Celebrating International Women’s Day with National Stationery Week sponsors


To celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March, National Stationery Week has spoken to some inspirational ladies in the stationery industry to find out why they joined the stationery industry, some of their inspiring figures and how they’re changing the stationery one pencil, notebook or pen at a time.

You can share your own inspiring female figure and the reasons you love stationery on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


“I have always been a stationery geek – I am that person who buys new notebooks and then looks at them on a shelf rather than using them!

“I also to write and have written small pieces of fiction from being quite young so when the opportunity arose at Cross it felt like the perfect match! I find writing very calming and it helps me to retain information much better than if I type it!”

Nicola Shepherd, Cross Pens

“I joined this industry because I believe that the use of the products empower all people to tell a story and express their feelings, regardless of their background, gender, age.

“One of my heroes is the incredible Frida Kahlo, who was not only a talented painter but also a poet, there are so many of her quotes I love, here is one that is important to remember, “It is not worthwhile to leave this world without having had a little fun in life.”

On the subject of women specifically though, this Virginia Woolf quote is pretty clever!

“I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.” ― Virginia Woolf

Rachel Cowle, Derwent



My quote to other females in my team – “Creativity is not defined by gender. You can achieve! You just have to believe.”

I joined Cross Pens in 2013 as a Regional Executive and worked with the company for 5 years. My final role was UK National Account Manager. I joined the Derwent Team in 2018 as UK Business Development Manager. Oprah Winfrey is my inspiring woman and the quote of hers I particularly relate to is: “Anything you can imagine you can create”

Lisa Bussell, Derwent

“I got into the stationery industry after joining the family business two years ago. The thing I love most about the industry is that whenever you mention stationery, you realise that so many people are just obsessed with good stationery. In a world where tech is all consuming, it’s refreshing to work in an industry that focuses on creativity and doing things the old fashioned way! Sidonie from Papersmiths is an inspiration as she is giving stationery the street cred it deserves through clever stationery concept stores.”

Lucy Stone, Moleskine

“I’ve been a huge fan of stationery since a very young age and I always had the best pencil case at school. At the beginning of 2012 I made the leap and joined the family business and have never looked back! My Dad has always been my inspiration, so it’s an honour to work alongside him every day.

“We source the very best in stationery and work with a team of passionate and creative people. Calligrapher and author of Modern Lettering, Rebecca Cahill Roots AKA Betty Etiquette is paving the way for modern lettering and the power of putting pen to paper. Her work is bold, contemporary and incredibly inspiring and collaborating with her is an absolute joy.”

Emily Gregory-Stone, Moleskine

“Stationery has been a constant throughout my life. Since I was a child I always found solace and joy in drawing and writing. As an adult I’ve built a career on the very foundation of pen and paper; as an editor and journalist and as a practicing artist and illustrator. My house is filled with pens, paper, notebooks and organisers and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

“My role as uni-ball ambassador combines my love for both drawing and writing. I get express myself as an artist with PIN pens, unleash my creative crafty side with POSCAs and write my journals, notes and greetings with the company’s extensive range of writing pens.

“My inspiring woman is my mum, Gina. She was the one who empowered and facilitated me on my creative journey. She was the one who at the start of every school term got me my folders and box files and filled my new pencil case with a fresh set of pens, pencils and, I’m a child of a certain age, novelty, smelly erasers. She introduced me to calligraphy and encouraged me to perfect my script. It’s one of the reasons I love to write freehand when documenting my thoughts and ideas. It’s also one of the reasons why I keep a collection of good quality writing pens.

“Even now, every Christmas and birthday my mum gifts me the most beautiful journals, sketchbooks and, of course, pens and pencils. It’s a bond between us both that has lasted for decades.”

Ella Johnston, uni-ball


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