My Stationery Story: Simon Stone

Stone Marketing is the UK’s largest distributor of fine writing, stationery and gift brands, including Tombow, Faber-Castell, mt tapes and Caran d’Ache to name a few. We catch up with owner, Simon Stone, as the company celebrates 35 years in business.

How did Stone Marketing come about?

In 1989, I launched Stone Marketing driven by a desire to start my own business. A conversation with a colleague at Dunhill nudged me towards marketing services and corporate gifting over other potential ventures like owning a pen shop. Starting with just a phone and a desk, I began buying and selling luxury gifts to banks and other organisations. Shortly after this, Stone Marketing became the exclusive UK distributor for Tombow after a chance encounter with their export manager at the time, Mashiho Kojo.

What made you get into the stationery industry?

I have always had a passion and desire for stationery, even as a young boy. My father travelled a great deal and always returned with fantastic tins of Caran d’Ache colouring pencils, Faber-Castell erasers, and many other lovely stationery items. With seven years’ experience at Mont Blanc, pens and stationery became my expertise.

What is the best part of being in of the stationery industry?

The stationery industry is an energetic community with wonderful colleagues and products, constantly evolving and full of excitement.

What’s your favourite industry memory?

One of the most unforgettable moments in my journey remains the spectacular factory tour of mt Masking Tape in Kurashiki, Japan. The whole experience was charming, witnessing behind the scenes and encountering enthusiastic fans of the brand.

Above: Simon (left) on a bullet train in Japan with a colleague in 1990.
Above: Simon (left) on a bullet train in Japan with a colleague in 1990.

35 - 3What does 2024 hold for Stone Marketing?

Marking 35 years of success, we embark on an exciting journey with ambitious growth ahead.

Can you tell us three interesting facts about your business?

  1. Tombow’s ABT brush pen is a product we have sold for 35 years and remains in the collection today.
  2. Our warehouse space in Tonbridge, Kent, is so vast that it could hold an astonishing six million pencils. That’s enough pencils to draw a line from London to Paris and back again – twice!
  3. Around 65% of our workforce are amazing women.

What is your favourite stationery product of all time?

The Tombow Egg Pen holds a special place in my heart – ranking high on my list of all-time faves!

Above: Tombow ABT brush pens have been a staple since 1989 for Stone Marketing.
Above: Tombow ABT brush pens have been a staple since 1989 for Stone Marketing.

 

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