Monday, March 8th, 2010

Retailer Spotlight: Fahrney’s Pens in Washington, DC

Stephanie

In our retailer spotlight position for the month of March, is Fahrney’s Pens of Washington, DC. Fahrney’s carries Exaclair products from Clairefontaine, G Lalo, Rhodia, and Exacompta.

The History of Fahrney’s Pens

“The year was 1929, the stock market had crashed and America had fallen into the Great Depression. But one man, determined to beat the odds, decided to start a business despite the lackluster economy of the time. This was the year Earl Fahrney founded Fahrney’s Pens as a fountain pen repair shop in Washington, DC. With discretionary spending in a lull, Mr. Fahrney’s repair business thrived. He slowly expanded and ultimately decided to sell new writing instruments, including the “revolutionary” ballpoint pen.

In 1950, Mr. Fahrney relocated the business to the historic Willard Hotel on F Street. With the move he added the store’s tagline “The Write Place” which remains the motto to this day. For the next 21 years the Willard served as Fahrney’s home.

In 1961, Mr. Fahrney hired Odell Chappell who was the store’s first female employee. “The Pen Lady” as she became known, is now retired, though her tireless dedication to Fahrney’s, her customers, and the pen industry has been an inspiration to all who know her.”

“Mr. Fahrney retired after relocating the store to New York Avenue in 1971. He subsequently sold Fahrney’s Pens to Jon and Corinne Sullivan in 1972. Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan upheld Mr. Fahrney’s unique passion for writing instruments. They also shared his commitment to customers and employees, which is one of the reasons that Fahrney’s Pens has retained such loyalty on both fronts for so many years. Eventually, Jon Sullivan stepped back and handed the day-to-day operations to his son, Chris, who demonstrates the same passion and tradition that have been a hallmark of Fahrney’s Pens for over 80 years.

In early May 2000, Fahrney’s moved to it s current location at 1317 F Street, NW. The store is the largest to date for Fahrney’s, with nearly twice the space for pens and accessories as the previous store. Customers have an even larger selection from which to choose. From pens to ink, fine desk accessories, quality leather goods and journals, as well as a wide variety of stationery, both classic and modern, Fahrney’s selection and expertise simply cannot be matched. In their continued quest for ever-improving customer service, thy have included desks where customers can sit and “test write” their instruments until they find the perfect match.

Additionally, Fahrney’s offers unique services like The Pen Doctor. For more than 20 years, he has been responsible for the repair and adjustment of Fahrney’s customers’ writing instruments, including fountain pens, rollerballs, ballpoints and pencils. His workbench is a fascinating amalgam of the old-fashioned and modern where he works his magic on sick pens.”

Fahrney’s
1317 F Street, NW – across from the National Press Building.
Washington, DC  20004

(202) 628-9525
Open weekdays 9:30 to 6:00
Saturday 10:00 to 5:00

Or visit Fahrney’s online.

Image of Fahrney’s store above, courtesy of Brian from the blog Office Supply Geek. Additional information about Fahrney’s history can be found on their website.


3 thoughts on “Retailer Spotlight: Fahrney’s Pens in Washington, DC

  1. i received friendly, knowledgeable help. i want everything in the store and Tony assisted me with finding the write ones. great experience, too bad i live in California. i will likely phone in a follow up order!

  2. I bought my first fountain pen at Fahrney’s. :-)

    I live in DC and work not far from Fahrney’s. Love it. Hands-down, it’s the best place to explore pens in the DC area. The selection is spectacular. They’ve begun offering workshops for kids, too, which I think is really great.

    Unfortunately, I wouldn’t say Fahrney’s is particularly welcoming when you walk in the door, and their hours are not terribly convenient. I – as well as other pen lovers I know – have found that a few people behind the counter can be a bit chilly in their demeanor. I’ve seen the Pen Doctor in the store, though, and he seemed very nice. And there are friendly associates – just take time to pick up on the vibes before you go up to the counter.

    That said, if you know what you want, the online/phone ordering is *wonderful*. I order from Fahrney’s a lot and I’ve had nothing but great experiences with their customer service. I highly recommend subscribing to their catalog and ordering by phone/online. Also check the website for awesome sales and specials.

  3. I bought my first fountain pen at Fahrney’s. :-)

    I live in DC and work not far from Fahrney’s. Love it. Hands-down, it’s the best place to explore pens in the DC area. The selection is spectacular. They’ve begun offering workshops for kids, too, which I think is really great.

    Unfortunately, I wouldn’t say Fahrney’s is particularly welcoming when you walk in the door, and their hours are not terribly convenient. I – as well as other pen lovers I know – have found that a few people behind the counter can be a bit chilly in their demeanor. I’ve seen the Pen Doctor in the store, though, and he seemed very nice. And there are friendly associates – just take time to pick up on the vibes before you go up to the counter.

    That said, if you know what you want, the online/phone ordering is *wonderful*. I order from Fahrney’s a lot and I’ve had nothing but great experiences with their customer service. I highly recommend subscribing to their catalog and ordering by phone/online. Also check the website for awesome sales and specials.

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