When I was about eight years old I collected erasers – or rubbers as we knew them. I had two favourites; a rectangular purple rubber with gold Cadburys writing on it that rubbed-out well but could still be counted in my extensive collection and three horse rubbers about the size of your little fingernail with red, green and yellow tips that obviously couldn’t be used. 20-ish years on and my love of stationery hasn’t abated: I still have more notepads than I can use; coloured pens, markers and pencils; a collection of greetings cards and notelets for any occasion; and a bag full of stationery related craft stuff.
And then Smiggle opened in the Bullring last week.
As I stood wide-eyed in the shop, looking at the adorable erasers shaped like macaroons and ice cream cones, pencil cases with clickable compartments, colourful character festooned notepads and a collection of keyrings, I was immediately eight years-old again and in paradise. Current-me was also pretty star-struck.
An international stationery brand selling bright, colourful and quirky items, Smiggle was born in Melbourne, Australia in 2003 and made its way to the UK this year. It’s nice to see a sense of inclusion amongst the stationery, which doesn’t just label ‘blue for boys, pink for girls’ but is more varied. The current theme in stores when the Bullring branch opened was ‘konnichiwa’, with pandas and ninjas amongst the characters, giving an element of education as well as fun characters.
A member of staff also mentioned that a lot of the items are designed to be tactile, with pencil cases having raised designs to help children learn.
Frankly I’m not the right person to be giving you a grown-up’s view of this place. I’m a big kid at heart and my inner-child was clearly in awe of Smiggle. But what I liked about the store was the great sense of fun. Sure, it’s very bright and colourful and this might not be to everyone’s tastes, but there’s some fun things in there for most people. Perhaps it’s just my sense of humour, but I loved the large erasers for ‘Big Mistakes’ and have bought a couple for friends’ emergency kits. That’s one of the good things about Smiggle’ for a shop solely dedicated to stationery they haven’t hiked up the prices and you can get a number of things for your pocket money – ideal at this time of year for stocking fillers.
I’m already planning my next visit and taking my stationery-loving friends along for moral support (for our purses)…
Disclosure: I was invited down to Smiggle as part of a bloggers event and given a goodie bag. I wasn’t required to say anything nice and they definitely weren’t expecting an insight into eight year-old me’s obsessive rubber/eraser collection. I also may have bought another notebook (please don’t tell my mum). All photos are my own, please don’t use them without permission.