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Behind the Curtain: What It Takes to Make a Page

Written by Thread & Maple


Posted on September 25 2023

Ever wonder what it takes to get a make a new product? Well today, we're going to break it down for you! 

Instead of getting bogged down in the creation of a whole new product and the hours of sketching and sourcing, trial after trial, and... well, you get the picture. We're going to give you a look at what it takes to make a new binder page. 

The time and testing needed may vary depending on if it's a new needle set or whole new style (like our new Notions Page, which will make a debut at Rhinebeck and in November online). But either way, here are the steps we take (and a glimpse at the costs) to get a new product to you! 



Pre-production sketch

First, we select the next top most requested binder page from our database. Every time one of you guys submit our Binder Page Request Form, it counts as a vote. We sort through all the votes and pick our next candidate (well, you do!)

Then, if the page is for an interchangeable needles set, we research the tip sizes that we need to fit and carefully measure the spacing of each tip pair. Based on tip length, width, and number of tips, we select the page backing for the set. Page 1 is the one with the zip pocket, Page 2 is the one with the snap pocket. We try to fit the set on Page 2, but if it's too big, it goes on Page 1.

Next, each new page starts out as a new design in Photoshop. A to-scale image of each individual tab must be created, complete with measurements for the designer.

A second image, also to scale must be made for embossers, containing all the text and/or images to be stamped into the leather. From this the embossing plate is created.

Then our master designer gets to work on the new page, crafting each detail with care and creating a process by which all future tabs will be made. 

The prototype is sent to Olga for inspection. Suggestions are made; the designer goes back to the drawing board. Rinse and repeat as needed.

Pre-Production Costs: 

  • Component sampling/sourcing
  • Digital design
  • Design programs
  • Custom embosser plate + creation
  • Prototype Design 
  • Materials
  • Shipping for prototype 



Sewing a new page

Yay! We have a working design/process. We've sourced the leather, thread, elastic, zippers, buttons, and hardware from the factories not damaged by the Ukrainian war. We've found and trained leather workers after our initial artisans were drafted into the Ukrainian army.

Now we're ready to go. 

In every small batch, each item is hand cut, sewn, and stamped to precise measurements. The more needles a tab holds, the more work it involves, sewing each needle slot with sizing down to the millimeter.

The pages are then hand packed in boxes and run across the Ukrainian border to Poland to be shipped to our office in Canada. 

Production Costs:

  • Material (which has skyrocketed due to the number of factories shuttered or damaged by the war) 
  • Production labor
  • Packing & shipping + border run
  • Product hardware components + shipping to Ukraine



Our warehouse

Once the pages pass customs, they arrive at our small warehouse/office space. 

Our team of 5 women unpack and inspect each item. They look for scratches and scuffs, creases in the leather or other imperfections that cross-continental shipping has wrought. Some are buffed and polished back to perfection and others are set aside for our epic annual Seconds Sale. 

Each item is then packaged in Thread & Maple bags with little instruction cards tucked in as needed. The office manager uploads the new stock to our database, which feeds into our online store hosted by Shopify. 

Stocking Costs: 

  • Customs import fees
  • Individual packaging 
  • Instruction cards
  • Staff
  • Office space - including water, electricity,
  • Inventory management software
  • Shopify & website hosting




However, we can't launch yet. You have to know about it before you might be interested in buying. 

We have to start with some tantalizing product photos from our fantastic photographers (who also happen to be on our fulfillment team!)

These photographs get passed on to 2 women with a love of knitting and words. One works up social media posts and the other goes to work on our newsletter and blog announcement. 

Post-Production Costs: 

  • Photography 
  • Social media posting app
  • Email host provider
  • Marketing labor
  • Photo editing tools



Packing items for shipping

Woo hoo! A purchase is made. A happy dance is danced.

Shopify takes a cut. So does the payment processor. So does Shopify again if the purchase is not in Canadian dollars.

And the shipping process begins! 

Items are removed from stock and packaged with care. Then they are sent off to their new home--yours! 

Secret Revealed

Now you might think that you pay for shipping if your order is below $250, but here's the secret. We still pay for a good portion of the shipping costs in most cases. 

On average, shipping to the US costs us $22, but we only charge $10.

We also offer a flat $15CAD rate as a more affordable option for Canadian customers living in remote locations.

In today's world of Amazon, free shipping has become the status quo. As a small business, it's really tough to make this proposition. Especially because we choose  to work with quality materials and small artisan teams earning a living wage, instead of having all our accessories mass-produced in low-cost factories. We know that it can be frustrating to see your cart total be bumped by shipping costs, we totally get it. We just wanted to share this with you, so that you know that we're doing our best to help cover these costs.

Shipping Costs: 

  • Seller fees--Shopify, PayPal
  • Boxes, tape, bags, and more
  • Carrier fees
  • Labor
  • Shipping software


From Us to You! 

Our team

We love what we make and what we do! Each new release is a labor of love involving dozens of people and hundreds of hours. 

We're so thrilled and honored that we get to share what's in our hearts and bring them into your homes. 

Thanks for taking this journey with us! 


Sam & Olga



  • Wow! So many, many steps! Unbelievable! Thank you for sharing and giving a peek behind the curtain to what it takes to go from an idea to delivering a finished product. Very impressive! Keep up the great work!

    Posted by Jennifer | October 12, 2023
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