Introducing Forget-Me-Not Originals

Forget-Me-Not Originals started as a creative experiment for Emma Williams, as a potential new hobby. She very swiftly realised that not only did the search for beautiful vintage textiles and learning the craft of book binding really fill her with joy, it quickly became clear that everyone who saw her creations really loved them.

Emma became a fixture at high-end craft and gift fairs, where her business was met with huge appreciation, and Forget-Me-Not Originals diversified from beautiful notebooks and journals into the place to find beautifully rebound copies of classic books. Belle owns a unique, rebound copy of her favourite book, Any Human Heart by William Boyd, that she'll treasure forever.

We are so excited to carry Forget-Me-Not Originals in our shop as Emma's ethos of slow, craft-based creation reusing preloved patterned fabrics really chimes with so many of the things that we love and value. 

P&B: Tell us about your background and your business.

Emma: My background is in fashion buying, where I worked for about 20 years. I think working as a buyer, particularly for creative businesses, teaches you to look at other ways of approaching things and making them new, and that's really where Forget-Me-Not Originals came from; a book isn't new but handbinding it in a vintage fabric is totally unique. 

How did Forget-Me-Not Originals begin?

Having worked full time for many years I decided to take a break after the birth of my third child. Once she went to school I felt that I needed to do something again but didn't want to return to the 9 to 5. I've always loved print and I've been a book lover my entire life (I grew up living next to a secondhand bookshop!), so when I came up with the idea of a way to combine the two it seemed I had to give it a go. I took some bookbinding courses, went through a lot of prototypes and launched my Etsy shop - I have never regretted it!

What are the three things about your business that make your heart sing?
1) Buying books and fabric without feeling guilty! 
2) The moment the book comes out of the press and you see it finished for the first time.
3) Doing something I absolutely love every day.
What are the key sustainable and ethical elements of Forget-Me-Not Originals?
Book binding is a traditional craft. All the fabric I use is vintage or reclaimed. All the books are bought secondhand. The paper in the notebooks is from sustainable sources. All of my packaging is recycled or recyclable.
Has your business evolved in the way that you planned or anticipated?
I didn't have any expectations when I first started out so I suppose it has been a lot better than I ever really imagined and has gone from being something that I dipped in and out of to a full time job!
What about Plum & Belle feels like it has particular synergy with your brand?
A focus on design and quality and I love the idea of being a part of something that is so totally committed to finding eco-friendly and sustainable options and solutions.
What are your future aims for your business?
I think to carry on doing what I am doing but just to do more of it, which will probably mean taking somebody on to help out. I don't think I will ever give up the making and creating side though as it's what makes me happy! 

You can see our Forget-Me-Not Originals products here. If you'd like a full immersion in the beautiful Forget-Me-Not Originals aesthetic, check out Emma's instagram account here. It's one of our favourites!

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