18 September 2023

Philofaxy Industries PLC!

Imagine for a moment that Philofaxy was a company and we decided to make our own brand of organisers. Yes this is imaginary and you will see why this is never going to become reality!!

Why are we even discussing this then? I was asked recently had we ever considered having our own brand of organisers? 

My initial response was no, it would cost too much money and it would take up too much time. A simple answer I know. Time is something I don't have a lot of that is spare these days, so setting up a company or a distribution company would take quite a lot of time, dealing with orders etc etc you would require a team of people and they would need to be based somewhere like a warehouse or similar. 

How many would you get made? This is a difficult one to answer, mainly because you would be at the behest of suppliers and their unit quantities of supply. Let's just take the ring mechanisms as a prime example. 

A Philofaxy organiser would have to have Krause rings, nothing less would do? I can see you nodding your heads in agreement around our virtual board room table! 

Krause will only supply rings in units of 1000 ring mechanisms. If we are going to sell organisers in A5, Personal, Pocket, then that would be 3000 sets of rings. They will not let you mix an order of a 1000 rings in different ring spacings or ring diameters. If you only sold A5 organisers but you wanted to offer 20 or 25mm and say 30 mm, that would be a 1000 or each ring diameter 

If that is the case, then how do other sellers seem to sell much less than 1000 units. They buy from a whole seller not direct from Krause, but of course the price will be higher. 

That is just one part of the puzzle. Who is going to make these organisers? Well there is no shortage of leather workshops around the world or in Europe, USA etc. However, unless you are keeping them fully occupied with your orders, they are going to be working for other companies as well as ours. 

Making sure that the quality of the products is maintained will require a lot of careful monitoring, it might require frequent site visits to the workshop to ensure that the workers are cutting corners to save their own company time and money. 

Assuming all these issues can be overcome and there are several I'm sure I've not mentioned.... there is then the sale of these organisers. 

We have a very well established web presence... almost 20 years in fact.. but as soon as we start commercial operations, I'm sure the other similar sounding company that starts with an F instead of PH will be on to us with a cease and desist letter from their lawyers with a very fancy three or four name title!! Especially if we used our 'Philofax' branded website... yes I registered philofax.co.uk a few years ago! See this previous post as to why that exists! At present it loops back to the blog!

Setting up a whole new workshop with equipment and staff to make organisers like say Van der Spek would be a dream or nightmare depending on how you look at it! 

Or the alternative of just getting them made by another company with our name on the items and we would just be sales and distribution like Gillio, also would be quite an expense. 

To do it profitably requires quite a large holding of items, therefore large warehouse and staff to process orders. Also the makers have their profit margin and we would be adding our own profit margin on top of that to cover all the running costs which would add about 40-50% on the price of the basic item. 

No, I don't have a warehouse.... only a large garage! It's already fairly full! 

I think by now you can see why this is never going to happen.... well not with me in charge!


  1. I reckon more realistic notion would be a special edition Philofaxy collaboration with Van der Spek.

    1. Yes that would be more likely to happen.

      I get a lot of emails from companies wanting to print inserts for our organisers.... confusion over the name of course!!

    2. Enjoyed reading. Thank you

  2. I would buy instantly something small A7 mini notebook covers - Kensington like, something between Heritage and Plotter but with nice leather and some pocket, yet minimal 11mm rings is plenty.

    Lately I had disastrous experience with Filofax Clipbook and Heritage - A4 Clipbooks after first opening completely fell apart, not to mention that the cover came already unglued, Heritage A5 with unaligned rings and different whats on offer / pictured so any brand which can offer quality would be a win. I know plenty on Etsy and other makers, but I am not among thiose who like their notebooks fat and heavy.

  3. Learned from this post that Gillio doesn’t make their stuff in-house! I guess it doesn’t mean anything of their quality but still, didn’t know.

    On the actual topic, really interesting thought experiment; completely respect why it would be out of scope for you. Would be cool to see a collaboration with VdS (as another commenter mentioned)

  4. Not a Philofaxy planner on my mind, but I'd love a Philofaxy logo mug, perhaps sold with a Philofaxy affiliated charity donation included in the price?

  5. That was a fun thought experiment. It reminds me of when I first started going to City council meetings, and learned just how fast "unintended consequences" can pile up.

  6. It would be nice if Filofax-with-an-F offered a limited edition pencil case or leather zip insert, something applicable across a range of formats and which can also convert a Slimline or Compact into a viable wallet, limited edition and cross-branded with Philofaxy-with-a-PH! Black pebbled buffalo leather for preference... oh well. :)

  7. Thanks for an interesting post!
    And yes, it can be difficult to cover your costs when only dealing in smaller numbers.

    I agree that something with Van der Spek sounds great, maybe there could be a Philofaxy Leather that has been chosen by Steve??