Abacus Whiskers is a small, family run business made up of teachers and children of teachers – we design, illustrate and make bespoke artwork and stationery supplies for ourselves first and foremost, but also for anyone else who may be interested.

The Origins of Abacus Whiskers

Abacus Whiskers is very much a small family business – Martyn and Amy (both teachers – Amy, Biology and Martyn, Primary) and our two children Lucas (11) and Emmy (9) – I suppose I shouldn’t forget Lanta, our puppy who joined us a few weeks ago.

Amy tends to come up with ideas and I (Martyn) create them. The four of us will test everything, with the children using anything teaching related in their roleplay games! Abacus Whiskers, is a bit of a family legend – one of those things that became ‘a thing’ (isn’t that one of the best things about families).

The birth of Abacus Whiskers happened as we sat having a cup of coffee in a little café in rural Thailand. Lucas and I started writing a story together. The story started with James (I think?) who was exploring a beach when he tripped and fell into a large crab hole.

Slightly dazed and confused by his fall, he rubbed his eyes and saw a man standing in front of him – Abacus Whiskers. Abacus was an incredibly mysterious character of questionable age (rumoured to be 137 1/3). Together they journeyed through the under-beach world where they met none other than Abacus’ brother, Viticus, who he’d not seen for many, many years.

It was the start of a weird and wonderful journey, which is still only documented on scraps of paper written on during random stops at coffee shops and pubs. Fast forward a few years and Abacus Whiskers became our business name as we decided to explore our passion for design and creation. Our primary focus was on making resources for teachers because the ones that existed already simply weren’t good enough, but has since expanded into all sorts of digital and printable stationery and resources. My dream is to turn Abacus Whiskers into our full-time project, but for now, we’ll enjoy the escape from the everyday grind and make products that are useful, easy to use and beautifully simple.

The Game

The Abacus Whiskers story spawned a game created using Scratch and gave us a chance to create artwork for something different. Inspired by classic platform games like the Dizzy series from the early 1990s, it is very much a work in progress.

One day we will finish the story of Abacus Whiskers and will release it to the world. For now though, Abacus will live on as our ‘mascot’ and spirtual leader.