Saturday, 8 February 2014

What makes a KOOL Pencil Case??

Once upon a time, there was a pencil case… but it wasn’t just any Pencil Case it was a Kool Pencil Case that had not only functional but funky stuff inside of it & the students and Teacher’s all lived happily ever after!  The End.
Here at 2Kool4Skool we feel that having a cool pencil case is important, not to be ‘trendy’ or ‘fit in’ but in order to express oneself in an environment that can sometimes be quite uniform.  The Pencil Case really is one area that kids can individualise and make their own, particularly with so many cool stationary choices out there these days!  Gone are the days when Pencil Cases were better hidden in desks, todays pencil cases are out there and proud!  And their contents are even cooler!   Pencils, pens, erasers, scissors, rulers, sharpeners and coloured pens/pencils, need not be boring!  Show off your style by choosing from a wide variety of designs, colours and even scents!  Yes, smelly stationary, it is AWESOME!!  Have you ever smelled a pen that smelled just like popcorn? , I have, why would I ever go back to a basic blue ball point?  It just doesn’t make sense!  And neither does a boring pencil case, not when 2Kool4Skool makes it so easy to have a Pencil Case that ROCKS!

We have a wide range of Pencil Cases that are not only funky but functional, with plenty of room for lots of accessories, starting at just a low $4.95 for our Mr Moustache Pencil Case there is bound to be something for everyone’s taste.  Once you have picked the perfect Pencil Case for your outer expression you have to focus on filling it with the cool goodies, something kids are all too good at! Choose products that the kids will love, it will help them take ownership of their belongings and they will be less likely to lose it… I know I wouldn’t be letting my Smart phone eraser or my Scented ruler out of my sight!  Choose products that reflect your child’s personality and overall choose products that are great quality (wink wink, nudge nudge!)

So we know it’s cool to have a KOOL pencil case, so we took to the word on the street by interviewing  kids closest to the source a 12 and an 8 year old to see what they thought made up a COOL pencil case! Here is what they had to say.

Miss 12 – Grade 8 2014
“I love having a cool pencil case because all of my friends ask me where I bought my stuff & I like to look at it on my desk.  It’s not boring.  If I made up a pencil case from 2kool4skool I would definitely want some super cool rainbow gel pens and the neon bright’s markers, they would brighten up my pencil case with their cool colours.  I love the smart phone sharpeners and the lipstick pen.  The grape ruler catches my eye and the bubble gum scented pen is definitely my style.  The carnival wheel eraser with its 6 scented rubbers would be one of my first choices and the love charm pencil set is very unique with the dangly love hearts.  The erasable mechanical crayons and the sweeteez scented highlighters are an awesome stationary product.  The pencil case I would put all of these cute things in would be a floral gym boot pencil case and the lips and vinyl satchel pencil case which would give me lots of room for plenty more cool stuff!"

 Mr 8 – Grade 4 2014
"Yeah I like having a cool pencil case because I get to use the things in it for school and for drawing. In my pencil case I would like things from 2Kool4Skool like yummy scented markers, I think they are awesome because I like using scented things so all of my pictures are scented too. I would also like the popcorn scented pen because I could smell popcorn when I was writing.  I would also like the happy vitamin pens because I think they are very cool.  I also like all of the Mr Moustache things.  The pencil case I would put all of this in is the red gym boot pencil case!  "

 So there you have it, it’s cool to have a KOOL pencil case and what’s more 2Kool4Skool makes it easy to put the cool in school so check out our website today!

Why Cover School Books?

I was reading one of my favourite blogs Mamamia in late January this year when to my horror I was confronted with this headline: “FACT: There is no need to cover school books”.  I was mortified. “What do you mean?  Has the woman writing this ridiculous blog never had children? Strangely there were women agreeing with her.  I had so many reasons why we should cover school book that I wanted to set them out in dot points in a comment on the blog. But owning a school book cover business.....  this would look a little obvious.
Now of course I wasn’t the first one to invent school book covering. We have been covering our books for decades with newspaper, brown paper, wrapping paper then covered in clear plastic, posters, kitchen contact and now finally the brilliant invention of PVC slip-on school book covers. So why cover school books? 2 real reasons: Protection & Individuality.
Covering your school books keeps them safe from the old apple or banana which has made its way to the corner of your child’s school bag and is now squishing itself against the contents of the school bag. It won’t protect them completely but at least the book will still be salvageable from the drink bottle or chocolate milk spill. My  own children’s books have returned home from a year of “hard labour” with books relatively intact and with covers that, with a wipe down with a baby wipe,  will be ready to use again next year. I wonder how the uncovered exercise books held up and I wonder at what point during the year they were needed to be replaced.
The other reason to cover your books is for self-expression, showing your style, having your books look different to others so that they are easily identifiable as yours.  I have had mothers ring me before school last year telling me that their sons (yes sons) kept going to get their newly covered school books just to look at them and then put them back in their bag. If covering your books can get your kids excited about school then I’m all for it!
So let’s make it known, and we’ll shout it from the roof tops - that we believe that
FACT: There are many great reasons to cover school books – and how great when you can do it with fun and easy slip on school book covers from 2 Kool 4 Skool.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013


