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A 2016 wrap up

Posted by Brice Salmon on

A 2016 wrap up

Hi everyone! Today, we are so amazed of how many of you read regularly our blog, thanks for that, you're awesome! That really gives us the courage to move forward and share with you our experiments, joys, and deceptions all along the way. Hence, this time, let's share a quick recap of our past year, our highlights, and difficulties, just as quick a wrap-up!

Before we dive in, let's show you a sample of a list we make every year as a big picture of what we would like to achieve, where we succeeded and where we failed:

  • Work on corporate projects ✓
  • Make workshops with our local community ✓
  • Website redesign ❌
  • Have a better accounting solution and follow up ✓
  • Having a Rep. ✓ then ❌
  • Pay less for shipping ✓
  • Make a magazine ❌
  • Launch a podcast ❌
  • Create a catalog of our products ✓
  • Move ✓
  • Tighten shipping time ✓
  • Raise global quality ✓
  • Get closer to people who inspire us - W.I.P. ✓
  • ...

January – March

Aaannnd go!

High hopes and expectations: let's start with shipping. At last found a shipping provider for our international shipments and I thought that at this time that all our problems related to pricing and delivery times were solved. How naive I was 😇... Practical but not that hot. A year later, best solutions still reside in packaging optimization and not much on carriers' selection.
Thanks to Fondation Montreal Inc., we met the wonderful Anne Thomas, founder of TOMA. She became our mentor and friend, her support and kindness help us tremendously all along the year.

Yey! After 1 year of trial and error, we managed to build our own photo studio.

The young folks from DKTO made us a very nice "about" video (in French)

After a lot of research, we finally managed to create and make enamel pins. We struggled a lot, everybody loves them all and we've been approached a lot to make collaborations. Another important step was to use the money we didn't have to buy a brand new hot foil stamping machine. We discovered a whole new world, new people, new materials, and new technics. We're crazy in love with this machine we still don't use enough today. But wait and see 😉

Had a very inspiring meeting with Patrick Tanguay, "Editor at Large" of The Alpine Review, a stunning magazine you have to read somehow. Melanie and I are thinking about making a magazine or a book one day soon and thanks to Patrick's very valuable insights, we have a better vision of what it takes and how to proceed with this very exciting project. Then, at the end of the month, we had one of the most emotionally tough moments of the year: Go To Dragons' Den TV show. A lot of pressure, where we just lost our focus (which was visibility) but the follow up was really good.

Knock Knock. Who's there? Taxes! Oh, Surprise! Oh my goodness! We weren't so not prepared for this. Let's say we learned a lot 😌 Today, when I look back at this period, I'm amazed by our progress and the struggles we've been through - administratively speaking -.

Paysage de forêt enneigée

Mélanie et Brice à "Dans l'oeil du Dragon"

April – May

A high level of wow factor

Internship season began with receiving Sarah, a graphic designer from Belgium who stayed with us for a couple of weeks. Energetic, kind and talented, we can't wait to see here again in Montreal (come back anytime Sarah! 😊).

Consequently to this beautiful experience, we decided to welcome Clémence and Cannelle during the summer for several weeks as well. We learned a lot together and accomplished great stuff thanks to them.

From then, the more Wednesdays we could, we organize "Bièrecredis", a casual meetup between a couple of entrepreneur friends around a beer.

We've been approached by several companies to make consignment. For those who don't know what it 's all about, consignment consists in lending your products to a shop, for free, in exchange for the hope to be sold, usually 50/50. If not, you take back your stuff, as is, at a pre-determined date. This is particularly interesting when you begin and a good way to create bounds with local retailers. Unfortunately, every time we accepted last year was a failure in terms of sells but also regarding the state of the products that we gave back. Consignment doesn't motivate retailers to sell that much as they don't take a lot of risk having things to sell that they had for free. Eventually, your products are manipulated by customers and get more or less dirty and scratched, hence products' condition is very subjective when it comes to being compensated when your items come back.

We saw our first corporate projects coming in and since then, have a lot of fun with them! This year, we definitely hope to make more of them.

May's highlight was, of course, our participation in the New York's National Stationery Show, the biggest stationery event in North America. As usual with us, we weren't prepared properly but reached our goals anyway. It was a huge reality check for us, we learned a lot and most importantly, it confirmed that we had our place among companies we long-time admire and look from below like Clap Clap Design , Iron Curtain Press and many more. They are all impressive, highly talented and professional, that's why we came back from there inspired and motivated like never before. The best part of all was definitely to hang out with of them and to be featured in our favorite blog Oh So Beautiful Paper. See you next May everybody!

