Company Bio: “Growing up in a small town of east Russia, I moved to Canada at the age of 17 with my parents. Since my childhood I had a passion for innovative stationery and contemporary design. As a mother of two boys, I noticed how little is available in the stationery market to encourage human creativity. I believed that we would always be children at heart and I felt somebody had to do something about these mundane agendas and conventional colored journals that were sold year after year. One fine day, I decided to quit my secured government job as a programmer analyst to launch the WAFF line of products. Inspired from the grid of waffles, my favorite dessert, I decided to bring a similar textured surface into the stationery world. “
~ Kristina Boudaeva, Founder and CEO of Kristins Gifts
Personal Experience: I’m not sure what it is, but I have always loved the start of a new school year. It means exciting new school supplies! Shiny new scissors, unspoiled number two pencils, and empty notebooks ready for the year’s new thoughts! When I stumbled upon WAFF, my inner child giggled. It’s a line of products I would have loved to have as a kid… and I’m not even going to drag this out… I love them as an adult. 😉
I’m embarrassed to admit how long it actually took me to get this, but WAFF is short for waffle… the tasty food that inspired the unique design of these fun and functional notebooks. The texture alone would make these notebooks unique, but they took it one step further with clever letters, numbers, and solid colors on tiles that can be placed on the notebook to label and decorate the covers.
These tiles are also a useful tool for younger kids. My three year old son enjoys placing and removing the tiles. We play a game where I call out a number of letter and he finds one in a pile of tiles. It’s made more challenging, because the letter are done in a variety of different fonts. We create simple words and math problems as we go. We also make basic shapes and pictures with the solid-color tiles. He wants to play all the time, because he loves touching the tiles and they are super-easy for even a toddler to maneuver. He may not be fully understanding the concepts of words and mathematics just yet, but he is learning the building blocks… and later on he’ll have a really cool notebook to bring to school. 😉
The WAFF collection is made from silicone. It is incredibly durable and easy to keep clean. I spilled a drink on my Memento notebook and it wiped right off the cover. (Fortunately, none got on the paper.) I have even found they can double as a convenient drink coaster in a pinch. 😀 The tiles are also silicone and flexible. When I first opened them, I was convinced my son would have every one ripped in a day… but they have held up to a few weeks of daily playtime.
The covered notebook comes in medium and large sizes. You can get both types as a combo pack with letters included or create your own tile sets by buying them separately. The Pads also come in medium and large. The waffle texture goes all down the backside of the pad and on the upper part of the front. The Memento notebook doesn’t have the texture for adding tiles, but the unique tile closure allows you a bit of the fun with a more professional look. They even have iPhone covers!
I love that they have refills… it makes them much more affordable for extended use. If you have multiple covers, it also allows you to swap them around to change up the look. It takes just a minute to swap the cover or insert a refill. As a teen, I would have loved the opportunity to coordinate my notebooks with the day’s look… as an adult, I just find it fun to change it up and it doesn’t hurt to match whichever bag I’m carrying that day.
I wish that they had carried the waffle texture to the spine of the book. I think it was a missed opportunity. It would have allowed for custom labeling of notebooks in a way that could be changed as their content changed and it would have looked darn cool on a shelf. I’m also disappointed that the Memento and Pad options do not currently have refills available. I think it’s coming, though… both are designed in a way that would make it possible.
The tiles do sometimes peel off if they catch on something. This is mainly a problem when pulling it from a tight spot like my purse. It’s a minor hiccup in an otherwise cool concept.
Pros: A fun and functional notebook great for all ages. Not just a notebook… a great learning tool, too! Refillable notebooks. Durable and water-resistant covers and tiles.
Cons: Tiles can pull of pretty easily. Missed opportunity with book spine for labeling. No refills (yet) for WAFF Pads and Memento books.