“The positive effect of kindness on the immune system and on the increased production of serotonin in the brain has been proved on research studies. Serotonin is a naturally occurring substance in the body that makes us feel more comfortable, peaceful, and even blissful. In fact the role of most anti-depressants is to stimulate the serotonin production to alleviate depression. Research has shown that a simple act of kindness directed toward another improves the functioning of the immune system and stimulates production of serotonin in both the recipient of the kindness and the person extending the kindness. Even more amazing is that persons observing the act of kindness have similar beneficial results. Imagine this: kindness extended, received, or observed beneficially impacts the physical health and feelings of everyone involved.” ― Wayne Dyer

If you placed an order for 2 or more packs of covers this year you would have received free scratch & sniff stickers. Why? Because it made me feel good to give them away. Many of you would have received something a little extra when you opened your parcel, why? Because I wanted to. I have always found more joy in giving than receiving. I have even been criticised for giving too much. This quote from Wayne Dyer above explains why. There is a positive physical reaction – a love drug – which is felt by the giver, the receiver and every witness to the act of giving. It makes us feel GREAT ~ literally ~ to give.

A month ago I decided to give an education to Anita, one of the millions of stolen children of Nepal. (My previous blog explains the amazing circumstances in which she came to be 2 Kool 4 Skool’s second sponsor child).  I had wanted to have enough sales to educate her for life before I gave the instruction to find her but I just couldn’t wait that long. I had enough to pay for her education for 3 years and knew that I would find a way to pay for the next 7 years somehow.

So if Serotonin is released by an act of kindness by the giver the receiver, and any witness, be prepared to feel great.  This week I received Anita’s photo in her new school uniform ready to start school for the first time in 3 years.

This is Anita’s before and after photo. What an amazing difference. Gone is the broken sad little girl and in her place is a little girl with a smile who knows that someone cares!

So thank you to each and every customer who bought covers for back to school this year as each one of you are contributing to this happy little girl’s education. You should feel great. It’s biological!


Sunday, 24 February 2013

A Girl Called Anita

I have been asked often over the last few months, Why do you choose to pay for the education of girls in Nepal and India? There are so many reasons but hopefully this story will start explain why.
Due to the remoteness of many of the homes of the children who attend Demazong Academy they must board at the school . This means that they say at the school full time for 11 months of the year and would return home for 1 month’s holiday. If it is not possible to return home they may stay at the school all year in the care of the school’s headmaster  Pema and his wife, family and staff.  It is not unusual for a parent to send their child into the care of another,  trusting that they are getting an education without contact for months at a time. To our western way of thinking this is inconceivable but in Nepal and this remote part of India this is the sacrifice a family makes for an education. An educated child has the chance to get a better job and in turn a better life for both them, their family and community.
Anita, thanks to the sales of covers for back to school 2013 is our company’s second child to receive her education, board, food, uniforms and books for life. I have the privilege of calling Pema who runs the Demazong Academy in Sikkim, my Nepali Brother. When I wrote to him and said that we had started to set aside funds for a second child and that “I wanted a to find a child who’s life would be truly transformed by our sponsorship” this was his reply.

