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Thread: Creating a place to hang out for FPGs

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    Default Creating a place to hang out for FPGs

    Howdy All,
    I have been on the "other" forum for years reading but don't post much and while I surg FPG it was finally time chime in here.

    As part of the move to a new location for Penchetta Pen & Knife I want to have a seating area and since there will be more square footage make the store easier to hang out in vs just shop.
    The Phoenix Metro area has lost most fountain pen/stationery physical stores and we need to keep this passion going with the next generation.

    So I know what I like but more importantly what makes a shop a good place to spend some time?
    Open space to walk around?
    Sample paper & inked pens to try?
    Seating with manufacturer catalogs and brands archival books (I love the Pelikan book personally)?

    After the move (mid July) we will make Sunday the Social Day with something different going on like Vendor Visits, Ink Sampling, Field Journaling, Nib polishing and all that.
    What are the gatherings that the Geeks here want to have?

    I welcome all the thoughts.

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    Default Re: Creating a place to hang out for FPGs

    I think one of the best things with a stationery shop is to have a non-precious feeling to it, so you can get your hands on a pen, a world away from the 'white gloves' approach. Being able to try different nibs is really crucial for many of us - I remember a lovely guy in Selfridges' pen dept in London let me try a Carene stub nib, which made a huge difference to the pen compared to the regular broad nib.
    All the best pen shops I've been in are CRAMMED. Lots of stuff to look at. Mora Stylo even had an exhibition on the first time I visited (Waterman pens through the ages). That makes them 'sticky'. Memorabilia, old ink bottles, old pen adverts, examples of fountain pen drawings or doodles - it doesn't all have to be for sale.
    If you can manage a coffee corner, that's another thing that helps - makes time spent in the store feel like a pen club meeting.
    Ink swatches!

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    Default Re: Creating a place to hang out for FPGs

    I think one of the best things with a stationery shop is to have a non-precious feeling to it, so you can get your hands on a pen, a world away from the 'white gloves' approach. Being able to try different nibs is really crucial for many of us - I remember a lovely guy in Selfridges' pen dept in London let me try a Carene stub nib, which made a huge difference to the pen compared to the regular broad nib.
    All the best pen shops I've been in are CRAMMED. Lots of stuff to look at. Mora Stylo even had an exhibition on the first time I visited (Waterman pens through the ages). That makes them 'sticky'. Memorabilia, old ink bottles, old pen adverts, examples of fountain pen drawings or doodles - it doesn't all have to be for sale.
    If you can manage a coffee corner, that's another thing that helps - makes time spent in the store feel like a pen club meeting.
    Ink swatches!
    And good luck with your new site!

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    Bisquitlips (May 14th, 2024)

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    Default Re: Creating a place to hang out for FPGs

    Great thoughts and I am glad I am not the only one who likes to "play" with things before I buy.
    Your comment on trying different nibs is a good on, we have a few trays of inked pens behind the counter but it would be fun to setup a counter or table where those are out for people to try with stationery samples.
    We were playing with store layouts and want a seating area, adding coffee isn't too tough, I will have to look into it, thanks.

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    Default Re: Creating a place to hang out for FPGs

    I'm glad the ideas were helpful! Sounds like your new store will be really great.

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    Default Re: Creating a place to hang out for FPGs

    Ink swatches, lots of ink swatches, along with writing samples on the swatch in fine, medium, and broad. An ink swatch gives you a good idea of the color, but not how it looks when you write with it. Also a table where you can sit while trying out a pen. Most people don't stand when writing a letter or postcard, and your hand angle to pen will change in standing vs. sitting. Also, a pad of Rhodia, copy paper, and some other paper, so people can "feel" how the fountain pen writes. (You can probably deduct these items as business costs on your taxes.)
    Bucket list - walk the Camino de Santiago again

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    Default Re: Creating a place to hang out for FPGs

    At Dromgooles I loved looking at the ink swatch books. They have every single ink that they have in store swatched in two large books. It's such a great resource.
    Also all of their "used" pens for sale were inside large multi-pen cases. Great. I can't wait to go back....
    Regards, Chrissy | My Review Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    amk (May 14th, 2024), forester (May 14th, 2024), Yazeh (May 14th, 2024)

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    Default Re: Creating a place to hang out for FPGs

    I agree completely on the swatches, I never like the cotton swab style as my pen writes much thinner......so your idea of fine, med, broad along side each other is good.
    As for paper, Lamy, Pilot and other sell cheap or give us notepads so easy to have plenty around.
    Sitting is a very valid point thanks!

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    Default Re: Creating a place to hang out for FPGs

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    At Dromgooles I loved looking at the ink swatch books. They have every single ink that they have in store swatched in two large books. It's such a great resource.
    Also all of their "used" pens for sale were inside large multi-pen cases. Great. I can't wait to go back....
    We just started consignment in the current location and it has been a blast, the hardest thing is NOT buying the pens myself but letting regular customers have a crack
    We have an older ink book and it is high time we great a new one, thanks for the reminder

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