Big news!

12 11 2009

For quite a while now, many of you have known that I’m good friends with James Partridge, owner of The Pear Tree Pen Company…but here’s something that’s probably new to you!  I’m delighted to announce that effective immediately, I’ve assumed day to day management of operations for The Pear Tree Pen Company!  Yep…you read that right.  The Pear Tree has been re-planted in the middle of Corn Country!

The Pear Tree Pen Company is pleased to announce that Ryan Roossinck has assumed management of the day-to-day operations of the successful online retailer. Roossinck is known among fountain pen and ink enthusiasts for his popular internet blog, Brassing Adds Character, where he reviews writing instruments and accessories such as pens, pads, and inks. He is also known for his role as a moderator on the Fountain Pen Network, the largest online community of fountain pen and ink lovers on the internet.

Pen collector James Partridge founded the Pear Tree Pen Company in 2006 as a part-time home-based business. Following the introduction of the Fountain Pen Ink Sampler later that year, business began to boom leading the fledgling operation to seek larger quarters. Pear Tree Pens moved, literally, from the kitchen table to the basement, and shortly thereafter opened a larger retail and order-processing facility just north of downtown Ann Arbor. Despite the tough economic times, the Pear Tree Pen Company continued to prosper, and even hired several staff members to help ship packages to thousands of customers around the world.

Unfortunately, splitting his time between his full-time career as a corporate attorney and managing the burgeoning online establishment began to take its toll on Partridge. “I realized that it’s impossible for me to do it all. I can’t excel in my legal career, grow the Pear Tree Pen Company, and spend as much time with my family as they deserve.” Partridge began to explore selling the business, and even considered simply shutting its doors.

Partridge soon had a few offers on the table, but ultimately found the best option lay closer at hand – in Roossinck, a friend and fellow pen collector. “One of his best attributes may well be his talent for ‘reading the minds’ of our customers.” Partridge said. “Several times already, Ryan has helped me choose new products that soon became extraordinarily popular. He possesses tremendous knowledge and expertise, and his enthusiasm for the pens, inks and papers we offer is second to none. Add to that his dedication to outstanding customer service and it became clear to me that Ryan would be an asset to the Pear Tree Pen Company – and the pen community.”

“James and I hit it off right away,” Ryan said. “One of the things I really enjoy most about James is his creativity, and his ability to trendspot. We’ve had a lot of great conversations over the past several years that will undoubtedly lead to some really cool new products that we think that our customers will love.”

The future for The Pear Tree Pen Company looks very bright, and includes a lot of great new products and ideas that customers are sure to love, and both Ryan and James are really excited for what comes next! “We’ve got some cool things up our sleeves,” says Ryan, “stuff you won’t be able to find anywhere else! The addition of Lum-Tec’s fantastic line of watches is just the start!”

In anticipation of the future, both James and Ryan have their shades ready. Get yours out.

So…what happens now?  Well, for me…lots of things.  I’m still intending to run Brassing Adds Character as a semi-separate entity, and I’ll still be covering lots of the same topics that you’ve seen from me before; features on vintage pens that you may not have seen before, hacks & how-to’s, and the occasional review of a pen that strikes my fancy.  You might see a few more product announcements here and there, but my intent is to keep Brassing operational as a non-commercial site.  If/when I do another roundup/best-in-class feature, etc., you’ll still find links out to eBay and other sites that sell the pens & products that I review.  If it’s something that we sell in our store, or it’s something that you can’t get anywhere else…you’ll find links for that stuff, too.

I would ask that in the interim, while I get used to “minding the store”, that you’d be patient with us.  Our dedication to a great customer experience remains the same, but let’s face it…there’s a bit of a learning curve that I’m going to deal with, and I’d appreciate your cooperation!  Along those same lines, I’d also ask that we keep Brassing conversations focused around Brassing topics, and go back-channel for Pear Tree stuff.  Thanks!

Now if you’ll excuse me…I’ve got ink samples to make! 🙂

First Impressions: Varuna eyedroppers

9 10 2009

Tight on time today, kids, but I wanted to whet your appetite a little bit about a couple of incredible pens that I’ve been playing with for the past couple of days.  Varuna is an Indian company that makes ebonite pens, and I frankly couldn’t believe the quality that they pack into these things…especially for the price!  These things are truly outstanding!  Great nibs, gi-normous ink capacity, and REALLY cool finishes!  For less than $50 with a steel nib that writes this well, it’s really hard to go wrong!

I’ve got a full-scale review planned for these next week, comparing the Danitrio Densho raw ebonite to each of these two big eyedroppers from India…but for now, here’s a couple of quick shots of them side by side.

The Bakul finish compared to a Lamy 2000.

The Bakul finish compared to a Lamy 2000.

If you’re headed to NYC for the pen show, you should take a look at these things.  Look for Steve Braun’s display and his big smile.  I know Steve, and he’s a top-notch fella!

The smooth matte finish clipless eyedropper compared to the Danitrio Densho.

The smooth matte finish Vishal eyedropper compared to the Danitrio Densho.

Want this pen?

9 09 2009

Edison Glenmont

Here’s your chance to get it!

The Bean gets the scoop…Moleskine killers on the way from Rhodia!

8 09 2008

Steph is a great blogger buddy who’s apparently been in conversation with the folks who bring us our favorite orange pads…and guess what?  They’re bringing out some really solid competition for Moleskine! 

Check out the details here!  I can’t wait to get my hands on one of these!

Since when did buying high-end pens get so darn cheap???

4 09 2008

When Holt’s Cigar in Philly decided to lighten their inventory.

Yep, kids, this is a must act now situation.

Holt’s Cigar carries a nice lineup of pens from Omas, Aurora, Montblanc, S.T. Dupont, Pilot/Namiki, Pelikan, Visconti, and probably a handful of others that I’ve forgotten.  And from now until the end of September, they’ve got them ALL on sale.  40% off of MSRP on Montblanc, and 50% off of MSRP on nearly everything else. 

No, I’m not kidding.

The best part about this, aside from the fact that it’s that big of a sale?  They’ve got some of the hard-to-find limited editions and discontinued stuff!

So…here’s the deal.  If you’ve been putting together a wishlist for your birthday, anniversary, holidays, or some other reason for which you’re entitled to treat yourself to something…move the date for gratification up to NOW!  Don’t put this off.  Make the call, talk with Adam, and tell him you read about it on Brassing!

*For the record, I’m not on anyone’s payroll here; I just know that I really enjoyed talking with Adam and that there are some awesome deals to be had on some pens that some of you wouldn’t normally even consider (due to the price range).  I offered to put it on my blog so he could a) make the most of the sale, and b) see whether or not word of mouth really works. 

Contact information shown below.  Their website isn’t the place to go for this sale, because I wasn’t able to find anything referencing pens on their site.  I don’t have a complete stocklist or prices, but if you’re looking for something specific, here’s your shot at it.  If they’ve got it, they’ve got it.  If not, they’ll probably have something else that you might like!  Happy hunting!

Holt’s Cigar Company
1522 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Toll Free: 800-523-1641
Direct: 215-732-8500, Ext. 161