Yusuf Mansoor, who straddles the Fountain Pen space, now moves into carrying cases with SAY.FP – Touché!
It is love at first sight. They look cute and cuddly – the type that silently urges one to make them one’s own. If avoid them you must, I suggest you stop immediately, for the next step is to pick one up – and if you do that, mark my words, there will be no turning back, for even if you can console yourself by saying “looks are deceptive”, the feel of soft, full grain Napa leather will floor you into submission! They floored me!
I tried doing the next best thing to avoid buying them all – look for flaws, and failed, to my sheer delight! The zippers are YKK. The inner liners are soft, of German origin, type that our manufacturers reserve only for the best export orders – that too, to buyers with a record of rejecting entire shipments when they see through our obsession with cutting corners even under solemn oath. In terms of sheer convenience – read carrying comfort, they are better than anything that I now possess, and the stitching? Haven’t seen such quality craftsmanship in a long, long time. SAY-FP in one word? Superb!
But what makes the SAY.FP pen carrying cases stand head and shoulders above all – call them pouches if you may – is the way they have been designed. It will not be an exaggeration to say that every piece has been designed keeping in mind the unique needs of the Fountain Pen lovers, and the attention to small, even minute details bears witness to the fact. I guess it is now time for me to share a little secret with you guys – while you were going ga-ga over the pictures of “Kolkata pen hauls” posted by Yusuf Mansoor, he was actually sitting with the designers and manufacturers, giving shape to these little members of the collection, his “love-child”, here in Kolkata itself! And that explains the Tender Loving Care (TLC) that is writ large over each piece, in terms of quality and functionality.
As lovers and collectors of Fountain Pens, we all know how frustrating it is to carry them, fountain pens. One cannot clip more than a few in the shirt pocket and quality carrying cases that are aesthetically pleasing, are almost impossible to come by at reasonable price points. Those that are available, can be had from select outlets abroad which are quite literally out of reach for most of us hapless souls. SAY-FP will, needless to say, address this “missing link” and while many of us have genuinely rued the absence, it is heartening that Yusuf Mansoor has not only seized the bull by its horns, but has, in the process created cases fit enough to carry one’s most prized possessions with chary a care about either safety of style.
As a matter of fact, the full range will feature as many as four different platforms, which in turn will have variations in terms of carrying capacities (one, two, three, four, six and twelve initially) apart from leather type (Napa, Oil pull-up, Crunch etc) options and finishing (read treated or untreated). In all, there will be about twenty different pieces to choose from and like they say, this is just the beginning.
“I am so happy that the initial reaction to the SAY.FP cases have been so overwhelmingly positive” says Yusuf Mansoor. “I had long felt the need for quality carrying cases and was frustrated by my inability to buy them which had initially prompted me to collect the designs and have a few made for myself – now that my fraternity is loving them, all I have to do is scale up the production so that we may all have them”. That incidentally, explains the pricing – which is lower than what one gets in the bargain basement, considering the quality of the products that are being made available.
I know Yusuf Mansoor will not like it, but I feel that I must share a fact here. There is a heart-wrenching story behind the naming of the SAY.FP brand and whatever may the ultimate reason behind Yusuf Mansoor staking his everything on the brand be, it is not the profit motive. Thus, it will be my ardent request to the fountain pen community to avoid being dragged into unnecessary controversies around the brand, as I personally feel that it is not right to view every person or thing through the same prism of distrust that we use to measure sellers masquerading as collectors. Don’t buy the cases if you don’t like them, it’s a free country after all. But try not to question the intentions of the Maker.
Note: Say.FP fountain pen carrying cases are currently available in Yusuf Mansoor’s Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/yusuf.mansoor.9