Sunday Upmarket is one of THE places to visit in London weekends. The place bursts with colour, people and novelties of all kinds. Located in the Old Truman Brewery, it displays 140 stalls offering from arts and crafts to ethnic food.
It was during one of these visits that Sketchbook crew bumped into Michael Ruthenbury’s creation: Penroll; an original piece of hand crafted clothing for the notebook.
Newly graduated from Kingston University with a diploma in architecture, Michael started looking for a job in his field, but economic crisis has hit hard the architecture business and he found himself with time in his hands and in the need of an income, so the idea came to life: “originally it was only a pencil roll that allowed for quick access to the pens and pencils, I thought this would be useful for people who sketch in the city as it could fit in a pocket. I came up with the idea of putting them around a book quite randomly really, I was making books and just thought why don’t I wrap it around the book, it fitted and thought it was good, so I applied for a patent. Since then I have been making them and selling them at Upmarket”
The Penroll can wrap around books and attach as well as being able to detach and be rolled up. Michael is also working on some new products in the range, like handmade sketch books that the Penroll can be more integrated within, while still being able to be detached. There’s also a project for more luxurious version of Penroll developed entirely in leather.
“So far I make them all myself so they have the handmade quality which I like so I think I would like to keep them handmade. My ideal business plan would be to keep them made in the UK and get a small team to work on them and develop some new products all based around the concept of a simple, well made and efficient pencil case”
Simple ideas are the best, so make sure you have pencil in your sketch book next time one comes to your mind.
For more information and to order your Penroll visit www.penroll.co.uk
Text: Mariana Moyano