I could be wrong, but that sure looks like a Pilot Varsity in the above photo. The Varsity was technically my first fountain pen though I usually don’t credit it as such since it is a disposable pen. Karen Doherty, Exaclair’s VP of Marketing who knows I have a love for all things purple, recently sent me a Varsity with purple ink and it made me think of the store where I bought my first one – a local art and stationery store which has since gone out of business.
It’s sad reality that brick and mortar specialty stores are becoming harder and harder to come by – especially when huge iconic stores such as Art Brown International are forced to close their doors after almost *nine* decades of serving their customers.
To look on the bright side of things, many local businesses are looking for ways to grow with the times and can often be found serving a different kind of “local” community by focusing on online sales. (There once was a time when most people bought what they needed to live from a single mail order catalog...) No, it’s not the same as being able to walk in and touch things and try them, but I’d rather be able to buy what I want or need rather than not at all. Online retailers such as Goulet Pens, JetPens, these I believe are the *New* breed of Mom & Pop shops which I am happy to support and I hope you will too.
How about you? Do you shop the Mom & Pop online shops for your specialty goods? Which are your favorites? If no, why not?
Find online or local retailers for Rhodia and other Exaclair products here.
Image courtesy of marchedees on Instagram.