Scriptus, the Toronto Pen Show, is upon us! It’s taking place on Sunday, October 28th, from 10 am to 4 pm at the Toronto Reference Library right at Yonge and Bloor. It has free admission, and no doubt is going to be a fabulous day.
But, possibly even more exciting, is that we’re going to have some special guests at the shop the Saturday before the show.
On Saturday, October 27th, from 1 – 5 pm, the day before the show, Brad and Myke from The Pen Addict and Ana from The Well-Appointed Desk are going to be joining us at the main shop! Please come by and say hello. They’re coming from south of the border and, from what I hear, are pretty excited to see what us Canadians are all about. Are we as friendly and polite as everyone thinks we are? Will we offer some sort of maple-flavoured candies? Only time shall tell!
You may also know Brad from The Pen Addict blog, as well as from Nock Co., where he works with Jeffrey Bruckwicki to design and manufacture pen cases and bags, which we carry in the shop. Ana, together with her husband Bob Atkins of Skylab Letterpress, have created the Col-o-ring ink swab cards, which we also carry in the shop. Our shop Col-o-ring book, with a few swabs in it for display, has definitely been well-thumbed.
These folks have all been big supporters of our tiny shop from its earliest days. I still remember when the Ink film was released and on podcast, Brad said something about how these shops with inks and notebooks tucked into all the nooks were his kind of shop. At the time, we were just this unknown, two-person shop, maybe 300 square feet, storing inventory in our living room, and it was a pretty a surreal boost to hear us mentioned on the podcast. We have grown a little since those early days, but do we ever remember our roots, and those that have helped us get to where we are now.
Brad, Myke and Ana are also big supporters of the pen and stationery community at large, and we’re proud to be part of the family. As much as Jon and I are always worried about what the future holds for small businesses, and make no mistake, it’s hard for any mom and pop shop to ever feel secure, knowing that there’s a community of pen folks and stationery nerds out there is something we don’t take for granted.
So please come on by! We’re heard from a few of you already excited about both the visit (how did you all find out??) and the pen show, and we can’t wait. We’re going to have treats and snacks, of course, and maybe a few balloons.
If you can’t make it to the main shop (Little Italy) on Saturday, rest assured Brad, Myke and Ana will all be the pen show on Sunday. They’ll be wandering and helping to pitch in at our tables, so they’ll really get a good behind the scenes look at our operations (yikes).
In any case, we’re slowly getting ready here, behind the scenes. While we haven’t quite gotten to the stage of actually packing things into boxes, we’re sort of walking around, hemming and hawing over what to bring, and how many to bring. The stock itself is actually a relatively small part of the organization – it’s all the other stuff, the payment, the display stuff, the snacks.
I feel like the staff are slowly bringing up questions, as they might approach an unknown animal: so Liz… do you …think …we’re going to go with the postcards again this year? But in actual fact they’ve mostly stopped asking questions and just gone ahead and done stuff up. I sort of blinked and all of a sudden someone was showing me a new Scriptus button, all made up. They’re pretty great.
It’s our third year exhibiting, and after each year we block out all the craziness from our memories and just retain all the feel good interactions from customers and friends, and so now seem to be wondering afresh whether or not we price-tagged things before or how exactly did we do the raffle and what was the problem last year we had with the postcards? It’s slightly ironic that while we’re sort of low-key people, at this time of year we really turn into a carnival. Every year it seems to get crazier and crazier, although last year’s with Naomi at 2 weeks old probably took the cake.
As with the previous years, our main shop (Little Italy) will be open from 1-5 pm on Sunday (we’re usually closed Sundays), in case you want to stop by.
In all seriousness, I am quite looking forward to the weekend’s excitement, especially now with Brad, Myke and Ana. It’s Canada’s only (?) pen show, and we get folks from across the country. Some of these folks have watched us grow over the last five years, and it’s an incredible feeling, to know how much people care about and support small business and family run operations.
*Our set-up will not look quite as professional as this.