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A message from Mafalda McCarthy, Dodo Pad’s Managing Director

A message from Mafalda McCarthy, Dodo Pad’s Managing Director

As 2023 is now properly underway, I would like to share with you a quick look back over the last year and a few thoughts for the year ahead.

Some customers have asked for a bit more insight into what happens behind the scenes in our small business. This year we’re going to be more ‘out there’ on social media, with videos and interviews with the team that bring the Dodo Pad to the world every year. Be sure to follow us.

It is now nearly two years since I became the custodian of the Dodo Pad in April 2021. My predecessor, Rebecca Jay, was always very open about how things were going in the business. It was her openness that started it all for me, as my other half was sent the article in The Times on Friday 13th December 2019 (Friday the Thirteenth is lucky for some) telling the world that the future of the Dodo Pad was at risk due to increasing costs and falling distribution. Read the article HERE if you have a thetimes.co.uk subscription.

Below: Chris Duggan's cartoon that accompanied The Times article -  unexpectedly accurate about what 2020 would bring!!!

In 2022 we faced into economic challenges and attracted new Dodo Padlers

The last year has been a difficult year for many people on many levels and Dodo Pad has not been immune to the challenges.

Significant difficulties during the year which affected Dodo Pad include the limited availability and increasing costs of paper due to energy prices; rising distribution costs; and the disruption caused by the Royal Mail strike, which had a severe impact in December.

Our move back to UK printing and binding gave us considerable flexibility and we weren’t impacted by the global supply chain issues that have caused issues for others.

On a very positive note we have attracted new Dodo Padlers during the year, with many under 40s joining our merry band. The Dodo Pad appeals to a very broad audience and I am delighted that many people in their twenties and thirties are becoming keen users, with a lifetime of Dodo Padling ahead. They all love the format and the humour and are re-assured by our approach to sustainability. Our August to August Academic diary is proving a big hit with mothers organising their lives around their children's school calendar.

Below: The new look Dodo Pad Academic diary, popular with parents

During 2022, the Dodo Acad-Pad was re-launched as the Dodo Pad Academic with a new cover.  We also developed two special editions, a left handed Dodo Pad and a hard cover Dodo Pad. In addition to the Academic and our Annual diaries, we launched:

  • A new range of twelve different notebooks
  • A new Dodo Pad Book for Cooks recipe journal
  • A refreshed Jotter Pad range
  • A full range of Dodo Pad covers in leaf leather and genuine leather

Below: The Dodo Pad Book for Cooks recipe journal, launched in October 2022

Following extensive feedback and a user survey, we'll be launching a colourful new cover for the Dodo Pad in 2023 - I can't wait to reveal it!

And once the diaries are created - we're nearly there, having started in July last year - we will review our new product ambitions for the rest of the year.  This is always a balance of time, likely demand and the necessary investment and cashflow required and we can't do everything. Currently on the ‘potential’ list are:

  • Book for Gardeners - a gardening journal
  • Book of Christmas - a festive planner
  • Address Book - a refresh of the Dodo Address Book
  • Monthly Planner - a monthly Dodo Pad planner
  • An undated weekly Dodo Pad planner 
  • A junior Dodo Pad

Let me know in the comments below which of these you’d most like to see, or any other products that you'd like to see from us here at Dodo Towers.

It goes without saying that our little business is nothing without its customers and I want to thank everyone who uses a Dodo Pad. There will be Dodo Pads for years to come, that is no longer in doubt, but we could do with a few more Dodo Padlers. Please encourage others to use our special diary. And if your local stationer, bookseller or gift shop doesn't sell any Dodo diary produce, let them know about the Dodo Pad - it may be their best seller next Christmas.

If you have any questions, comments or ideas on anything Dodo Pad, stationery or running a small business, do get in touch with me. My email is mafalda@dodopad.com and I’d love to hear from you. Or, of course, do post a comment below. 

I look forward to sharing more over the coming year.

Thank you all, so much, for your support of the Dodo Pad!

 

60 comments

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