I have had a keen interest in writing instruments from a very young age. Starting with pencils, I was always fascinated in the way they wrote, the thickness of the lead and the darkness of the lead. As school progresses we were then introduced to the dip pen with an inkwell sunk into the desk. This used to become a messy affair in the beginning but as I practiced I discovered the nuances of the dip nib. It was fascinating to see how one could change the stroke by pressing the nib just a little harder and to my surprise how flexible they were. And the most exciting moment came when we were introduced to a proper fountain pen that could carry its own ink and that we did not have to dip it in after every few letters. The first exposure was to the Pelikan student pen known as Pelikano and the second was from Platignum. I was first to jump into new concepts that came about. Was always interested in broad writing meaning points that had a broad writing end be it a ballpen or when the first felt tips were introduced in the 70’s. As I continued school and working, I discovered the various italic nibs and became extremely fascinated with them. Over a period of time I had a full collection of an assortment of calligraphic dip nibs. This led to the discovery of Osmiroid and Reform with their selection of fountain pens with italic nibs. Then came Rotring. I got exposed to Sheaffer much later when I moved to Canada.
Though my background was in the hotel trade; but decided to change careers as I changed countries of residence. I was fascinated with retail of the niche kind and as such after moving to Toronto in the mid-eighties I accordingly found myself a job at what was probably the finest tobacco and men’s accessories store in Canada. As things progressed and I became more involved I asked the owner of the company as to where he saw the company in ten years given the whole movement taking place against smoking. His immediate thought was that there will always be smokers and my question was will there be enough for one to continue making a living selling tobacco products? To which he asked me what I thought. I said we have a captive audience in our customer base to whom we can appeal with other products and that is when we started our journey in diversification beginning with pens which was of great interest and appeal to me. I remember first approaching the distributor for Montblanc pens and putting in an opening order back in the late eighties and that led to eventually opening a first class Montblanc shop in shop in the mid-nineties and the rest they say is history. At the end of the millennium I started my own retail store and became a key player in the pen market of Toronto right up to 2012 when I went separate ways with my erstwhile partner. After that I move into business consulting which I still do today; but the passion for pens and other good things has always drawn be back and here I am with my own website and blog.
It is my plan to talk about pens, papers and other things. Past present and where it is all going in the future. I will talk of past experiences and stories and will feature a number of collectors’ items in my blog. Some will be show and tell and some will be available for sale. I am hoping to do reviews of pens past, present and future and will renew old friends and acquaintances in the business and will talk to them and will write about them. I am hoping to catch up with retailers from old days, some who continue being in retail and be able to reminisce of the old days.