Exclusive Interview: Pelle Journals

As a merchandiser for JetPens, it’s always fun for me to chat with our suppliers about their business and products. I recently got a chance to talk to the founder of Pelle USA, Andy Park (pictured left), who kindly answered a few questions from the JetPens team (read below).

Pelle USA is a California based company that manufactures high quality leather journals and notebooks. JetPens introduced Pelle Journals in November of last year as the brand was launching.

Is there any special meaning to the brand name “Pelle”?

I wanted a company name that sounded European and that had something to do with leather, hence “Pelle” – the Italian word for leather. Since Pelle is located in the United States, I added “USA” to the name.

What motivated you to start a leather journal line?

I’ve always loved leather journals. My fascination with them began when I was younger and watching a lot of western/adventure type movies, like Indiana Jones. Later, after exploring much of Asia, Central America, and South America, I decided to start my own cool leather journal line.

Why did you choose to manufacture everything in the USA?

I wanted to make the journals in the USA for several reasons:

1) To create jobs and support the U.S. economy.

2) It’s important to continue the tradition of superior American craftsmanship.

3) Efficiency and quality control. I can oversee the manufacturing process, and avoid transit and customs delays.

Where did the inspiration for the design come from?

I drew inspiration from the ideas of an Italian friend, as well as from a wide variety of notebooks and journals (including those made by Moleskine, X-17, Ciak, Rhodia, and Midori). Pelle’s design is sort of a hybrid of many different journals.

Can you tell us the source of the leather?

Most of our leather comes from tanneries in the eastern U.S.

How did you achieve the distressed look on the leather?

Our leather has a distressed look and feel due to the tannery’s oil tanning process. Most of the journals I’ve encountered are made with vegetable-tanned leather. I chose to use oil-tanned leather instead because it resists scratches – the oils allow you to “rub” them out. Because of this quality, all of our journals develop their own unique vintage look with normal wear and use.

What were your considerations when deciding what paper to use?

After extensive research, we discovered that most people wanted high-quality paper with a heavier weight. Therefore, we chose a 28 lb. super-smooth “cream” text paper for our plain, lined, and grid notebooks. We also selected a 65 lb. smooth “white” cover paper for our drawing notebooks.

Are there any new products in the pipeline?

Yes. We have a lot of exciting new products lined up – more stationery and pens, as well as high-end handbags, wallets, shoes, luggage, clothing, jewelery, and more. Some of our upcoming products will have a limited release. The high-end handbags, for an example, will only launch in certain countries.

Last week, we added the beautiful new Burnt Cognac color to our Pelle Journals collection.