It was Fountain Pen Day! I hope you all treated your fountain pens to nice lukewarm bath and fresh ink and soft cloth polishing and a little quick brown fox.
Last week we had a giveaway, and we asked you to enter by leaving a comment, sharing your first fountain pen, or just saying hello and I was blown away by all the responses.
It was so much fun to read about how you all got into fountain pens – from physical reasons like wrist problems, to using fountain pens in school, to accidentally walking into a fountain pen shop, to being convinced by a friend/significant other/co-worker, to coming into a sentimental pen from someone close. If you ever feel like you need some inspiration to get writing again, the comments thread here is a good place to start.
And the winner is!
Congratulations! While we chose the winner of the Duo Cart at random, I have to say, this is a good one to win: “The sensual experience of its usage ensnared me.” Couldn’t have said it better myself!*
I wasn’t expecting quite as many responses as we got, nor how much people’s stories were going to mean to me (I’m not sure what exactly I was expecting), and I was so entertained and touched and surprised and delighted and we actually laughed out loud at some of them. I’m not sure why I was so surprised, since customers come in all the time with funny and wild and sentimental stories about their journeys and relationships with their pens and writing, but it was actually quite an affirming thing, as someone who “runs a business” which really means fixing holes in the wall or calling the city to pick up garbage bins, to see how deeply so many of you feel about your journey with putting pen to paper. These are pens, tools, pieces of plastic and metal holding water and dye, and yet they are truly transforming and meaningful in everything they represent as well as the unique physicality of what they produce.
In any case: to continue the celebration, because when are we not celebrating good writing and the good people we write to/near/about, we’re giving away a Safari + a converter to three of our favourite stories. It was hard to pick, that’s for sure, but these were ones that made us particularly happy. And based on all the stories of first fountain pens, a Safari felt particularly appropriate.
We’re people who love pens, but hearing about how these pens and tools are part of our lives and help us create stories with the people around us – this is why we started this whole thing.
Congratulations! We’re going to be contacting you via email!
So we’re back! Actually we’ve been back for now almost two weeks, which is basically how long it takes weaklings like us to recover. It’s been a good two weeks, busy in a non-exciting but still sort of exciting way as we’ve gotten in a few shipments that we had actually hoped to receive in time for the show, and we’re sorting through the remains of all our Scriptus bins, finding our routines again.
It’s a real boost for our shop to have Scriptus, with all of the excitement and stationery chatter, and, especially at this time of year, right out of that we hit the ground running with looking at what stock we want or need to bring in for the holiday season. Our team, our whole community seems re-invigorated, and it’s a lovely way to head into the busy season.
In the vein of getting back to business, I’ve also been making a few small tweaks to my daily routine to see how I can manage my time a little better. My day is pretty broken up with dropping and picking up Caleb, and it sometimes feels like I only have an hour or two of time to do work (emails, photography, social media, blog) in-between taking care of humans. Jon sometimes vaguely tip toes around with “offhand” comments like hmmm wouldn’t it be nice if we could take a photo of hmm you know this or that and put it on Instagram hmmm how many days has it been since “we” last posted let’s take a look shall we hmmm? and I feel as though there are not enough hours in the day to get all the things done, usually while also holding a baby that needs her diaper changed.
Over the years, though, Jon and I have gotten to know a few other small business owners, and so actually we have concrete proof that there are indeed enough hours for those who are organized enough. We sometimes see the ones who are doing it “solo” and wonder at all the projects and things they get done because here, Jon and I have the two of us and our pretty solid team, and it feels like we’re always juggling so many balls.
I’m also someone that sort of needs a little runway to get into “the zone” of getting things done, and I’m working on organizing myself so when I do have half an hour or an hour, I’m not wasting time wondering/wandering. Just today, I was trying to take some photos, but then I left something in the shop downstairs, and Caleb had brought my camera battery for some reason up to the third floor and luckily I saw him doing it out of the corner of my eye yesterday otherwise it would’ve been a crazy hunt for it, and I had no memory card in my camera, and I was trying to convince the baby she wasn’t interested in all the things I was taking pictures of while I was scrounging up my supplies.
But some of these small changes have proven promising, and I forge on. With the babies so young, each year is so different – from being at home to pre-school to kindergarten, from one to two – and I’m taking what I can and claiming them all as victories. Tomorrow will come soon enough.
We’ve got lots ahead, a few small shipments, a few big ones, and I’m already looking forward to the smell of Christmas trees and hot apple cider. We’ve also got a few projects and plans for the next couple of weeks: refreshing the main shop now that we’ve been in there for a while and have started to figure out how we work in the new space, a new event in December, looking at bringing in a few new lines and products.
Stay tuned! And, of course, as the comments on our giveaway have shown us yet again how incredible this community is, thanks so much for all of the patience and support and grace and good humour you’ve always given us. Can’t wait for what’s ahead.
*Literally, I could not have said it better myself.