Kiosque du Baltic Club au National Stationery Show

Mélanie, Lisa et Brice au National Stationery Show

June – August

Hot summer

In June began a 3 months relationship with a local company which goal is to provide local products as corporate gifts instead of oversea-made stuff. Unfortunately, this failed for several reasons like not being able to discuss with the final client, making back and forths quite painful or even disturbing.

We moved! - And we did well. We are so much better now: Our workspace is so luminous, peaceful, larger, cheaper... It's been our 4th moving in 2 years and we really hope to stay there now for a while.

The first attempt in having a " Rep' ".  A Rep is basically someone who travels to show your products to retailers in exchange for a percentage of the sales. It's a long learning curve but a very interesting exercise to make. Also, you get very valuable feedbacks and it pushes you to remain up-to-date with your catalog.

As a way to connect with our local community, we decided to launch the Baltic Club Workshops. We had a lot of fun each time and brand new ideas emerged from these casual meetings.

A couple of days later, after the first session, we've been so surprised to be selected as part of Code Souvenir, an initiative to promote Montreal creativity to the world through evocative city products.

Then, family vacation 🌴

Produits dans le nouvel atelier

Fanny pendant les vacances à New York City

Brice et Lola, la mascotte du Baltic Club

Vue du nouvel atelier, rue Clark à Montréal

September – December

An end of the year tasting like a sprint

Our beloved jobs feel more like a marathon than like a sprint, but eventually, the amount of things happening makes you run like hell. That's particularly the case when comes the end of the year. Besides the fact that we were a lot out there, showcasing the work of a whole year, we had to deal with unscrupulous suppliers, various dramas as well as the everyday struggle to remain mentally and physically sain while working 24/7 for months. Wisely, I ran my very first marathon at this precise moment 👌🏼. Epic.

Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa. That's where we went. Anywhere we were, we've been literally overwhelmed, we received so much love that we just still can't believe it was real. Our goal is to bring a particular piece of happiness in people life, we are so grateful 😌

The emotional roller coaster we talked about in a previous post is still there but, to use a bad metaphor, this year, we manage to remain in our seats. We become more like anti-adhesive pans with pains and deceptions and enjoy every single daily success, even the smallest.

Yet another busy week as per Brice's weekly planner from Baltic Club

Kiosque du Baltic Club au One of a Kind de Toronto

Mélanie avec son nouveau chandail nuage

Now, a couple of things on our 2017's list 😊

  • Create more funny items,

  • Hire someone cool,

  • Help and inspire people reaching their goals,
  • Bring more happiness in people's life,
  • Giving back more and more and more...

Now, what's on your list? We'd love you to share with us!

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The happy links #1

Posted by Brice Salmon on

The happy links is a very serious curated list of stuff we've stumbled upon this week and that we wanted to share with you. Its purpose is simply to spread love and make you smile, just like we did.

Again, it IS very serious, all right? 😗 Have fun anyway.

Donald Trump uses Comic Sans protest sign

Photo credit: Elizabeth Nolan Brown

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10 beautiful 2017 calendars for designers

Posted by Mélanie Ouellette on

Yes, January is behind us, but as stationery freaks, we just needed to share with you a quick selection of what shook us up last month. Besides, everybody could wish for a little more organization. Here are our top 10 favorite calendars for 2017.

1 . Risotto Studio

This colorful calendar made by Risotto Studio, a talented UK-based Studio. This one is made using the magic of a Risograph printer. Look at these colors! Amazing. Find it here.

2. Rifle Paper Co

A Rifle Paper "Classic": Florally inspired calendar elegantly printed on thick paper. Available here

Rifle Paper co calendar paradise garden cover
Rifle Paper co paradise garden March page

3. Wilano

A year at a glance thanks to this beautiful pastel rainbow banner. Available here, on Anette's Etsy shop.

Wilano Pastel 2017 calendar

4. Prism of Starlings

A quite original paper calendar, beautifully illustrated by Kirsty Baynham. This art piece is available in her Etsy shop.

Prism of Starlings 2017 Triangle Wall Calendar

5. Present & Correct

Available in 2 colors, this index-related calendar has been designed by the two talented designers of Present & Correct. Letterpress of course. Check it out on their very nice website.

Index Card Calendar large

Index Card Calendar closeup

6. Baltic Club

And another risograph-printed calendar in our list. This time, some metallic gold ink has been used for this one, representing Northern sky's constellations. This one is actually sold out but you can always get your FREE version of it on this page.

Baltic Club Northern Sky Calendar Risograph Printing large

Closeup photo of the 2017 Baltic Club Northern Sky Calendar Risograph Printing


The "One Seven", a light grey and gold metallic foil, designed and printed in Denmark by Kristina Krogh. Just 😻.

