| Alischa Herrmann

Looking backwards.

You know it’s a bit of a funny thing to find the old photo archives. In someways it feels like I’ve been doing Bespoke my whole life, and then in other ways it feels like It was just the other day that I was 27 and just starting out in letterpress. Fast forward 13 years I can’t quite believe what I’ve built, but in other ways I can’t believe that I haven’t achieved so much more in this time!

Back then, oh back then, the days when you could sleep all night, choose to have days off, wake up at 10am, stay up until 2pm, spend weekends doing what ever you choose and could dream big with no little people to consider. Anyone remember those days? I hardly remember that freedom, but I do remember working around the clock, always so busy. Always trying to push and push harder. I’m so thankful I did, but so wish I took the time to just stop. Enjoy it. Breath all that life was offering. 

Fast forward, 4 studio moves later, 3 kids later, 2 Shop fronts later, several pop up stores, a cafe, numerous renovations, so many hundreds of products, thousands of designs and so many hundreds of thousands of greeting cards and gift wrap sheets later. 100,000+ parcels shipped, tradeshows in London, in New York, 70+ markets around the country, hundreds and hundreds of stockists embraced and Tens of thousands of dollars donated to empower women in causes we believe in. Part of me is just eternally proud, but also their is that little side prod, poking me, I should have, could have, done so much more in this time.

So stumbling across the archives of our studio shots over the years, it’s such a time warp to see me captured in these moments in time. The first image above, our latest store in bowral in 2020, the second image our first bowral studio in 2015, the third image below, from our first ever studio (under our house) in Queensland in 2009. So many studios and stores missing from this sequence. It proves to show, just take the photo - one day it’s all you’ll have to remember the moments by.

As I look at these photos, ageing as the years go by, weathered by growing, rearing 3 little people, by the stresses that this little business and all its highs, and incredible lows, has dealt. By the wearing of time, of lack of self care and self preservation. As times gone on, I feel our stationery has got better, but as a human I’ve gone down hill. It’s give and take, but often it is mainly take, and very little give. 


But what I do see, that despite all these years, what has been here all along is a love. A love I don’t know how to explain without sounding crazy. A love for potential - the potential of what you can create, to print, on paper. Ultimately their is lots of loves, but this love, it’s kept the fire burning. Each year it burns deeper, pushes me harder, to design, to print to delight, to inspire, to create, better and better.

And right now, these days, I’m deep, deep in the throes of designing new things. Pushing. harder, and harder. I want to do better, I want to delight you more, I want more people to see, to feel, to enjoy the beauty of our paper goods. I really just want to make you proud. You’ve kept the fire burning, and I’m stoking it as best as I can.

So as I look back on these memories, their is two things I need to take away from this (and hopefully you do to):

A. To stop, breath in, enjoy the moments and

B. Just take the photo, one day you’ll regret that you didn’t!

With lots of love for sharing this journey with me,



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