Myself & Pema
Hello Dear Sister,
I was very happy to hear you. Here we all are fine and well. We are preparing for the session. All the students and teachers are back after vacation. The construction of our new kitchen is done. We now need some plastic chairs for the dining hall.
Here I have the picture of Anita with her parents.  They are originally from Nepal. They came to Sikkim a long time back and were living in one of the remote area of South Sikkim. Two years back Anita was studying in Class one in one of the Government School , living with her parents.  One of the men came from Gangtok to meet her parents. He promised them that he will take Anita to Gangtok and send her to one of the good school there. Once Anita was taken to Gangtok they never came to meet her parents. Recently Anita’s parents have shifted near to our school. Her father often comes to me to help in some construction work.  One day he told me the story about his daughter Anita. Immediately I made a phone call to everyone who I know in Gangtok. After one week we came to know the address of that person. I manage some money for him and send him to Gangtok to bring his daughter back. He could not bring her back on that day. Later we came to know that she was locked inside and both the man and his wife went to work in office.  When her father went he found lock hanging outside the house and came back helplessly.  I felt that on Sunday all the government offices will remain closed and the man and his wife will be at home. So, I send him on Sunday for the second time and finally he met his daughter and brought her back home. Anita was never sent to school. They treated Anita as a servant and let her do all sort of domestic work.
 Anita has two younger sisters and one younger brother. Anita is the eldest in their family. Her parents have been requesting me to find sponsor for her. I feel she needs help.  I am very happy that you decided to help her.  In India thousands of such innocent children are being cheated and are send to work in hotels and even sold to brothels every day. I feel very sorry for these children.
Today I will call her parents and tell them this good news. I would like to thank you very much for giving hope and opportunity to her.
Looking forward to hear from you. Convey my love and wishes to your kids.
Pema from Sikkim
As Pema says, Anita’s story is not unique. This happens every day. But for now Anita is safe and free to go to school like any girl her age should be free to do.
If you’d like to read more or need a good cry, a wonderful book is Little Princes by Conor Grennan about child trafficking in Nepal.


Thursday, 24 January 2013


Ok girls – this stationery obsession we have is truly a girl thing. Boys just don’t get it. As a parent of both a boy and 2 girls the evidence is clear and it starts early. The girls will sit and help and cover and stick and write and plan. My 10 year old girl has set out her Day 1 of School Morning Plan from 5.30 – 8.30 am in bullet point format, her bag is packed, clothes set out and is soooo excited about returning to school. My 14 year old girl is less enthusiastic about Day 1 but is still asking to go to the uniform shop to make sure the uniform is right. I’d say this has more to do with having enough time to have the hem raised. Her books aren’t issued until Day 1 but the pencil case is done, labelled and she is obsessed with what accessories to take for the school locker.

Now to my darling 16 year old son. No 1 Son as he is known now after my manufacturing in China. I have not been able to have covering on his books since year 8.  He attends an all boys school where the teachers must just despair at the state of the boys books. After speaking to one of my lovely customers today I realise I am not alone in being embarrassed at the state of my child’s school books after only a few weeks at school. But Boys Just Don’t Get It! They don’t see the dog eared pages, the disgusting stains from the milk drink that spilled over the entire contents of the school bag and the corner that's been resting against a rotting apple for weeks! I have even had notes home from a teacher (female obviously) advising me of the poor state of my sons stationery. Can you believe it! I was appalled. I felt this was a reflection on my parenting skills. Where had I gone wrong?

My son also thought that I was a stationery shop, (well I am now) but I was asked on a weekly basis for more pens, pencils, white out etc. I’m sure he was selling it. No he wasn’t. It was just that Boys Don’t Get It! I do have a good news ending to this story and proof that miracles do happen so stay with me.

In an effort to try to keep No. 1 Sons’ exercise books in some sort of condition this year I purchased hardcover exercise books knowing that even though I had designed a pack based on his likes which you would know as “Kool Dude”, as a year 11 boy he was never going to put them on his books. So sitting on our kitchen table for the last couple of weeks has been a pile of hardcover books. No. 1 Son has walked past, sat beside and eaten in front of these books but when I asked him last night about them he had not seen them. Sound familiar? Then the true miracle occurred. No. 1 Son announces that he wants to cover his books – gasp!

As a result we have PVC protected hardcover  exercise books that should withstand spills and extreme school conditions that only 16 year old boys can inflict. The hard covers did take a little more effort to get into the cover so go carefully if you are going to do the same but below is a photo of my sons’ books covered by him in covers designed for him. I am so proud!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013


I was running through cover designs with my sister, a working mother of 4 who lives in Sydney. She said “the designs are great but I hope you are making clear covers, my kids can’t have printed covers”.  “Why would I make clear covers when you can already buy them in every newsagency?” I replied. “Because yours are cool (sorry kool) and have a pocket and a pen holder and your plastic is thicker and it will have your kool brand on it which the kids will want”. At this point I remember saying something like “no one will buy them and at least I’ll have 1000’s of clear covers for your kids”, as only a caring sister would say very sarcastically.

