Small Business Gift Guide

Small Business Gift Guide

Hey, sub(scribe)rs! As we head into the holiday season, you probably have a shopping list for your friends and family. This year, we really want to encourage people to think about who they are buying from, and how each purchase makes a difference for these small businesses.  As consumers ourselves, we know how convenient it is to buy from retail powerhouses (*cough* *cough* Amazon) and magically receive a purchase within a few days of ordering it. Don’t get us wrong, we do it too. Still, by having these conversations we become more conscious of our spending decisions, not only thinking about where we are purchasing, but also what - and oftentimes the convenience of big businesses leads to unnecessary purchases. To help you make thoughtful purchases this holiday season, we’ve created a short list of small businesses that are worth your support. GoodMrkt Goodmrkt is a retail concept committed to doing good. Their in-store and online collection of products are curated from 50+ brands, all of which are committed to doing good in their local communities and the world. We’ve been fortunate to be carried at GoodMrkt, and we even created some really neat journals with them, in partnership.  If you prefer to shop in person, GoodMrkt has two brick and mortar locations - one in Fort Wayne, Indiana and one in New York City.  Bombas Bombas creates high-quality and comfortable socks, underwear, and t-shirts. Like us, Bombas has a buy one, give one model, and for every product sold, they donate one to someone affected by homelessness. For her: Women’s Holiday Calf Sock 4-Pack  For him: Men’s Pima Cotton Crew Neck Long Sleeve T-Shirt  Use code MERRY20 for 20% off your order until 12/3! Ranger Station Ranger Station creates beautiful fragrance products for women and men. From hand-poured and packaged candles to perfume and cologne, they offer a range of earthy and floral scents.  We love their candles that burn out into whisky glasses. Check out The Holiday Set for the greatest bang for your buck, and use code BLACKFRIDAY for 25% off sitewide. Hydros Hydros offers filtered water pitchers and bottles using 100% coconut shell carbon in a BPA-free casing. Their technology filters water at 5x the speed of their competitors! So far they’ve saved over 35,000,000 plastic bottles from polluting our oceans, and your purchase will help them save even more.  We’re eying their Water Filter Bottle this holiday season. MUD\WTR MUD\WTR offers an organic alternative to coffee, with 1/7th the caffeine as a cup of coffee but the benefits of focus, energy, and immunity without crashing. It seems that the best way to transition from coffee to MUD\WTR is with their Ritual Starter Kit. Take an additional 20% off with code TURKEYTAIL! Together, let’s support and uplift entrepreneurs by making conscious holiday shopping decisions.  Wishing you a warm and happy holiday season. - The Scribes
Times in Transition

Times in Transition

Working from home has certainly created distance between employees and their workplace - a physical reminder of where you work and what your company stands for is more important than ever. Purchasing custom journals from The Scribes is a feel good moment for your company, and I’d say a company that integrates giving back into their mission is a company worth supporting!100% of our corporate clients rated us 5/5 for customer service and would purchase from us again. 
Our recent trip to Honduras

Our recent trip to Honduras

Eighteen months ago, we met Ramiro Ocasio and the team at The Foundation for Education in Honduras. For those who don’t know, FEIH is an organization that builds schools and delivers hope to some of the most underserved areas of Honduras. This week, I got to experience Honduras first-hand, and while there, we were able to distribute journals to students and teachers as part of our larger partnership with FEIH in which we donated 3,000 custom journals to support their efforts. As someone born in the United States, it’s hard to understand what real struggle looks like until you visit a country like Honduras. Sure, we have our problems here in the states, but we are incredibly fortunate to live in a country where our basic needs are met. Poverty, crime, and corruption have plagued Honduras for a long time, but you wouldn’t necessarily know it from the people you meet there. Instead, so many people I met while in Honduras are so proud of their country and happy to share it with visitors.  At one of the schools we visited - in the small town of Esquias - we were met at the driveway with a mini-parade and traditional Honduran dances. We were greeted by the mayor of the town and served tamales by a few women who came to cook for us. Together, we all celebrated the construction of the new school that will change the lives of so many children and their families.  It was a good day in this small town that has struggled so much, particularly in the past year. According to the Mayor, the town is situated in one of the best coffee-growing regions of Honduras, but due to a long drought, production has fallen. In this particular town, it is said that the average family lives on $1.20 per day. Covid-19 certainly hasn’t made life any easier.  But on this day, we were brought together to celebrate the students of Honduras and the immeasurable difference FEIH is making for the better. I am so grateful that we at The Scribes got to play a small role in this special day. Since starting our business, we’ve donated over 10,000 journals to students, primarily here in the United States, but after this trip, our commitment to supporting FEIH, and in particular the students and teachers in Honduras has never been stronger. Now a few days removed from this trip, I can truly say that my perspective on life, work, and purpose has been forever changed. To the amazing people of Honduras who welcomed us into your community - thank you. And thank you to Ramiro ‘The Hero’ Ocasio for leading this trip, and more importantly, leading this initiative of giving students in Honduras the education they deserve.
The Scribes x Cisco Brewery

