Happy International Fountain Pen Day! The first Friday in November is Fountain Pen Day, where we celebrate all the wonderful things that give our handwriting character and help us to slow down when we write. We sort of celebrate that everyday around here, but it's always nice when it's official. Ideas to celebrate:
  • Clean out some pens that need it, and ink up some up fresh
  • Head to a cafe with a fountain pen and journal or letters, and spend some time writing
  • Give away a pen or two to people you know who do a lot of writing
  • Give a kid in your life a Preppy or a Petit1 (who knows the road they could get started on!)
  • Treat yourself to a favourite meal*
I thought I would celebrate by sharing a little about my first fountain pen, which some of you know might already know about. It's actually quite germane, as it is what got the ball rolling to this whole adventure of Wonder Pens. Back when I was a teacher and Jon worked in banking, he was sent on a business trip to New York. At that time, we had been married a year or two and things were still fresh and dramatic and I was on my own with Super pretending like I couldn't survive for four days on my own (good grief). And so on his time off, he bought several souvenirs back from New York for me: a dress, some books, and some stationery. He got me some gel pens, some gel refills, some notebooks, and (gasp!) a fountain pen. I was immediately hooked, without a second's pause; something in me just knew this was something I was going to love. A click, a switch, a light turns on. I sometimes recognize this in customers because I myself was one of these people - people who love stationery and writing and writing tools, but haven't yet discovered the magic of a good fountain pen. But once they do... it's a deep rabbit hole. I knew it as soon as he brought it out, that my life was going to be changed. It sounds a bit crazy, but I just knew. I was not a dip my toe into the water kind of a stationery nut, I was an all-in-hallelujah-conversion kind of nut. After testing my pen out, my first thought was (first stationery hoarder warning) how am I going to get refills for this? Do I need to preserve its ink supply? What happens when I run out? How much ink is enough? Jon had brought back one pack of cartridges (ha! ha! ha! cartridges! one pack!) and obviously that wasn't going to cut it. Shortly after, I discovered bottled ink over the internet, and I was a complete goner. Sailor inks were some of my first and I remain faithful to them to this day, but along the way, I picked up J. Herbin, Noodler's, Rohrer and Klingner and a few more fountain pens, my first Lamy Safari (charcoal), my first Sailor (Pro Gear Slim). And on it went. I used fountain pens to get me through the drudgery of long nights of marking, my students used them as a special treat. I got a fancy pen case from Nock Co.'s predecessor, Alter Manufacturing, was made fun of my fellow teachers when I pulled my fancy fountain pens, I negotiated with Jon about orders from companies in the US and aboard, I tracked shipping notifications religiously from shipping companies that don't seem to understand what tracking means. It was all lovely. A few years down the line and Jon wanted to start a business, he of the entrepreneurial spirit. I loved my teaching job, but I'm always game for a new adventure, so off we went. We threw around a few ideas, including opening a fountain pen shop. I balked, thinking what basically everyone who hears about our business and who isn't already into fountain pens thinks: who's still buying pens? Jon, having had to foot the international bill for many of my pen purchases gave me his now classic look, a look I know very well having run a business with him for the last five years. In a great twist of irony, one of the many in my life, Jon, the budget-keeper of my myriad pen purchases, ended up convincing me to open up a pen shop, allowing me to purchase, essentially, as many pens as we had money for.** I'll take ten of these, and ten of these, and maybe a few of these as well, why not. And it was a crazy leap, but we made it, blindly and with all the optimism of two kids who have never run a business before. I say this all the time to everyone who asks about starting a business: if I had known about all the work, risks, costs, struggles, time, hustle, constant uncertainty, and effort it takes to run a small business, I would probably would've looked at Jon and laughed when he suggested it. That being said, I couldn't imagine any other life, and I also couldn't imagine life without all these people - customers, vendors, artists and creatives, friends in the industry, and of course our team, that I've met through this community of fountain pen users. And I guess this is what is sort of great about Fountain Pen Day, and all of the things people, bloggers, community builders, are doing - letting all us fountain pen nuts know that we're not crazy. Or maybe we're a little crazy, but we're not alone. There are a whole bunch of us crazies out there, and we can all celebrate together. Or maybe, because a lot of us are introverted souls or are far apart from each other, celebrate individually but united in spirit. And so! We're doing a giveaway here on the blog, which we haven't done in ages (sorry!). We're giving away an Aurora Duo Cart here on the blog. To enter, leave a comment. You can tell us about your first fountain pen, your favourite fountain pen, a fountain pen disaster, or just say hello. One entry per person. Contest closes Sunday, November 4th, 2018 at 11:59 pm EST. Open internationally. Winner will be announced shortly after. Please bear with me in patience and love.
Edit: If your comment doesn't appear right away, don't worry! All comments need to be approved as the blog seems to attract a lot of spam. We will surely do a thorough check of the comments periodically through the weekend and before the end of the contest. *Not fountain pen related, but I mean what is celebration without good food? **To sell to other people.

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November 02, 2018 — wonderpens

Comments

Leah

Leah said:

My first fountain pen was a gold pilot metropolitan with an extra fine nib. I actually bought it from wonder pens last year. My favourite right now however, is my Lamy Al-Star.

Betsy Purvis

Betsy Purvis said:

My favourite fountain pen is my Conklin Word Gauge. Not only do I love the classic look of it, but I am also supremely charmed by the concept of the full ink reservoir that equates to “5000 words!”

