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By: Caiti Anderson

Scene: Sitting at my desk, Studio Ghibli music streaming into my noise cancelling headphones, focused on capturing my enthusiasm for the theme of this article while also chuckling at the irony of typing my thoughts as fast as I can summon them into the computer just waiting for an update so it can perform even better, faster, stronger. Spring is springing, the sun is nudging those perennials out of their bulbs, mosquitoes are thinking about it (oof, they better not). This is the first year I can remember gleefully anticipating the light and newness of Spring, rather than that dreaded hour of sleep lost during daylight saving. I think I can thank my renewed love for writing for that.

Have you ever wondered why you might be seeing more folks talking about fountain pens these days? Like it’s this magical new discovery; but what is old is new again? [unlike the JNCO jeans I begged my mother for in 8th grade – please, no please don’t bring them back] In reality, the Fountain Pen industry is MASSIVE! In 2022, the worldwide Fountain Pen market reached over $955 million and is expected to surpass $1 billion by 2030. Wowza!!

I believe deep down that there is a fundamental desire for us to resist technology; to connect or reconnect with the tactile process of feeling your thoughts exit your brain through pen and paper. And this isn’t just coming from an elder millennial navigating life with adult diagnosed ADHD, chasing dopamine with an amassing ink and pen collection, trying to keep up with the firing synapses, the overload of input into a brain that so very easily squirrels to the birds in the back yard or the hit song of 1996 or curiously wondering why she must fidget or spin or tap to the beat of the song constantly playing in her head.

When was the last time you sat down with intention and wrote a note or letter or card to someone? Was it intentional? Was it ‘just because’? Those ones are becoming my favorite. The mutual desire to connect; the joy of sending AND receiving snail mail - YES. 

There is another reason April is becoming a favorite month. I got married (in April), and it’s National Letter Writing month! So, it’s time to find that favorite pen of yours, do some finger stretches, pick up a card or pad of paper and some envelopes, hop to the Post Office for some stamps, and get to writing!

Don’t have any of those things? Let me help you! Let’s begin with the vessels of your good wishes and greetings. I am a big fan of a little snark in my greeting cards – Sapling Press makes some goodies. If you want something simple and not flashy, Clairefontaine Triomphe Letter pad and envelopes will do the trick. 

Do you have children? I got this Pen Pal Kit for my godson to write letters back and forth with my parents (his grandparents) – and what a cute way to bring the Boomer and Alpha generations together. <insert adorable smile>

If you haven’t had a chance to check out our sister store, Pippin Toy Co., they’ve got great options, too! These stationery sets from Mr. Boddington are great ‘first stationery’ and have fun camping or animal themes! Don’t forget to check out their Grand Opening at the end of this month!

Quick note: those Sapling Press cards are hearty, with a real toothy feel to the paper. It won’t be the most ideal for fountain pens – you’ll see quite a bit of feathering in the ink. A good alternative is my favorite non-fountain pen out there – the Zebra Sarasa Clip – in vintage colors.  

Let’s continue with pens. If you prefer to write with pencils – good on ya!  Here is the pencil search for Penny Post. I’ll give a little nod to the Caran D’ache 849 Mechanical Pencil - *drool*.

I’ll only be mentioning pens henceforth, as I am full on pro-pen. If you’re new to the fountain pen world, check out two favorites – the TWSBI Eco and the Kaweco Sport. These are just two color ways among a broad assortment. And you can get into either of these pens for $30-52.

There is something inherently satisfying about corresponding with another person via paper, with a fountain pen. And no, this isn’t to pressure or urge you to buy a fountain pen – but if you are looking to make a life-changing decision, this could be it. 

I’ve met avid fountain pen afficionados who’s collection instills so much envy and wish list making and inspiration (I see you Melissa from the Baltimore Pen Show). I’ve met newcomers who have a single fountain pen that is precious and their system works perfectly for them. There’s one thing they have in common – putting a little bit more care into their writing experience. Whether it’s to create more memories, do a tiny part to save the planet, or engage part of their brain that just feels good, when you find your quality pen, something will spark in you that encourages you to eagerly anticipate writing. 

For the die-hard rollerball afficionados the Liberty Ohto is a must. It looks and feels super fancy in the hand or on a desk at a $22.50 price point. It’s easy to refill and writes as smooth as butter, and at 0.5mm it’s a slightly finer line than other rollerballs you might find.  DID YOU KNOW – that many rollerball pens use ink similar to that of fountain pens? Compared to gel rollers which use pigment in a water-based gel, rollerball pens use liquid ink made of dyes in water. Here’s a very helpful article if you want to hop down THAT rabbit hole. 

As we approach April and gather the gumption to test my little theory. The theory is: (like Joey Tribbiani says, there is no selfless good deed) Writing a letter makes someone else feel good. AND YOU TOO). Keep Penny Post in mind – not only can they help you find all the fun little details and letter writing accoutrements you might need in store, they will do it for you!

And Letter Writing Kits are back! A store curated collection of writing goodies that take care of all the guesswork for you – stamps included! BTW, did y’all know Penny Post ships anywhere in the country? That’s right. I said it, mom.

For those local to the area, we’re testing another theory – a meet up for fountain pen newbies! On April 7, we’ll host a meetup for newcomers to fountain pens. You can bring your new pen, or we can help you pick one out. You can test the various nibs we have inked up and ogle at the world of ink. You can ask questions you might be timid to ask otherwise – we’ll create a safe space to test and learn. I’ll be hosting it, and as a relative newbie myself, you’ll be in good company! Space will be limited, so reserve your spot, quick!

Don’t forget to connect with Penny Post so you receive updates on all the other incredible things happening in April and this season!

Ok, how’d I do? The hyperlinks – too many? A little overboard? Is everyone ready for April? I’m feeling a rally cry is appropriate right now. ‘By the power of Grayskull, I have the power!’, ‘Thundercats, ho!’, ‘Care Bear Stare!’, ‘Cowabunga dude!,’ ‘Avengers, assemble!’ Take your pick folks.

You know where to find us if with questions and inquiries. Cheers and here’s to a superb Letter Writing Month!

Write on!

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