Rollo London was founded by Alexandra Fagan, the former creative director of accessories brand Beauchamps of London. Alexandra had been struggling to find an elegant, sustainable, good quality, affordable notebook to use. Realising there was a gap in the market for one, she set about designing her own. ‘I wanted a beautiful classic book,’ Alexandra explains, ‘in which everyone could record their dreams, wishes, songs, poems, doodles, lists, notes, thoughts and experiences.’
Rollo London now has three collections comprising the Rollo, Otto and Coco notebooks, which are available in three sizes with a Hardy or Softy back. They all boast ribbon bookmarks, elastic retainers, dated pages with margins and perforated edges so they can be torn out easily – plus a handy reference page at the front so you can keep track of its contents. ‘We’ve crafted all our notebooks for functionality and elegance,’ Alexandra says. ‘Notebooks without margins should be firmly relegated to school exercise-book territory; we believe a perforated page is akin to a hidden, deep pocket in a skirt: practical and comforting.’
The Rollo Collection consists of notebooks with a Scotch paper grain cover with a leather-like texture. The notebooks have gold- tipped page edges and an embedded gold charm on the front – Alexandra’s greyhound, Rollo. The notebooks in the Otto Collection have smooth covers with graphics hand-drawn by the in-house design team, allowing for bespoke colour matching. Finally, the Coco Collection is the everyday collection for corporates only, with a soft spot-patterned cover in ‘Earth’ material, milled in Scotland.
Sustainability is core to the brand’s ethos. ‘We believe that you only need buy once, but buy well,’ affirms Alexandra. ‘Our products are British-made using certified supply chains and environmentally friendly materials. The notebooks are all made to last so price is key – if it’s too low someone or something else is paying. It’s environmentally friendly to buy something you’ll use until the end of its life and treasure with pride long after you’ve written on the final page.’ She continues: ‘Every product tells a story. It can be about where it came from or how it’s made, but we’re seeing that Brexit is increasingly encouraging people to buy locally and buy British. Plus, so many people are now working from home and seeking out beautiful, affordable luxury products to cheer up their home offices. That’s why we’ve launched our complementary Desk Collection.’
The Desk Collection consists of blocks, jotters and mouse mats, all with the signature Rollo greyhound charm. Products can be personalised and monogrammed and, for corporates, there is even the option to create a bespoke charm logo. The brand’s mission – to encourage everyone to keep writing – is inspired by author Will Self, whose rules for writers include: ‘Always carry a notebook. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea for ever.’
‘I created Rollo London to record your dreams and inspire everyone to write, create, organise, scribble, doodle or start on that overdue blockbuster or novel,’ says Alexandra. ‘So just pick your pen up, open your Rollo and the rest will follow.’