I feel as though we’ve been beating around the bush on this for so long we’ve maybe wandered away from the bush and gotten lost, but we are now coming back to it, Moses in the desert. We are reopening at long last. Some of you and some of us may not have fully believed that this day would come, but it is on the calendar, as are all other days: Saturday, July 24th.
- 5 customer capacity
- Masks on (if you’ve forgotten yours, we will provide you with one free of charge because we love you and we’re so excited you’ve come, even if the fact that you’ve come maskless after a year and a half of pandemic existence in Toronto makes us a little nervous)
- If you’re coming to pick up an online order, just come right in. Our 5 person capacity is well under the limit, and if you’re not browsing, you can come in to pick up your things and head back out rather than wait in line
- Sanitize hands at the front and we’ll also have sanitizer dispensers throughout
Our store hours for in store browsing:
While we will still have staff in the shop and warehouse after 4:00, we ask that you try to arrive before 4:00. If you’re particularly keen to come in and see something, please try to come early—if we have a line up, we may have to cut off the line at a certain time given how many people we will be able to accommodate before we close. After our in store browsing hours, our team is cleaning, closing out and restocking.
We know that some of you may be bringing a friend to help them choose a fountain pen, or that your children have come with you to each pick out a special notebook and pen, and we welcome you to our shop to browse and select just the right things. We need you! You are our people. We are here for you. But if your companions are philistines or are just not particularly interested in writing nicely, please consider whether or not there’s a line up outside, as this will help us manage capacity.
If for any reason you have a stationery emergency, a special circumstance, or want to give us feedback, please contact our team email@example.com or 416 799 5935.
If you can’t make our hours, we still really want to see you! Please don’t hesitate to contact the team firstname.lastname@example.org to see about booking an appointment. These appointments are not so much for general browsing, as we are staffing based on our “official” open hours, but for seeing, holding or testing out specific items.
We are thrilled and relieved to have made it to this stage. The place looks a bit rough. Last March, we closed our shop at the beginning of everything. Sometime in the summer of last year, the lockdown was lifted and shops began to open again. In a fit of what would turn out to be ill-placed optimism, we very tentatively reopened, after having had a massive reorganization, cleaning and restocking of the front. In September of 2020, we ended up closing again. It was preemptive and perhaps (by many measures, as we’ve heard from many of you) overly cautious as it was not until Christmas of 2020 that the provincial government declared another lockdown. From Christmas until June 2021, things in our province of Ontario have been locked down, but for us, really since September of 2020, we’ve been closed, which is almost a year for us to cultivate our cobwebs.
We are a little rusty. In addition to the overall rustiness, we also have welcomed many new products, new inks, new brands to the shop that previously we may have integrated as they came in, but which we are now trying to squeeze in and display en masse.
Last fall we moved our website over to Shopify for lots of reasons: because we are now able to integrate our in store and our online together, which will help with customer accounts and our inventory will (theoretically) match up nicely, to maintain fewer systems on our back end which means we will (theoretically) save some money because we’re not maintaining so many systems. Now, though, we actually have to integrate.
It was a monster effort on the part of the team to get the shop ready. While there are still some rough edges, let me tell you that to have made it to this stage of readiness has been several weeks of a lot of work. The bulk of the inventory out front, brands and shipments “stored” and sorted out front where there was space, curbside pick up orders, plants, all had to be cleared into the back and sorted, tables and shelves dusted and cleaned. On Josh’s last day we celebrated his departure by gathering everyone into the shop front and moving around furniture, everyone thrilled to hear me say “just a tiny bit to the left! No too much, move back, hmmm” half a dozen times. “Hmmm,” she says. “What,” Jon says. “Just say it.”
That’s all to say that the journey through the brush is still energetic. It’s all a bit loose and hairy right now, and as we get down to the wire, we are working hard on price tagging things, setting things up on tables, scrubbing off the mineral rings from planters, sorting out the drawers, re-swabbing ink swabs on the shelves that have faded after two years or more in the sun, dusting, filling up jars and cans with disposable pens, replacing signs, moving plants back into their corners, mastering the new point of sale system, clearing the toys and books and fake till out from the front and into Jon’s office, rejuvenating our tester pens.
We are getting ready for you all, and can’t wait to see you.