When asked what we do, we reply “We make albums, portfolios and boxes, for special occasions, presentations or posterity”. It's a little long winded, but we can't think of a better way of putting it.
The key word for us though, in that long winded explanation is "Special". Just about everything we make is a one off. It is personalised with someone's name or branding on it, specially made for either a presentation, a special occasion, a special project or to honour somebody's life or family.
With that very securely in our minds, we take enormous care and pride in everything we make. Every portfolio or box is individually hand made by us using traditional bookbinding and box making techniques. We ensure that every item that leaves us is perfect. We take enormous pride in presenting something special to our customers - after all, not only does it often have their name on it, it always has ours!
Hartnack and Company is a husband and wife partnership that was started in October 2013 (not the husband and wife bit, that started in 1996).
Like every good partnership the roles of the business are split. Jackie is the talented crafts person who makes everything and Nick (who strictly speaking shouldn’t be allowed near scissors and glue) handles the hot stamping and marketing.
What is our background? Why did we start this business? Well, it wasn't bookbinding. We started, like most businesses, because a need arose.
Our youngest daughter is a bit of an over achiever, or more fairly, she likes doing a lot of what life has to offer. This tends to bring with it a lot of paper work in the way of certificates and other memorabilia (programmes,photos, tickets etc etc).
It got to the stage though, where she/we were losing important paper work; in this particular case, a certificate that we needed for her to apply to go on to the next stage of a competition.
During one of our epic searches, it was decided that what she needed was a file (nay album!) to keep everything in, safe and ready not only for the next course, but for the next time she and grandparents/parents wanted to view and admire her work and achievements. We could find very little in the market that suited, particularly of the bespoke nature, so Jackie endeavoured to make her own!
As it happened the first thing Jackie made wasn't for our daughter, but for somebody else's newly arrived Grandchild. Along with their certificate holder (or book of life) came other requirements. Another "children's album". A memorial box for Nick’s late Dad - a place to keep his 'history' which wasn't the Tesco Supermarket bag on top of the wardrobe! A family history album for Jackie's Mother and a Design Portfolio for our niece (and that was just the family!)
It was while telling a friend who happened to be a professional photographer, that we were making bespoke folders, that she told us she was desperate for a new photography portfolio (only it had to be leather), that we realised that maybe there was a business in making not just bespoke binders and boxes, but in portfolios as well.
That was back in late 2013. We've grown a little since then, there are now five of us and our customers (even in one single weeks production) are everybody from Families and Newly Weds to Independent Photographers Graphic and Fashion Designers, Architectural Practises, Hotels, Super Yachts, Small Companies and very large Publicly Listed Companies. Added to that, a third of what we make gets sent around the world.
We hope maybe we can make something for you, whoever and wherever you are in the world. The key is though, you want something special, because that is what we make.