The Scribes x Cisco Brewery

Long before we started The Scribes, Alden, Pooja, and I were out for lunch in New York City. Like the nerds we are, our conversation largely centered about our favorite brands, and why we liked them so much. I asked the group: “If you could name your 5 favorite brands, what would they be?” I gave some context and said things like “You would be sad if this brand was no longer around” and “This brand should be one that actually makes your life better.” We each rattled named a few. Apple came up, obviously. Slack. Barbour. Costco. Trader Joes. Some big brands. When it got around to me, I rattled off a pretty obscure list. One of the brands was Cisco Brewery, on Nantucket Island. My reasoning was simple: When I am there, I am so happy. Dogs on the loose, good beer, and most importantly, I’m around so many happy people. At Cisco, you have no worries. Never in a million years would I have thought about starting a journal company. Never in a trillion years would I have imagined that we would be creating The Cisco Scribe for their summer merch. Well, crazy things happen. Check out The Cisco Scribe and have a great summer. - Mike
#NYCComeback

#NYCComeback

A few weeks ago, we were having drinks at a local cocktail spot by the office. As we looked around, we noticed how much NYC has changed over the past 14 months. Outdoor seating where you couldn’t have imagined, distanced tables, QR codes for menus, and signs that say “Must purchase food with every order.” With all of that said - and all of the change - we felt optimistic about the future of New York City, and we have a feeling that New York will come back like never before.   On that day, we reminisced on what the previous fourteen months looked like, for us and for the city.  In March 2020, the world shutdown and New York was the epicenter of the pandemic. We went from living in the city, seeing one another on a daily basis, to living with our parents in our respective hometowns. We left all of our inventory in New York City, because after all, we just needed to ‘flatten the curve’.  It soon became apparent that it would take more than a few weeks for the virus to subside and like every other business, we made remote, work. We scheduled daily calls to keep up with our business, kept in close contact with our suppliers to make sure they were ok, and anxiously went on with our work.  I was living in New Jersey, which made it pretty easy to drive into the city when we needed to fulfill orders or retrieve inventory being shipped to our apartments. As I drove through NYC, I’ll never forget how empty the streets were. I drove through Times Square and stopped in the middle of the road. No honks.  It’s surreal to even reflect on. I never thought New York City could look like it did.  Many of our friends and family said ‘New York City is dead’. Reporters said that the city would never return to normal. It’d be a lie if we never thought the same thing, but more than anything, we never allowed ourselves to believe it. We returned to New York in late spring / early summer. Just like it has shown this year, warm weather and Vitamin D did some healing, but the city was still on shaky ground. Compared to a few months prior, there was hope in the air. As summer burned off and fall approached, COVID-19 cases started to rise again. Lines for testing centers were wrapped around the block, and ‘Out of Business’ signs appeared more frequently across the city. People were eating outside in Parkas. You could still find joy in things, but you had to bundle up and try really hard to see the light. Here we are now, however, sitting at this bar in April of 2021. The QR code menus, ordering food with every drink, and distanced tables don’t really bother us. If that’s what it takes to keep businesses open, let’s do it.  It’s getting warm again and the vaccine is rolling out. The city is starting to look like the place we all love! Tourists are again taking pictures in front of the charging bull. I recently sat next to someone on the subway. I saw a few guys dressed in suits walking to work. NYC is coming back.  And we want to capture it.  Over the last 21 days, we’ve been walking all over the city taking a picture in front of a New York landmark with a Scribe in hand. We hope that the project has brought some awareness to the great parts of New York City that people all over the world know and love.  We are so excited for the city to fully reopen on July 1st and we invite all who said ‘NYC is dead’ to the city to see if they still stand by their opinion.   Here were the 21 places we visited!  1. 90 Broad Street 2. The corner of Spring Street and Crosby  3. Bleeker Street Bar  4. Strand Bookstore  5. La Colombe  6. Brooklyn Bridge  7. Stay Forever - Our first retail shop!  8. Union Square Park 9. The Oculus 10. Joes Pizza - The best pizza in NYC. 11. Grand Central 12. Michaels Apartment 13. Charging Bull 14. Washington Square Park 15. A view from the city across the river - Jersey City, NJ 16. Empire State Building 17. Times Square  18. Central Park 19. Subway Station 20. The Met 21. Statue of Liberty  To find out the relevance of each location to The Scribes follow us @thescribesco! Pooja Patel
21 Day Journaling Journey