Michael Pearce

Michael Pearce said:

My first fountain pen(like many) was a black pilot metro. I still use it dispite moving up to auroras and other high end pens haha!

Brenda

Brenda said:

I love my Parker sonnet, but I learned the hard way that it is not a good pen for travelling when I opened it at a friend’s place to write a thank you note for hosting me and ink poured out all over her light-coloured upholstery. Not the best way to say ‘thank you’ (but if you ever need to know, ‘buncha farmers stain remover’ worked wonders on a fresh ink stain.)

Mike

Mike said:

My first fountain pen was a Twsbi Eco from you guys. It remains in my rotation and I’ve never looked back.

JC

JC said:

I was introduced to fountain pens by my friend Tim, who has been a great resource of information. He helped me pick out a bunch of samples to get along with my Pilot Metropolitan, and I’ve been hooked since!

Trevor Jones

Trevor Jones said:

Good morning Wonder Pens,

I am really excited about the give-away, so please consider this my entry. I am not the best story teller, so I will just give a little plug for your store. I am not someone who likes shopping online, because I like seeing what I am buying first, and I do not like waiting.

However, as I do not get to Toronto often (like only once since starting with fountain pens) I cannot shop in person. I have been very pleased with the online service and with the speed of the delivery. I am just waiting for the next store to open in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

Nicole

Nicole said:

Did you say—what was your first fountain pen? Mine was in grade 4, when the teacher made me get a Shaeffer, because my handwriting was so atrocious.

Colin

Colin said:

Thanks for putting on the giveaway. So glad I found your shop after I got into FP (got one as a university graduation gift). I have since got 4 more people into FP

Lynn McCallum

Lynn McCallum said:

If I was clever, I would know how to attach a pic of my first fountain pen, which was my mom’s high school pen, a Schaefer snorkel pen. I sent it away for a new bladder, years ago and it still works, and I have the green marble holder, very grand looking. However, it only started my fascination with m o r e pens. A healthy vice, at least.
Cheers, and joy.
Lynn

Lindsay

Lindsay said:

Hello,
My first experiences using fountain pens was in England on family trips and I believe I bought my first one in Woolworths, it was the cartridge kind and I fell in love. I loved how effortlessly the pen glided off the page and the ink was so rich….

Love fountain pens. :)

Stephen Valcourt

Stephen Valcourt said:

Cool giveaway! My first fountain pen was a black Lamy Safari. My current favourite is my Lamy 2000.

David Street

David Street said:

What a generous and fun way to celebrate Fountain Pen Day, thank you.

My first fountain pen was a yellow Lamy Safari, which has subsequently been gifted to a new enthusiast.

BCDDiggler

BCDDiggler said:

<3

My first 'adult' fountain pen was a Noodler's Konrad, five or six years ago…. very far down the rabbit hole!!!

Duncan Urquhart

Duncan Urquhart said:

Absolutely loved learning about your experience, and so glad that the store was able to give me my first pen, the Pilot Metropolitan.

Ian McLeod

Ian McLeod said:

My favourite pen is my EDC purchased from you! My Lamy CP1 has never let me down.

Parkin L

Parkin L said:

Hello,
I love reading your blogs and hope you guys would expand and open a store here in Vancouver one day!

It’s nothing fancy but I really enjoy my Lamy 2000, the makrolon feels great in the hand and the gold nib is smooth as long as you hold it in its sweet spot.

Jon Sprung

Jon Sprung said:

Wonderful! I’m glad you opened your shop! It’s an idea I just didn’t have the courage to try but thought of many times!

On this fountain pen day, I cleaned out all my pens, and discovered that a friend of my teenage son stole two pens out of my desk. A burgundy TWSBI that I had just purchased from Wonderpens, (luckily didn’t take the Kaweco sport I’m using as an eye dropper) and a Waterman that I’ve had for a decade that I always loved. It has been a shock, but also a reminder to me to be more careful, and to still be kind and understanding to those who live much more difficult lives than I do. Hope your day was far more lucky than mine!

Cheers!

Sumaiya

Sumaiya said:

Hi!
I got into Fountain pens because of a colleague and was hooked. I haven’t been using them lately but I guess I’ll be picking them again soon.

Kamil Krutkopad

Kamil Krutkopad said:

My very first fountain pen was the Lamy Safari Petrol with a Medium nib. I can’t believe it’s been a year since I got it!

Annie L

Annie L said:

Your stories always keeps me reading and thank you for sharing this one with us!

For me, my first fountain pen was a coral Lamy Safari that my boyfriend bought me on a whim. I only asked him recently why he chose to get me a fountain pen and he said he thought I would like having the option of writing in many different colours (and he was right).

Daniel

Daniel said:

My first pen was a fantastic Jinhao 101 from your shop on Dundas! I’ve been hoocked since!

Mary Tan

Mary Tan said:

Hello! My first fountain pen was a Sheaffer. I still have it and it works!

Jonathan

Jonathan said:

My first real present to myself was my Lamy 2000, still love it and use it to this day!!

David Street

David Street said:

Thanks for this generous way to celebrate Fountain Pen Day. I wasn’t able to make it to Scriptus, but it was super fun to follow along on social media.

My first pen was a yellow Lamy Safari, which has been subsequently given away to a new enthusiast.

Jessica

Jessica said:

What a fun story! I’ve always loved writing instruments and stationery, but only got into fountain pens early this year. And yes, quite the rabbit hole!

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