We survived the show! Of course we did. But it was a fabulous show and a great day. It all seems a blur, not least reason of which is because I’ve delayed now almost two weeks to getting started on this.
The Main Shop was also open, so our team was cleaved in two, with Sarah the captain of the shop ship.
We arrived nice and early, and as always, the Scriptus team was super organized in zipping us and all our gear up the elevator. We are ourselves the organizers of our four tables which at times seems borderline unmanageable and at other times seems insane, and so I couldn’t appreciate all the effort and energy that goes into planning this event every year any more.
In fact, I didn’t even notice Priscilla, one of the show organizers, at the raffle table sorting out the raffle prizes, until I took the photo.
Sailor, Pilot, Franklin-Christoph, Opus 88, Golden Armour, Edison, Esterbrook.
And who took home that F-C neon green 65??
One of the Kenro tables, before all the crowds came in (and evidently before all the pens went to their new homes). Ah, the look of a well-organized table.
And then they opened the doors! This year it didn’t seem like quite the same crushing onslaught right off the bat as in previous years, whether from the morning rain or from the TTC transit closures, but it was steady for most of the day, which was a good pace for us to keep up with.
I was pretty terrible with photos this year, but I’m glad I caught this picture of Lichia from Gotamago in action. Gotamago was the first card line we carried, and I still remember her cards on our wall at 906 Dundas West.
Philip, the main show organizer, at his tables, busy as usual. I spend a lot of time dreaming about casually folding up one of his cases and just going home with it.
And my pen pal!
We got lunch from New Yorker Deli, on recommendation from Amber—deli meat sandwiches with pickles. I wish I had taken a photo of the lunch, I would highly recommend it if you’re ever in the area.
On an unrelated note, while I was there picking up the lunch, there were two older men sitting there, just silent eating their brunch, occasionally mumbling “Mmmmm” to each other and gesturing with a butter knife. This is what I could only hope for in my twilight years. I obviously couldn’t take a picture of them, but just know that it was a really lovely moment.
I found Michele Nidenoff at the Calligraphic Arts Guild of Toronto table! Michele teaches calligraphy classes at our shop. She made me a lovely bookmark in her beautiful hand. Mark Lurz, who also teaches classes with us, was there for the earlier chunk of the day, but I missed getting a photo of him.
It was a day, in the best sort of way. My scratch and win postcards were a complete disaster, I’m just going to leave it at that, with a comma splice, because I’m too demoralized about the whole thing. I’m also going to add that someone gave me some false hope that it would work if you used a knife, but obviously the logistics of having knives out and floating about at a table is not exactly great. It was mostly here’s a card can I scratch that for you?
It’s always stressful leading up to it, the planning and guesswork and packing and hunting down missing things like displays and ordering things, but it always ends up being one of my favourite days of the year.
It’s always particularly nice to see people that you only see once a year, and that you begin to look forward to seeing every year. When we were new—relative to us now at six years—obviously all the customers were new to us. But over the years, with orders comments and emails and seeing people on social media, we’ve gotten to recognize names and all the intimate details of nib size preferences and how people use their stationery. And as much as you can get to know people over the internet, when you actually get to meet and see and hug people in person, it’s a very lovely thing.
I’ve recently been told I’ve been teasing people with all of my hints about future blog posts that I intend to write, which is not at all my intention when I hint. Hinting is perhaps not even the right verb! Whispering into the wind, with the hope that publishing on the Internet will help solidify the organization of my brain in commitment and forthcoming materializations of blog posts. That’s all to say: more to come.
Stay tuned for Part II: Bringing Your Kids to Work (At a Pen Show)