21 Day Journaling Journey

Journaling is a great habit to incorporate into your daily routine. We all have a few extra minutes if we plan accordingly, and the health benefits of journaling are proven.  Three reasons you should try to journal for a few minutes each day: Journaling reduces stress - Our minds are full of things to do and the fear of not remembering to do them. When you take pen to paper, you declutter your brain and eliminate the stress of remembering so much.  Journaling will boost your mood - Try writing down 3 things you are grateful for everyday. This serves as a helpful reminder that we have a lot to be thankful for, and when you think about the positive things happening in your life, the rest won’t seem so bad. Journaling helps keep your memory sharp - Science shows that our physical motor activity is tied to our cognitive function. When you write something down, you are more likely to remember it.  If you’ve tried to ‘journal’ but it wasn’t your thing, it’s likely because you didn’t give it a fair chance.  We’ve been there, too.  Like so many things in life, you don’t see the benefits until after the habit has been formed. For the next 21 days, we encourage you to crack open a journal and commit a few minutes each day to your mental health. Studies show that it takes 21 days to form a habit, so we’ve curated 21 prompts for you to explore and keep you entertained.  Kick-Start your Journaling Journey: If I had the courage I would…  Write about an activity, place or practice that makes you feel alive. Write about something you need to let go. Create a mental health bucket list. Make a plan to get rid of your fears. What advice would you give to the person you were last year? Write about your best day so far this month!  What do you need to get off your mind?  What is something or someone you need to detox from your life? How well do you manage your time?   Talk about a movie or book that had a positive impact on your life. How did it change you? What is your self care routine?  Describe 5 nice things that happened to you in the past week. Then, list 5 nice things you will do for others next week.  Describe your perfect job, and be honest. (Assume you’re set for life financially, so ‘no job’ is an option)  Write a letter to someone who has always been there for you.  Describe a mistake you made recently, big or small. How did you deal with it? When you are in a bad mood, what can you do to turn your day around? Create a bucket list.  What are your core values?  Try some free-association! Use one or more of the following words: thunder, dream, silence, peace, deadline. Write down whatever comes to mind.  What would a perfect day look like for you?  We’ll be following along and completing these with you. If you feel inspired to share what you create, let us know!   - Pooja PatelCo-Founder, The Scribes
A sit-down with Alden. The Topic? Branding.

A sit-down with Alden. The Topic? Branding.

Here, we dive into our fourth 'rebrand' in 18 months.
PS 359 - Bronx, NY
Scribes For Students

Supporting Teachers and Students in NYC

In October of 2020, an art teacher in Brooklyn reached out to us with a concerning message. The teacher told us that some of her students - who were learning remotely - didn’t have notebooks or sketchbooks to complete their lessons. She was reaching out to see if we could make a donation of supplies to her classroom.  We immediately thought, ‘yes’, we’d love to donate a few journals and school supplies to her and her students. When we asked how many students she was teaching, we were surprised to find out that this teacher, alone, has close to 200 students.  As we paused and thought about it, we knew this teacher wasn’t the only educator in this situation, and we wanted to find a way to do something about it.  A few weeks later, we were able to donate to her classroom - 200 journals and 200 sets of markers. After making the donation, we told her to let us know if she knew of any other teachers in a similar situation.  That day, she posted in a Facebook group for NYC teachers, asking if anyone else’s students lacked supplies to complete their lessons. The response was overwhelming.  On January 15th, we got in the car and delivered journals to four more teachers, starting in the Bronx and finishing in Brooklyn. These teachers serve more than 800 students in the NYC metro, and now, each one of their students has a notebook they can call their own.  Above all else, we want to thank these five teachers who reached out to us asking for supplies. They have incredibly hard jobs in normal times let alone during a pandemic. Instead of waiting it out and hoping for things to go back to normal, these teachers showed action. They stood up for their students and got them the supplies they needed to learn.  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ “I can't wait to share them with my students. I know they will be filling them with drawings, and writing, to express their ideas and feelings. I'm so glad to be able to give my students this lovely surprise, in the middle of the winter, in the middle of an extremely tough school year." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ "We are so grateful and cannot wait to distribute this incredible surprise to our scholars. Thank you truly for bringing joy to our community during such a trying time." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Teachers to thank: Niaren Desilva Elizabeth Kinkel Eleni Garasimou Courtney Watson  Haya Moline  
We Make the Right Tools for Lifelong Learners