I have to thank my sister for that suggestion way back when. Today they are an essential element of our range. Not only do many schools insist on clear covers only but it means no more covering text books either. Our clear covers won’t fit all text books but we did make them extra wide to cover the thickest exercise book and attempt to cover as many text books as possible. This is an example of a text book covered in 30 seconds.  Stay Kool!


We as females, love stationery. Yes its a girl thing. Cute stationery, beautiful books and stationery that smells. I have Dads say to me “I just don’t get it! She doesn’t like what I bought?”. And men just don’t get it and that’s for another blog.

I thought I’d give a little background into where my obsession with school book covering and now school book covers has come from.

I have always covered books. As a kid in primary school it was brown paper and with envy I saw friends’ books whose parents took the extra step of covering in clear plastic film. Contact hadn’t been invented except as something that you stuck to the shelves in your kitchen so it didn’t mark the paintwork and they had lovely floral or geometric patterns in colours like mission brown and orange. This beautiful contact lined our kitchen draws.

This huge, possibly hundred metre roll was purchased at the local hardware store and if you were lucky enough to have your parents buy it for you, this assured that you and your siblings’ books were covered in this sticky mess for your entire junior school life.

In high school came a new phenomenon – Individuality! I attended an all girls school where even our hair ribbon, socks and undies (yes undies) were school issue. We had one place where our personality could be expressed – our stationery. Entire weeks of the Christmas break would be used for the purpose of book covering. Old wrapping paper that had been saved was put onto books and covered with clear contact (yes this had now been invented). Lots of creative book covering elements such as newspaper, magazine clippings and even shop packing from really cool stores at the time like Sportsgirl and then still covered with clear contact. Then there was the ultimate book covering – the poster. There were the posters from the inside of the Dolly and Cleo magazine which had the hottest teenage boy you could find and the only card that would trump this was the pop star poster. From this perspective I was truly blessed. For as a child and teen my Grandparents owned a record store. Yes kids, records were on black vinyl and sold in stores and had really cool covers too, and you purchased clear sleeves to protect your valuable purchase. There were no iTunes cards and EFTPOS machines, just a cash register. Sunday nights for me as a kid (and I mean every Sunday night) meant dinner at my grandparents and afterwards we HAD to watch Countdown. We had to watch Countdown, because Molly and Countdown announced the Top 10. We needed to know the Top 10 so that we knew how to arrange the singles on Monday morning from position 1 – 10. This has today made me a legend at music trivia nights but as a kid I had what every kid wanted – posters. It took a little while to train Grandad not to give them away. He didn’t think they were important once the record had been out for a while and I still today cannot come to terms with the fact he gave the huge ABBA Arrival poster away because someone else asked first! What about an empty cover he suggested? Now with my own 14 year old hormone ravaged teenage girl I can only imagine the look that would have received from me. I think I’ve gone a little off track here but you get the idea.

Then with the arrival of my own children (3 in total) I discovered nothing had changed. Bordering on obsessive at times, I would purchase beautiful papers, even buying scrapbooking papers and an arm full of poster magazines from the Newsagency then covering 100’s of books. This is no joke. It seems to me that some of you in southern states have been spared a week long torture, for in QLD we purchase all books (text and exercise) prior to the commencement of school and you arrive on the first day with every book covered and labelled and they stay at school until returned home in the last week of November. You almost dislocate your shoulder getting them from the car to the classroom. Frustratingly many books then arrive home at the end of the year beautifully covered and unused. There was a saviour during this time – the clear cover! It then even came in a tinted colour but I was never satisfied with this as a school book cover. Not pretty, cool or colourful enough for my kids (see reason why from paragraph 4 above) and after 10 years of covering enough was enough. I made 2kool4skool.

So you are seeing my first range. Covers designed with genders and age groups in mind. Covers which show personality. Which reinforce positive affirmations. Designs that have a G rating but are Kool. Covers that are fun and have a game so that the kids want to open the covers and get them on their books but once the game is done won’t have them distracted in school because they’ve solved the mystery already. If you could see what’s in my mind for what our next covers will look like you’d be very excited – I know I am!