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!