Who has won the coveted 'Product of the Year 2013' Award, plus many other awards?
First launched in 2012, the Bureau Stationery Awards are edging their way to becoming an annual event to lift the pre-Christmas shopping gloom. Maybe not quite up there on the social circuit just yet, but they were a pleasant success last year and have been pencilled in for the pre-Christmas week since the awards were drawn last year. Following the same format as before, a list of all the new stationery items to walk through the famous new Bureau doors were put before the jury (made up of the entire Bureau team - that's me, Jo, Kate, Paul, Kathy, Tim and even Faisal, who only joined last month). Our own Top 5 lists were put together to find the overall winner, and this year we have decided to award a bronze, silver and gold medal.
We also polled a winner for the most innovative item of stationery since innovation is seen as one of our cornerstones, and then we also put a shortlist out to the public this year to vote for their item of the year. And finally, of course, we allowed the hardworking mail order team a small opportunity to vent their frustration by voting on their own individual categories. Step forward Jo, Paul, Kate and myself to have our say. So without further ado, here are the winners.
*-*-*-*-* Gold Medal: Bureau Stationery Product of the Year 2013 *-*-*-*-*
We used to sell this in our shop many years ago but it qualifies as being a new item to the website this year, like a long lost friend returning. It ticks so many boxes for Bureau - stylish, a little bit innovative, quality and good value for money. There are those in the team that can't stand this item because of the heady aroma of marzipan (that would be you, Kate) but that just makes it all the better for others (that would be myself and Jo). Ultimately it won because it polled the most votes and was the personal choice of myself, Jo and Faisal as our own personal Product of the Year.
*-*-*-*-* Silver Medal *-*-*-*-*
Funnily enough there was some debate as to whether to add these tapes to the range for Christmas. When I say debate, I probably mean that Jo was keen and I was less sure, but I was proved very wrong. Not only did it storm to the silver medal in these awards, it also picked up Paul's choice for Product of the Year and maybe even more importantly, it sold from the beginning and kept selling all the way through. A big hit.
*-*-*-*-* Bronze Medal *-*-*-*-*
Another late addition to the range and it sold well again. A very nice set of miniature Herbin ink bottles and an unusual glass dipping pen (it worked - I tried it) and it sold out, although more are hopefully due in sometime before 2014. It was also Tim's choice for his Product of the Year.
*-*-*-*-* Honourable Mentions *-*-*-*-*
Il Creativo Notebooks and the Papelote Musko Pocket
The final personal Product of the Year choices were the Il Creativo books (chosen by Kathy but there is no link because they sold out. Within hours, in fact). Kate chose the Papelote Musko Pocket as her product of the year.
*-*-*-*-* Customer Product Of The Year Award *-*-*-*-*
The limited edition Safari colour is now a firm annual event and this year it was neon yellow. Sadly it has long since sold out, but it was certainly a strikingly bright yellow.
*-*-*-*-* Most Innovative Product Of The Year *-*-*-*-*
We ended up with two winners, both fairly obvious candidates. The Neocritz pencil case from Japan ticks the box for such a simple and practical idea - a pencil case that unzips and opens out to become a temporary pen pot. The Punktum notebook is a bit more of a challenge, not least to explain without seeing it, but essentially it is a notebook with a pre-punched grid on the cover. Punch out your own design, and you have a personalised notebook. You can even change the paper behind the cover to change the colour that shows through.
And now...what we really think. These are our own 'personal' awards.
*-*-*-*-* Paul's Vote for the "I Don't Like Packing This Item" Award *-*-*-*-*
A funny one this, because Paul has yet to pack one! When we decided to add it to the range just very recently, our first thought was how to persuade Paul that it was easy to pack. He's just waiting for the opportunity...
*-*-*-*-* Kate's Vote for the "Item That Confused Customers The Most" Award *-*-*-*-*
The Stationery Wednesday Promo Code
Yes, it's not a product but Kate was allowed to nominate this as every month it comes up as sure as anything. It does seem to confuse an amazing number of people, which maybe says more about how our website works than the people using it. It is valid for one week, from the first Wednesday of the month....10% off....enter the code....update....no it's not a permanent 10% discount all year round, sorry....
*-*-*-*-* Jo's Vote for the "Why Have They Discontinued This Item?" Award *-*-*-*-*
Katy & June Monthly Desk Pad
Now sold out, so there's no link. Jo says "one of my essential desk items, I use it as our calendar for trade shows, staff holidays etc. Luckily I have a couple set aside but why is it no more?" Why indeed?
*-*-*-*-* Dominic's Vote for the "How On Earth Do You Make This Look Good In A Photograph?" Award *-*-*-*-*
There are some items that just don't work, no matter how hard I try to photograph them. The Opera box set is actually a lovely item, and should have been perfect for conjuring up something tempting to lure you in, but this one just didn't click into place. No doubt someone else would have managed to get it looking good, but between myself, the camera and this Lalo box set it just wasn't going to happen. A sadly dull photograph ended up gracing the Christmas catalogue as a result.
A big thank you for reading to the end, and here's to the 2014 Awards next year!