As what seems to usually be the case, I’m writing my blog with the baby-who-is-now-a-toddler snoring in his crib, and the dog snoring on the couch, and the big cheese snoring on the bed after a few glasses of wine.
How fortunate and delightful for me that I can see (and hear) all three of these handsome fellows from my seat at the kitchen table, since our apartment is one big room.
I’ve been inspired because, after a glass of vino myself and just before Jon decided to “rest his eyes” on the bed, I was fiddling around with my Pilot Custom 92.
Despite many past errors in many trials with various pen casualties, of course I couldn’t resist adjusting the tines – I mean, what could go wrong? – and I’m pleased to say that not only was no irreparable damage done, the pen is now writing a bit wetter! A miracle.
Today is officially the third year anniversary of our tiny and fledgling and unwieldy business that we semi-jokingly named Wonder Pens until we registered it as a business with the government, and then it wasn’t a joke anymore. If you’re wanting to get your business up off the ground look into vr business brokers and see if your idea could be invested in.
I remember Judy from our old neighbourhood business association on Dundas West asking if we were officially “Wonderpens” or “Wonder Pens” and Jon and I just kind of looked at each other, not really sure what the right answer was. (We answer to either, but according to our official papers, it’s two words.)
It’s nutty to think that we’ve already been around for three years, which sounds both like not a very long time at all but also a very, very long time, if you know what I mean. We didn’t really know how to celebrate, so we’re kind of just aimlessly patting each other on the back for having made it this far.*
Accomplishments this past crazy year include:
- The acquisition of our first new staff member last fall, and then a few others along the way
- The acquisition of health insurance
- Moving across the city to this new space
- Baking my first loaf of bread
- Getting our first exclusive pen, our Franklin-Christoph Model 20
- We’re all still alive, including the baby, and the dog, and most of the plants…
I’m so proud of all these accomplishments, especially considering I’ve never had health insurance before! I spent a long time asking various people things like what are the benefits of critical illness insurance? Which policy is the best value for money? Are there any hidden fees? And I think it’s all worked out pretty well. Sitting here at the kitchen table, pondering our life’s journey, especially these last three years as Wonder Pens, it’s impossible to deny that even with a few bumps every once in a while, this has been a labour of love that has surprised everyone, me most of all, I think. Most of our family has stopped telling us to keep one foot in the corporate or teaching world, but of course you never know what’s going to happen in the future.
Jon was actually the one who convinced me that we needed to open a pen shop, and while there have been times when that very fact has resulted in a very long 10 second pause and stare down in heated discussions, now I really couldn’t imagine us doing anything else.
It has been bananas. It has been late nights and expensive chats with accountants and strategizing over dinner and boxes stacked up against the windows, and also lots of laughs and incredible memories and great friends.
One day when we’re finally organized enough to get everything together, we’re going to sort through and print up photos from the very beginning of the business – renovations at 906 Dundas West all the way to where we are now.
For now, though, here’s this wild picture of the two of us young babes from when we first opened the shop back in 2013. (Spoiler: I actually look exactly the same, although I will look slightly different next week, when I get my new glasses.)
So I guess that’s it. We’re three years older and three years wiser, and we’re hoping for a few more years to keep at this thing.
I say this a lot, but it’s because it’s the truest thing I know about this business – it’s thanks to folks like you, reading the blog, coming into the shop, ordering from us online, passing on our cards or buttons to your friends, it’s thanks to you all that we’re here.
My noble prince (Jon) has aroused himself, and I now see him struggling to change the bed sheets. I’m pretty sure he needs my guidance as he’s a got a bed sheet in each hand, and they’re both for a crib. I cut Caleb’s hair while he was napping on the bed this afternoon, so there’s hair everywhere on the sheets.
*We’re also running a giveaway on Instagram – a Lamy 2000! Check it out here. Sorry I didn’t do the giveaway on the blog, especially since you, my eight loyal readers, would have each had a truly excellent chance at winning.