The View from Behind the Shop: The End of an Era

Things currently making my day:

a baby that naps
a new Kazuo Ishiguro book
sleeping with the window cracked open
warm comments from real humans on the blog, mixed in with the hundreds and hundreds of spam comments
a box of mangoes
looking back on three full and bursting years

 

Do three years constitute an era?

 

 

 

 

Spring has finally arrived, and with it the feeling of being released from the prison of shut up windows and coats and scarves and the trauma of dressing a baby for the great outdoors. Super has been enjoying the dog park, although he lost his ball the last time he was there and while I’m sure we have a tennis ball or two floating around somewhere in the warehouse, he’s wagging his tail and looking at me like it’s my fault his ball is missing.

Our last day is this Saturday, and we’ve got lots planned. Treats, sales, sweet deals, loot bags, giveaways. Possibly even balloons, if we can get our act together (don’t hold your breath). Our new shop in Little Italy is coming along – our contractor sent some photos of the paint job, and it looks great so far.

Here, we’re packing up for the big move. The real packing has finally begun, and inks are being sorted into various boxes, shelves disassembled, things strewn about the warehouse. My hands seem perpetually dusty and I’m constantly pausing and looking around on high alert, thinking about all wondering what will go in which box and what I’m going to do with all the things we’ve accumulated. The days are busy and there never seem like enough hours to run all the errands, change all the addresses, sort all the boxes. It’s hard to believe there’s less than a week before we move – it certainly has come upon us quickly.

I’m going to miss so many things about this place – the hallways, the familiar maze of our warehouse shelves, Chicken and Super waiting on either side of the apartment door, waiting to get in or out. For a while it seemed like the universe was conspiring to tire me of this place with its leaky pipes along the ceiling turning into a full out flood, ants in the bathroom, constant viewings from aggressive real estate agents who don’t take off their shoes and wake up napping babies. But spring has come and all the memories of those afternoons with the door open into the courtyard and eating mangoes on the steps or summer picnics and I know it’s going to be hard to say good bye to this place.

Caleb has grown up here, and he’s excited for every part of the move. Packing! Taping! Moving boxes from here to there! Recycling! He’s been using the dolly to wheel around boxes from one end of the warehouse to the other. And I wonder how much of this place he’s going to remember – already even I am forgetting so much. In many ways, I feel like the physical nature of this place has shaped so much of his childhood thus far – the unique nature of living behind a shop and having staff and customers circulating all the time, hiding under the packing tables, all the doors leading in and out of our shop and warehouse and apartment.

And this place has also been such an important part of our adventure as Wonder Pens. Big leaping steps, like hiring our first employee, along with so many tiny and huge celebrations, numbers on social media, birthdays, first steps, pen launches, collaborations, new friends and new babies. I remember finally upgrading to a weighted masking tape holder for packing – previously we had had to use two hands to tear masking tape off a loose roll – and how delighted I was with the one handed taping: these tiny, enormous things. And now we’re going to be packing up my masking tape holder and finding its spot in our new home.

We are hoping that this next big move will afford us some stability, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that the next five or ten years will be prosperous and peaceful and full of adventure without quite so much stress, and yet I think that these first years of our baby business, and these last three years here on Carlaw, will be some of my favourite years of my life.

8 Comments

  1. Laura Jefferson

    Best wishes! Your child and you will remember different things. It will still be a place you have in common.

    So many good wishes for you all.

    • wonderpens

      Thank you! We appreciate all of the good wishes we can get.

      I do wonder what Caleb will remember, but at the very least, we will have some photos to look back on 🙂

  2. Julia (the one in BC)

    I think you’re allowed to call three years an era 🙂 Especially when you’ve accomplished so much in that time!

    It’s bittersweet to move from a place you’ve loved, but I’m stoked you’re moving to Clinton. I lived on that street years ago and it tickles me that you’re in my beloved old neighbourhood. No question, you’re going to love it there!

    Best wishes on your move and I look forward to reading about your new digs!

    P.S. By the way, the photographs in this post are just lovely – as they always are. They give such a feeling of warmth, joy and curiosity. Your blog is equally a treat to read and to look at.

    • wonderpens

      Three years has passed so quickly, and yet so much has happened! It’s hard to believe.

      It’s too bad you’re no longer in the neighbourhood, otherwise we’d need to ask you for your recommendations! It’s been such a lovely neighbourhood so far – we’ve visited a few coffee shops and restaurants while there to check up on the renovations – and I can’t wait to get to know the community.

      Thank you so much for your kind words, they mean so much! Sometimes it’s hard to capture a moment or a feeling in a photograph or a blog post, but it’s not for lack of trying. All the best 🙂

  3. I’ve been meaning to leave a comment for ages yet somehow thought it “silly” to do so.

    I want to thank you for sharing your journey. Your beautiful, natural photos always inspire and I always enjoy your updates in my RSS feed.

    Happiness.

    • wonderpens

      Thanks so much for leaving a comment! And especially for your kind words. Life has certainly turned out quite differently than I expected, with much more joy than I could ever have imagined.

  4. Celine

    I got into fountain pens in my final year in high school and when I found this little store not too far from my neighbourhood, it was like a dream come true knowing that I didn’t have to make any purchases online, but actually step into a store and try some pens out.
    I remember entering and making my first purchase for a pen and bottle of ink with the money I saved up for months. I was so excited to finally put my knowledge and everything I learnt through online to the test, and it still follows me to this day when I buy a new pen.
    Now being a second year university student, I was honestly surprised and ecstatic when I saw a classmate using a fountain pen. I went up to talk to them only to find that after seeing me use my pen in class I was the reason why they invested in a pen in the first place. It was honestly such a great feeling.
    Wonder Pens has a special place in my heart and I look forward to the reopening of the new location!
    Wishing you and the Wonder Pens family the best!

    • wonderpens

      What a wonderful story! It’s really so lovely to hear about how your fountain pens have inspired others 🙂 And I’m so glad that we had a small part to play in your journey as well.

      Fountain pens and writing by hand are so personal and meaningful, and the stories we share about them only add to how much we treasure their use. Thank you so much for the good wishes – we need them all!! 🙂

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