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National Stationery Week: Does embarrassing handwriting stop you writing?

14 April 2015 08:33


National Stationery Week starts on 27th April and in the year that marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, the stationery industry is aiming to ‘Get Britain Writing’ again.

Technology, typing and texting are three of the reasons given for why we are not handwriting as much as we used to. However PLOOMS fountain pens has also discovered that some people won’t pick up a pen as they are ashamed of their handwriting.

Sally Page who founded PLOOMS explains. “When people try our fountain pens many comment that they have ‘bad’ handwriting. This often isn’t the case – but I think they are comparing their personal style to formatted fonts and perfect calligraphy. And perhaps they are a bit out of practice as they write less than they use to.”

Sally continues “What particularly struck me was the number of young people who want to have better handwriting. One young man said to me ‘I think it reflects who I am and I would like it to be more stylish. At the moment I feel uneasy if someone sees me write something by hand’.

With this, and her own illegible scipt in mind (Washington University found 30% of people cannot read their own handwriting!) Sally set about creating a video of 10 easy tips to better handwriting. After considerable research she found that it was remarkably simple to improve on her own scrawl and she wanted to share this with others.

The video can be seen at

Sally is keen to stress “This is not about teaching calligraphy, it is about creating your own style and enjoying writing.” She even suggests combining the personal flourish of traditional writing with the convenience of modern technology through a method she dubs ‘plooming’. Plooming involves writing a message in ink and then photographing it to be sent as an image. “It is a lovely thing to recognise your friends by their handwriting,” Sally believes. “You may not have time to write a letter, but the next time you have something special to say, don’t text it, PLOOM it!”

Sally Page is delighted to have been chosen by Julie Deane OBE (Cambridge Satchel Co) as a female entrepreneur to watch in 2015. It was reading about Julie’s experience that gave Sally the confidence to sit down at her kitchen table with a blank sheet of paper and create her brand of fountain pens. PLOOMS is inspired by Sally’s belief that some words need to be written in ink. This and the fact that Sally could never find the fountain pen she really wanted - snug and weighty in the hand and such a beautiful colour that it made her smile every time she used it.

PLOOMS are available at
Currently available in 5 colours – 3 more planned for the summer
Price £59

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Sally Page is an entrepreneur who bases her business ideas on what makes her happy. After all, she realises work will always be a huge part of her life - so why not enjoy it.

With a background in marketing, Sally has photographed and written a series of books about flower shops, traveling the country in search of them. She created a new charity event for London - The Ten Stores Challenge for those who prefer retail to running (10km, 10 iconic stores) and now Sally has launched her brand PLOOMS bringing her love of words and colour to the fountain pen market.

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