mini sizes, which is why I started making my own colourful stationery to put inside - and my stationery was born!
2. What other brands have you used or considered using?
I have since used mostly a Filofax, partly because they engulfed the Microfile and it no longer exists. The one I used for the longest was my Filofax Mini Finsbury Tan, which I got one Christmas when my mother realised how much I loved my Microfile! I then moved on to a Filofax Personal Slimline which was great, both of the latter being used as a wallet as well. I did get a very nice Pocket vintage brown leather one on the internet which was not Filofax, it had a stag on it but I can’t remember the name of the brand. I didn’t use it much. As for content - I always use my own inserts :)
3. Out of the organisers you own which is your current favourite (Style and Size)?
My favourite is still the mini - it just fits in your bag perfectly. So it would have to remain the Filofax Mini Finsbury Tan. Having used it for such a long time, it just seems to have moulded to my every need. Though very tatty now, I still love it!
4. How many Filofax or other brands of organisers do you own?
I think I have about four: Microfile, 2x Filofax and this Pocket Stag one I can’t remember the brand of! I used to have a Filofax Pocket Identity in black, but I really didn’t like the corporate look of it, so found another home for it.
5. What is the oldest organiser in your collection?
Well technically my Microfile Mini is the oldest one I personally have had. But my Filofax Personal Slimline and Pocket Stag one are both second hand, and had both seen a few years before they came to my ownership, so it could be one of them.
6. What do you use your organisers for?
The classic use - Diary, Notepaper, Birthdays, Addresses. Though I have found I don’t use the addresses so much any more as it is so much easier to keep them online. I don’t ever use more than one organiser at a time, as I don’t like to carry more than one in my bag, so it has to cover everything. The ones I don’t use tend to stay in storage for the next year when I decide which to use. I do also alternate to use a Moleskine every so often, as well as my own handbound books as well - I like a bit of change from time to time.
7. How many sections do you have in your organiser and what is each section used for?
Diary, Notepaper, Birthdays, Addresses. Though I am thinking of reducing the addresses. When I was using the Filofax Personal Slimline, I did also use a credit card holder, that was really handy for business cards and photos.
8. What was the feature about Filofax you like most?
The binder bit of course! Otherwise you could just use a book!
9. If you could design your own Filofax what would it feature?
Well this is exactly what I plan to do later in the year, design my own organisers, which will be available on my website (www.thebookhut.co.uk) and my Etsy shop (www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebookhutter) - Sorry for the plug!
The thing that has always annoyed me most about the Filofax, especially the mini ones that I like to use, is that they don’t stay open very easily. I like to have an open diary in my studio, and a small one as my studio is small, but they just ping shut because the casings are too strong - unless, like my Finsbury, you’ve had it for about ten years! So I intend to address this with the ones I make.
10. How do you carry your Filofax?
In my handbag.
11. Which Filofax in the current range do you like the most? Are you going to buy it?
I do like the Doodle Organisers (LOVE a bit of squared paper!), but none of them are quite what I am after - I don’t think they make them like they used to, can’t quite put my finger on it...
12. What is the most you have ever spent on a Filofax or other brand of organiser? Which model?
Well my Filofax Mini Finsbury was from new, so that would have been the most expensive - but then it was a gift - the others I have got on the internet and charity shops, so never more than £15.00 probably.
13. What's your favourite Filofax tip or hack?
Not sure - Buy stationery from The Book Hut - its GREAT!!
14. Turning to Philofaxy, what do you like the most?
I’ve always loved the friendly welcoming atmosphere - that hasn’t changed throughout the years - no matter how big it gets, it always feels like a friendly face!
15. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?
I’m not sure I’ve got anything...
16. What was the last music track you downloaded or bought?
John Grant - Pale Green Ghosts Album
17. Have you ever attended a Philofaxy meet-up? if not do you intend to one day?
Yes! It was great! We had a pizza near the Southbank and was a really enjoyable day - very nice to meet lots of new people :)
18. What was the last movie you watched?
The last X Files Film - in preparation for the new series this week - woohoo!
19. What was the last book you read?
The Thames & Hudson Manual of Hand Bookbinding - it is my bible and I am permanently reading it.
Thank you Maudie