8. Appointed

A 11" x 13.5" classy oversized printed calendar with a brass foil accent. So design.


A lovely idea: Each day is perforated like a stamp, just remove it when it's passed! Available in 2 colors 

10. Paper Source

An original marble design calendar, hot foiled on a rigid cardboard and delivered in a beautiful box. The wooden easel can even be reused for the next years! Check it out right here. 

Baltic Club is a lifestyle and stationery company located in Montreal. We provide happiness items and productivity tools thanks to paper and cardboard. All of our illustrations and products are proudly handmade. We also provide professional services from logo design to brand identity, custom product design as well as corporate orders.

This article contains affiliate links and we endorse 100% of its content. We will never share anything we don't find adorable.

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Visite chez Boucle & Papier

Posted by Brice Salmon on

Quand on a besoin d’un carnet (parce ce que, même une fois qu’on a quitté les bancs d’école, la nécessité de posséder de la papeterie est toujours présente) on pense immanquablement à aller chez Bureau en gros. Bien que je ne remette pas en question la qualité des bons vieux cahiers Canada, mais il existe de nos jours, des outils bien plus inspirants qui confirmeront votre besoin d’avoir à votre constante disposition des dizaines des carnets.


Le mot papeterie renvoie toutefois automatiquement l‘idée d’une fabrique de papier; une grande usine près d’une rivière, de grandes presses et de la pâte transformée en feuille. Le concept d’un magasin où on retrouve carte de souhaits, affiches, cahiers et correspondance est plus développé aux États-Unis qu’ici et c’est lors d’un voyage sur la côte ouest américaine que Jessyca Houle a trouvé l’inspiration et a décidé d’ouvrir sa version montréalaise de ces fameuses boutiques.  


J’ai découvert Boucle & Papier alors que je marchais sur St-Laurent. La boutique était malheureusement fermée mais je me suis juré d’y retourner le plus tôt possible. J’ai bien fait de le faire puisqu’en passant la porte je suis entrée dans un paradis. C’est dans cet antre du bonheur de papier que j’ai découvert Baltic Club.


La boutique, qui célébrait dernièrement son premier anniversaire, fait se côtoyer des créateurs bien d’ici et des grandes marques passés maitres dans l’art de créer carnets, agenda et j’en passe. L’équilibre créé par cette cohabitation de créateurs confirme la raison de vivre de l’écriture manuscrite et de ses dérivés. Même si on le répète sans cesse, je me mine à le faire également : à une époque où tout se digitalise, le temps qu’on passe à écrire à la main prend de la valeur. Tel des moines, certains retournent vers l’art de la calligraphie (Boucle & Papier a d’ailleurs donné plusieurs ateliers à ce sujet), d’autres s’acharnent à posséder un agenda papier pour aller au-delà de la simple prise de rendez-vous dans le calendrier de leur téléphone.


Ma mère me demande souvent, en feuilletant des cahiers aux pages vierges, ce que les gens peuvent bien écrire pour remplir ces calepins aux grandeurs aussi diverses qu’on puisse l’imaginer. Même si des applications sur nos téléphones permettent d’archiver des centaines de milliers de notes qu’on prend pour soi, le papier apporte un je-ne-sais-quoi négligé par le numérique. Cette mission commune de Boucle & Papier et de Baltic Club de fournir aux gens les ressources nécessaires pour être heureux, que ce soit grâce à une guirlande de papier ou une affiche qui fera sourire, donne, à mon avis, un souffle de fraicheur sur une industrie qu’on croyait froide comme les pages quadrillées d’une cahier Hilroy à spirale 80 pages.


Boucle & Papier est le genre d’endroit qui donne envie de délaisser le courriel et d’envoyer par la poste des lettres manuscrites à tous vos amis pour les convier à prendre le thé un dimanche après midi. 

Voici les liens vers leur site et leur (magnifique) Instagram.

Texte par Clémence Giroux Tremblay
Photo par Boucle et Papier

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A couple of items for stationery lovers

Posted by Brice Salmon on

If you're fond of stationery likewe are, you may understand how essential those items currently are in our lives.
German-made colored pencils by School House Electric
German-made colored pencils by School House Electric
Rose-Gold and Marble Notebook by The Baltic Club
Rose-Gold and Marble Notebook by The Baltic Club
Copper clips and pins by Paperchase
Copper clips and pins by Paperchase
Art-deco-inspired pencils from Chronicle Books on Modcloth
Art-deco-inspired pencils from Chronicle Books on Modcloth
Solid Brass Ruler by SugarPaper
Solid Brass Ruler by SugarPaper
Marble stapler by Rachel George
Marble stapler by Rachel George
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