Rite in the Rain is a Tacoma, Washington-based business that makes waterproof paper, notebooks, and writing supplies. I’ve used their products forever in the mountains, and over the past couple of years they’ve become great friends — and one of my most supportive sponsors. We’ve collaborated on all kinds of fun things, including their recent product catalog:
This spring I received an email from Jim Kopriva, who is a product manager for the 100-year-old company. Rite in the Rain had been selected by the Association of Washington Business (AWB) to be featured their “Grow Here” campaign, which spotlights local companies who use environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes. The campaign included both television and radio segments, and Jim needed to find somebody who could talk about using waterproof notebooks in interesting places.
“It’ll probably just be one guy with a camera,” he said. “Twenty minutes, tops.”
Of course, the shoot was much larger than either of us had imagined. We met at Taylor Shellfish Farms, which is a gorgeous property nestled on the banks of Hood Canal. There was a makeup artist, a full film crew, and a couple of sound technicians. Huckleberry helped.
Once I stopped feeling like I might throw up every time the camera was pointed in my direction, I found that it was easy to talk about how much I like and respect Rite in the Rain, both because they make wonderful products and because they’re a responsible company. Sixteen years ago, they took the initiative to convert from solvent to water-based inks and became emissions free. Their sustainably-sourced paper is 100% recyclable. They hire local people. They listen.
Even more than that, I like that they’re a company whose whole purpose it to help people recording interesting things in interesting places. Study after study has proven the value of writing by hand: it increases memory, helps writers prioritize tasks, encourages creativity, and more. When I’m teaching travel writing classes, I constantly encourage students to take notes. Not on their iPhones, but in a notebook. By hand.
If you’re interested, keep an eye out for us on statewide television radio, and Pandora.com — or you can watch the commercial here, too.