Pen Boutique, Leena Shrestha Menon and a story from the World Wide Web’s favourite pen, paper and ink store!
Inked Happiness: What’s new at our favourite store – Pen Boutique?
Leena Shrestha Menon, Pen Boutique: Now that the pandemic is winding down and restrictions are lifting, our store hours are finally almost back to normal, and we’re excited to welcome everyone back after so long. We’ve also been working hard with vendors to bring our customers more exciting Pen Boutique exclusives!
Inked Happiness: As the world limps back to a new normal, are you overwhelmed by a deluge of pent-up demand? Or, is the demand for fountain pens, inks and other stationery tepid, reflecting the state of the economy as it were?
Leena Shrestha Menon, Pen Boutique: Because we see so much business from people purchasing pens to give as gifts, demand is relatively high as students are graduating and Father’s Day is coming up. This gift-giving demographic is buying more than usual this year, presumably in an effort to catch up after a period where it was nigh impossible to exchange gifts in person.
Inked Happiness: What lessons have you taken from the pandemic and the forced lockdown that followed? Will we witness the writing instruments businesses like the Pen Boutique make a more aggressive move into the digital realm as a result?
Leena Shrestha Menon, Pen Boutique: Pen Boutique has had an online presence for more than a decade, and even before the pandemic it represented a majority of our sales. The disruption caused by lockdowns could have been catastrophic if we were still exclusively a brick-and-mortar store, but thankfully our strong online presence made it possible for us to do even more business than we normally would as people had time at home for online shopping and pen appreciation. If anything, the pandemic has reinforced the wisdom of moves made long ago, and we intend to stay on the cutting edge as new ways to better serve our customers arise.
Inked Happiness: Has there been any qualitative change in the consumption patterns in the near past? Are more people picking up the fountain pen and ink? Are more youngsters getting fascinated by the fountain pen? Are more people picking up the hobby of collecting pen, ink and stationery?
Leena Shrestha Menon, Pen Boutique: The pandemic, especially when lockdowns were first beginning, caused a minor bump in demand for pens, ink, and stationery as people had more time to appreciate their pens and shop online. In the longer term, the demand for fountain pens has been steadily increasing for the past decade, a trend we suspect is driven by a desire of people who work in a primarily digital environment to get back to the analog and tactile experience provided by fountain pens.
Inked Happiness: What are you doing to attract more youngsters to take up the fountain pen and write?
Leena Shrestha Menon, Pen Boutique: Before the pandemic, we held seminars to teach children cursive and give them a free fountain pen, as it’s no longer taught in schools, and the more people we can introduce to fountain pens and cursive writing the better! Hopefully these seminars will resume soon as things begin to reopen.
Inked Happiness: What are the steps needed to order pens from Pen Boutique – especially for pen lovers from India, Bangladesh and Nepal. Please give a detailed answer as many potential buyers are simply scared of buying from abroad due to their ignorance about the procedures.
Leena Shrestha Menon, Pen Boutique: For domestic customers, shopping at Pen Boutique is just like any other online shopping experience. If you’re ordering from outside the US, the only things you need to do differently are select FedEx for shipping, as they have much more reliable international delivery and better insurance, and pay any duties assessed by your country’s customs office, usually provided as a bill you can mail off attached to the package when you receive it.
Inked Happiness: Anything that you would like to communicate to our readers.
Leena Shrestha Menon, Pen Boutique: We’re blessed to have such great customers, and want to thank everyone who makes it possible for us to continue doing what we love!
For more information: https://www.penboutique.com/