As a writer, and well, as a nerd, I am obsessed with paper. Notepads, scraps, journals, they all get used. So imagine my surprise when I saw the video detailing the launch of a new company called Black Heart. Their first offering was straight up journals, marketed to writers but not only them; readers too. Since the first video dropped last week, there have been bullet journals, reading journals, and more released. I was quite excited to get a chance to send some interview questions to the two owners, Rue Volley and Sarah Davis Brandon. Their designs are quirky and sweet, nerdy and fanciful and I fell in love with them immediately. I already have plans to order some for my daughters, and a fair few for myself.
1. What inspired Black Heart? The inspiration for Black Heart came from our love for paper products and accessories. Journals, planners, gel pens, post-it’s, and scrapbooking. We’re both authors so it’s a natural thing for us to love anything we utilize in this profession. I think we’ve both spent about as much time in Staples or Office Max marveling at the rows of office supplies as we have in any bookstore.
2. How will it tie into your other company, CHBB publishing? CHBB is just the parent company for Black Heart because Sarah and I wanted to keep this under the same umbrella. It won’t be a place that we actually publish any novels. It is for paper products and accessories. We are starting out small and selling everything through Amazon but our future plans include handling online distribution ourselves, partnering with a manufacturing company, and hopefully expanding into the market with physical outlets. Obviously, those are future plans and depend on how well we are able to market this to the book community at large, but our soft launch was extremely successful and outdid our initial projections.
3. What kind of products will you be selling? We will be carrying a variety of items including the regular journals, bullet journals, reading journals, author journals, planners, gel pens, colored pens, pencils, and many other products that we’ll reveal as we move forward.
(the inside of the regular journals have inspirational quotes on the headers)
4. Will your products only be available on Amazon? For the moment the items will only be available on Amazon, but as I said earlier, we will be expanding as we grow. Each step we take will depend upon sales and the distribution plans we can set in place. We are talking to a few stores now, hoping to place more of this product on their shelves to broaden our reach to potential buyers. We don’t only want to service the individual customer. We want to become an outlet for stores to stock their shelves with our product.
5. How long have you two been working together? Sarah and I have been working together for almost a decade now. We started out as sister authors with a publishing house and when Sarah opened her own publishing company (CHBB) I gladly joined in to help her launch and the rest is history.
And finally, what else do you want us to know about Black Heart? What we want to stress the most about Black Heart is that we love what we do. We love books, authors, readers, and the entire book community. We know how tight budgets can be, we’ve lived it, so we will always offer our products at the lowest price possible. We want to offer what we know everyone enjoys using as they write, read, edit, or simply enjoy scrapbooking. The eleven Black Heart journals that we launched last week contain inspirational quotes on each page because we also know how hard this life can be regardless of whether you’ve chosen to become a writer or not.