Note: This is Adriana, and I recently stumbled upon this site from a post on PenAddict. I typically don’t write about pens, paper, and my obsession with writing tools, but I was drawn in by reading another Chicana who loves this stuff too, so here I am. You can find me on Twitter @AdrianaMaestas, but I don’t share too much there about my pen and paper tool hobby. However, I just might start sharing more.
Makers South is a small leather craft goods business run by a husband and wife team in Alabama. A few years back, I got into leather notebook covers (or folios) because I wanted something that looked a bit more professional to take to meetings, and I thought that the leathers were really pretty and interesting as they aged and got scuffed up. And I have always enjoyed nice leather goods from purses to small pouches. I’m also one who loves the scent of leather and appreciates the random leather goods that you find in places like Placita Olvera, the street vendors in Tijuana or old school tanneries, etc.
I enjoy using quality paper like Rhodia and Maruman Mnemosyne notebooks because the paper is perforated and works well with fountain pens, highlighters, or gel pens, but the covers are kind of boring. And aside from dressing the covers of these notebooks up with stickers, which I have done before, I was intrigued by all of the pretty custom notebooks in the pen and paper community. Googling and searching Instagram led me to Makers South, where I learned that you could order a custom notebook cover and even select the thread that you wanted it to be stitched with.
The first notebook cover that I ordered was an A5 in Amethyst GenX leather with yellow threading. This leather is not too thick so it makes for a nice folio, and it looks almost black in regular indoor lighting but when outdoors, you can see more of the amethyst color. When you bend the leather, it has that cool pull up effect where you can see the lighter tones. I didn’t want any secretarial pockets or front pockets on this one, so it’s kind of plain.
I will warn you that the custom ordering process from Makers South takes about six weeks so you won’t see your notebook cover for some time after you place the order and pay for it. However, when I received it, I was really impressed with the quality. My dad, who is retired, saw it, and said that he wanted one to keep by his computer and phone. He’s used to ordering items with quick shipping like Amazon Prime, so I told him that he would have to wait for his own notebook, which he didn’t seem too enthused about. He liked mine, but probably not enough for him to wait for something custom ordered. Fortunately, I had another leather notebook cover to give him so I didn’t need to order another from Makers South…until I saw that they were having a sale this summer.
Makers South hardly ever has sales, and I don’t blame them, their leather goods are reasonably priced, and their items are handcrafted. But there was a sale that was too good to pass up, and I wanted to try a smaller A6 size notebook. So I ordered an A6 in Cayenne Santa Fe with a front pocket. This notebook has bordeaux colored thread stitching throughout. The back of both covers has an embossed logo in the bottom corner. It’s not too big or annoying.
Overall, I’m impressed with Makers South. The notebook covers are top notch. They feel smooth to the touch, and the quality is good. This is not something that is mass produced in a factory somewhere, it’s made by people who love leather and providing a high level of customer service. And Chrispian is really nice and quick about answering questions.
If you are in the market for a holiday gift for a stationery or office supply geek, check out Makers South now because you can get in the queue! I think that these covers would make nice gifts for any writer, student, or busy professional.