Committed to Making Beautiful Journals
Journals crafted with humor at Rocky Mountain Journal Co.
By Ted Scheffler
Hand-crafted, artisan-made books and journals are the bedrock of Rocky Mountain Journal Co., based here in Salt Lake City. The owners - Adrienne Cory and Natalie Johanson - are committed to making handmade journals using traditional bookbinding methods. And, they do so incorporating a healthy dose of humor into their work.
“We've always loved those fancy genuine leather journals, but our bank accounts did not love the price tags. Our goal is to create a journal that won't hurt your budget, but everyone will think it did. We think quality should also be affordable,” they say.
Although both women currently work full-time jobs, their goal is ultimately to have their journal-making business replace those full-time jobs at some point. “In five years we would love to be able to run this full-time and have a small shop or boutique.”
When asked to describe Rocky Mountain Journal Co.’s niche, they say “We like to say our niche is quality, handmade items at a price that won’t make you cry. Everyone deserves nice things … We always look at the amazing handmade leather journals that sell for $80+ and cry a little on the inside. Now we can have a genuine leather journal but without the tears.” (Note: Rocky Mountain Journal Co. products range in price from $3 for a Mini Pocket Paper Book to $45 for a beautiful American Buffalo Brown Handmade Leather Journal with Ties.)
The couple’s love of old books, combined with the tangible craft of journal writing plus a love of history, resulted in the launching of Rocky Mountain Journal Co. Both women are “self-taught,” and say that Adrienne loves working with paper and “is more patient in general than Natalie.” They add, humorously, “Which means anything small is made by Adrienne, because Natalie throws things.” Natalie is the company’s resident leather worker and specializes in hardback books. With tongue firmly in cheek, they say “We're a little snarky, we're a little funny, but mostly we're a little smart-assy. If you want to come laugh with us, come visit us at one of our markets!”
It’s at local markets, including Made in Utah - as well as online at rockymountainjournalco.com - where you’ll find Adrienne and Natalie’s beautifully crafted works. Regarding markets and art shows, they advise anyone wishing to follow in their footsteps to “Apply to everything. Every market, every show. Be prepared to lose money at some, but until you know where you do well and don’t … try them all.”