We Make the Right Tools for Lifelong Learners

We often felt like the note-takers in the room at workplace meetings. So much so that we jokingly called ourselves The Scribes. We created the_scribes slack channel as a place to chat as friends. At the time, we had no idea that The Scribes would turn into so much more than a chatroom. As our friendship developed, we talked a lot about our career plans, our goals, and our passion for entrepreneurship. In our former jobs in the eCommerce industry, we were often reminded that starting a business was more attainable now than ever.  Here we are, the note-takers in the room with a passion for entrepreneurship. Why not offer the world a better journal?  Worst case, we fall on our face and walk away with a handful of lessons learned.  We wanted to create something people would enjoy using, but more importantly, something people would be proud to use.  Our company’s mission From early on, we wanted to build a business that would allow us to give back.  We launched the business in November of 2019 and it was reborn in March 2020 when we dedicated ourselves to it. This happened to be the start of a global pandemic, but that didn’t necessarily phase us. We knew we were more than an eCommerce brand. We were a company that made a difference, and this was an opportunity to showcase that.  We make journals for all writers. Whether you are a note-taker like us, a to-do list aficionado, or someone who enjoys a nice gratitude diary, we have a journal for you. We make journals for people with something to say.  When you buy one of our journals, you join our team, helping us make a difference in the world. Writing tools designed in NYC  We offer a wide variety of journals and are continuing to expand our product line with other productivity tools. All of our products are sold on our website and shipped to your home or office on time and packaged nicely.  We also have a thriving B2B business, selling personalized journals to companies big and small. We work in lockstep with our corporate partners to design the perfect journals for their team. Whether you want to buy 50 journals for a board meeting or 500 journals to use in your global recruiting efforts, we are the journal company for you. We treat your brand as our own, and focus relentlessly on customer care throughout the process.  But what sets our B2B business apart from others comes back to our mission. If you are a corporate client and you place an order with us, we match that order with a gift of journals to the cause of your choice. We make the gift together, in partnership, and you’ve just turned an order of journals into something much more meaningful. We’ve worked with over 20 corporate partners, providing customized journals for their teams. Some of these partners include: Kirkland & Ellis Prime Clerk Atlantic ServisFirst Bank OAR Corporation Here at The Scribes, we want you to have the best journal for your goals. To know that your purchase aides someone in need with their goals is an added bonus. Creativity and productivity should be shared. The Scribes makes that notion a reality. Buy one, give one For every journal sold, we donate one. We’ve donated thousands of journals to schools, juvenile detention centers, and community organizations, all thanks to our customers. To date, our list of non-profit partners includes: The Boys and Girls Club The Foundation for Education in Honduras NYC Department of Education Girls Who Listen The Women in Defense Initiative Free2Teach Morris Elementary in Huntsville, Alabama Tucson High School in Tucson, Arizona Vicksburg High School in Vicksburg, Mississippi Our non-profit partners inspire us to do more each day.  One partner in particular, The Foundation for Education in Honduras, has really shown us what it means to do the right thing and strive to make the world a better place.  FEIH’s Founder and Director, Ramiro Ocasio, has always had a passion for serving others, and it started by sending small amounts of money back to his home country around the holidays to help families who were struggling.  As more and more people came in contact with Ramiro’s passion for helping those in Honduras, FEIH formalized as a foundation and has since built 13 schools and counting across the country of Honduras. This gives some of the most impoverished students the chance to go to school and receive an education.  After hearing Ramiro’s story and learning about the difference they are making, we donated 3,000 journals to the foundation. Every student in their school system now has his or her own journal.  We will continue to support FEIH by donating journals and helping to make a difference in these students’ lives. Staying true during disruptive times It goes without saying that the Covid-19 pandemic shook a lot of things up. Everyone was affected. None more so than those on the front lines. First responders and essential workers became heroes without capes. Throughout this disruptive time, we’ve doubled down on our give-back efforts. Staying true to our mission of serving others has never been more important. We knew that by doing this people would support us in return. Here are just a few things we’ve done to support those who need it most.  Supporting Teachers We know teachers spend far too much of their own money on school supplies for their classrooms.  We launched The Essential Scribe and donated to causes like Free2Teach, a supply bank for teachers to shop from at no cost.  Supporting Remote Learning For the safety of our younger generation, many school systems are going remote. What most people don’t understand is that going remote doesn’t mean that students don’t need supplies.  In fact, they need more supplies than ever to emulate the classroom experience they are used to. We’ve partnered with organizations like The Boys and Girls Club and Morris Elementary to supply journals to students that will be received through socially-distant supply drops. Supporting Causes that fight for equal rights We partnered with Paige’s Candle Co of Brooklyn to bundle The Crosby Scribe and an Earl Gray Candle. What better way to relax and reflect on the day then lighting a nice candle and putting thoughts to paper. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to The National Urban League, an organization that supports equal rights for all, especially for those struggling in urban areas.   We’re more than just journals. We’re a company that gives back. The impact this has on all of us is something we can carry with us forever. Want product updates and company news as they happen? Subscribe to our newsletter.