If you receive our email newsletter, where we announce newsy things in a more timely manner, you’ll know that we are gearing up to launch a new website this upcoming Monday, October 19th.

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In case you missed it, here’s all the information:

Enormous news for us! Big changes are in the air, and it’s not just the smell of pumpkin. Several months/years (literally) in the making, we’re now finally launching a new website. It’s not been quite a labour of love, more a labour of endless emails, expensive development costs, and death by a thousand tiny decisions. 

The new website is going to be launched next Monday, October 19th, barring any unexpected delights as we barrel forward. It will be down for a few hours, and then back up and running. There are a number of things that aren’t going to be up and running right off the bat, such as our bundle deals, but we hope over time to tweak and grow. 

There are going to be some growing pains. For the most part, we expect customer accounts to be migrated over, which includes your previous orders and addresses. Your wish list, however, will likely not be migrated over. If you have a particular number of items in there, your best bet is to print them out or save them somehow, in order to create a new wish list when the new website is up. 

If you have a gift certificate, it will likely not work on the new website. Please email us (orders@wonderpens.ca) when you’re placing your order and we will help you out. 

If you’ve signed up for back in stock email notifications, we will manually make note of these and manually notify you via email of items as they come back into stock. 

Over the years, especially as we’ve grown, we’ve had lots of feedback and suggestions on our website. We’ve taken your feedback very much to heart, and we’ve been working hard on integrating some of your suggestions into the new one. If it is not exactly the dream wonder website you envision, know that it is still a work in progress and technology is unwieldy and developers are very expensive, so if you have kids, you should encourage them to become a website developer when they grow up. 

I’ve said all this as though I’ve personally put in the hours to get this new website up and running, when really all I’ve done is eat snacks while complaining and moaning and making unreasonable requests about things that I’d personally like. What do you mean, you can’t redirect people looking up Amazon directly to our small, family-run, independent business? The blog is also potentially migrating and we’re all just holding our breath to see how that’s going to look. Jon and the team have worked incredibly hard to problem solve moving over some of the customizations we’ve made to our current website over the years, to make decisions about how certain product options are going to look, and on the back end, how inventory is going to be managed, on and on it goes. 

So the new and improved wonderpens.ca will be launching next week, and we are all very excited. While it will be some time for us as a team to get used to the new system, we’re excited for its possibilities. 

An update on Hobonichi: many of you may have signed up for an email notification of an item or items. Some items are out of stock from Hobonichi from our shipment arriving shortly. We are really sorry! We tried our best! We are going to send out an email to everyone who has signed up for an email notification for a Hobonichi item to let you know when Hobonichi has come back in and has launched online. We do not anticipate Hobonichi arriving before the launch of the new website, but it has shipped from Japan. 

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In general, 90% of the people who respond to the newsletter are pointing out typos, inaccuracies or have questions around timelines (by soon did you mean 1-2 weeks? 2-3 weeks? because you’ve been talking about getting Kaweco in for a while now).

After yesterday’s newsletter, it was thrilling and also slightly disconcerting that so many of you are excited about the new website. We’re now all slightly worried I’ve hyped it up a bit too much. The best strategy in life and in running a retail shop is have to realistic expectations. Ideally, the website doesn’t crash and people are still able to place orders. That’s sort of where we are. There is definitely still a long list of things that are going to need to be worked on as we go, after we launch, mainly because this is a massive undertaking for us, and at some point, you have to just pull the trigger. Our current website, clunky and cumbersome and complicated as it is, is our cherished and familiar old beast.

A few years ago we did another big website revamp, and that was a lot of work, but that was mostly just a refresh of the whole site. This time, we’re working with developers to move our website to Shopify, which is something we’ve been talking about for years. We looked at Shopify when we first opened, back in 2013, but at that time, it was still early days for both of us, and they didn’t have a lot of easily customizable website options for a shop like ours, that needed to offer nib sizes and sample sizes. As with all things in life, the longer you wait, the harder it is to make the move. We’ve been picking away at it for the last couple of years, delaying other projects in light of the eventuality of this big move, and now it’s here!

I remember once someone from Shopify placing an order with us for some stationery items, and in the order comments they made a friendly and funny sales pitch for us to move to their platform. I had to laugh because I wanted to say I wish! I wish we could! Now if we could just see about getting some more money...

In any case, the date is set. Not exactly in stone, but I think we’re just going to go with whatever happens and then see where we land from there.

My own nighttime desk scene.

In celebration of this great technological event that I actually played basically no part in, I finally ordered a keyboard and iPad stand. The keyboard and cover that I use currently attaches directly to the iPad, so I can’t raise the screen up while still having the keyboard at my arm height. I use an iPad for basically everything except uploading photos because my iPad doesn’t have the right port or hole or slot for a memory card (or any port at all besides the charger), and the internet has informed me that my neck and shoulder cramps are from hunkering down over my screen, my participation in the devolution back into a hunched over caveman.

I got a mechanical keyboard. I’m not going to tell you which one because let me tell you this is a rabbit hole of which I know absolutely nothing. This independent woman had to enlist Jon for help. I’m not sure if this is how people sometimes feel when they’re getting their first fountain pen. Oh, this one is not Bluetooth enabled? But it’s orange and grey, which I think is what I would like. Also, I have no other hole in my iPad. I have to pick a switch? Do I just pick based on the colour I like best? Orange? What do you think, too matchy-matchy? I guess, despite doing a significant amount of my typing at night in the same room as Naomi going to sleep, I indeed would like to make lots of clacking noise. Maximum clacking, please.

 

October 14, 2020 — wonderpens

Comments

Bogdan

Bogdan said:

Very cool news. I hope the shopify transition goes smoothly. Also, enjoying the thought of Liz clack-clack-clacking away into the night on her mechanical keyboard.

wonderpens

wonderpens said:

Thanks Bogdan! Wish you were here to leave mysteries in the code.

Karen J. McLean

Karen J. McLean said:

“…my participation in the devolution back into a hunched over caveman. …”

Oh my goodness, Liz, you made me laugh! I’m sorry you’re hurting, but what a great way of expressing it!

Rachel

Rachel said:

“If you’ve signed up for back in stock email notifications, we will manually make note of these and manually notify you via email of items as they come back into stock. " :O Wow, that sounds like a lot of work, thanks for doing it! I’ve really enjoyed being able to get myself little treats from your shop during this pandemic, and knowing they’ll be safely and quickly delivered. Looking forward to browsing your new website, hope one day I can visit your shop in person too!

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