I could be wrong, but that sure looks like a Pilot Varsity in the above photo. The Varsity was technically my first fountain pen though I usually don’t credit it as such since it is a disposable pen. Karen Doherty, Exaclair’s VP of Marketing who knows I have a love for all things purple, recently sent me a Varsity with purple ink and it made me think of the store where I bought my first one – a local art and stationery store which has since gone out of business.
It’s sad reality that brick and mortar specialty stores are becoming harder and harder to come by – especially when huge iconic stores such as Art Brown International are forced to close their doors after almost *nine* decades of serving their customers.
To look on the bright side of things, many local businesses are looking for ways to grow with the times and can often be found serving a different kind of “local” community by focusing on online sales. (There once was a time when most people bought what they needed to live from a single mail order catalog...) No, it’s not the same as being able to walk in and touch things and try them, but I’d rather be able to buy what I want or need rather than not at all. Online retailers such as Goulet Pens, JetPens, these I believe are the *New* breed of Mom & Pop shops which I am happy to support and I hope you will too.
How about you? Do you shop the Mom & Pop online shops for your specialty goods? Which are your favorites? If no, why not?
Find online or local retailers for Rhodia and other Exaclair products here.
Image courtesy of marchedees on Instagram.
The other day I was Googling around trying to see if I could find a some place where I could buy a single 602 Palomino Blackwing pencil (I just wanted to try one) and ended up finding the coolest site: Hand-Eye Supply - and they also happen to be an Exaclair retailer. This Portland, OR company has both an online store and a retail location and unfortunately, now I want to buy EVERYTHING they carry.
11 days until Christmas and you could use a few more Rhodia products for under the tree? Meeting Book for Uncle Harry, #8 Shopping List notepads for Mom, Rhodia pencils for your little sister the artist? Check out our list of online retailers on Rhodia-Pads.com. Some of these retailers offer expedited shipping options so you should be able to get everything you need in time for Santa to come down the chimney.
PS: Don’t forget to leave out a treat (typically carrots) for Santa’s reindeer.
Image courtesy of Alejandro C Finy. Follow acfiny on Instagram.
Thank you all for your comments about selling on Amazon. They are interesting to read – pro and con. Thank you so much to the person who originally wrote to us asking to sell on Amazon – it got a good conversation going. Click here to read the original post.
To give you some background: we have been approached by Amazon multiple times through calls, email messages and visits at trade shows. We were getting several calls a month from various Amazon employees who wanted to do business.
Amazon was eager to take our entire line of Rhodia products–something none of our current retailers does. That in itself was appealing, because we always get calls and emails requesting references online retailers don’t stock. Like any other stores, online retailers tend to cherry-pick what their customers want or what they think will sell. That makes sense for them, but sometimes presents issues for us and the random consumer who can’t find what they want.
The Amazon representatives wanted Rhodia, but also expressed interest in Clairefontaine. I have to say it is an intriguing prospect – it would make it very easy for consumers to find us and buy. It will also give our brands exposure to potentially millions of new customers. Several of our retailers sell product on Amazon, including Rhodia, Quo Vadis and others. It seems they do pretty well, but I also know Amazon isn’t their only outlet. Other than their own prospecting via the web and shows, I suspect Amazon buyers called us because “Rhodia” or “Rhodia notepads” appeared enough in their Search bar to prompt the contact.
We ultimately decided not to sell on Amazon for these reasons:
1) It would severely impact our online retailers–especially those who market and support us with their customers
2) Since Amazon is driven on lowest price – ultimately we may not be able to sell them them (and survive) on the price they demand
3) We will not agree to Amazon’s returns policy
The door to selling on Amazon is not nailed shut, since we don’t know what the future will hold. But we are not contemplating selling through them at this time.
Thank you again for your thoughtful and sincere comments, which I have passed along through Exaclair and onto France as well.
Holiday shopping is almost at hand…Black Friday, Cyber Monday, here we go!
For those paper-lovers in your life (including you!) we would like to pass along places we hear of that are offering great holiday shopping and specials for Rhodia gifts.
Please let us know if you would like to recommend a retailer or special website. If you are a retailer, please let us know about any special holiday sales or promotions.
For example, until 11/27 The European Paper Company is including some FREE Rhodia pads with every purchase over $50. http://europeanpaper.com/. We encourage you to hurry on over to their site for some good holiday shopping!
Thank you, and to our US readers, warm wishes for a very Happy Thanksgiving.
Image courtesy of acouni on Instagram
It’s been a while since I’ve put a call out for photos of where you buy your Rhodia. Whether it’s your local art supply store, a Mom & Pop stationery store, or your favorite gift shop, we’d love to see & share. Feel free to include yourself in the pictures, or the shop owners (with their permission.) We enjoy seeing interesting Rhodia displays in your favorite stores from all over the world. Send them to: Stephanie at RhodiaDrive dot com with “Where I buy My Rhodia” in the subject line.
This image was taken at Dymocks, in Brisbane City, Australia by Stephanie Jowett. Follow her as stephaniejowett on Instagram.
If you’ve ever wanted to view all of the Rhodia products currently available in the US, be sure to visit rhodiapads.com where you can also search for a local or online retailer.
Located in New York City, Exaclair is the exclusive US distributor for Rhodia products and also the other brands under the Clairefontaine umbrella which include: Clairefontaine, Quo Vadis, J. Herbin, Exacompta, G. Lalo, Brause, Mignon and Decopatch.
If you have questions concerning product availability in the US, you can submit your question here.
If you have questions about Rhodia products outside the US, please submit your question here.
This Friday October 28th, you can win a Rhodia Treasure Box on the new European Paper Company Blog.
Who is European Paper Company?
“European Paper Company is dedicated to not only offer a distinct international selection of paper-related goods, but to do so with eco-friendly practices and choices. As an online retailer, we take pride in our efficient packing and quick shipping, as well as enhancing your experience via our customer service. Our mission is to provide an exciting resource for sustainable paper choices at great prices.
Based in Boulder, Colo., we are fortunate to be inspired by our surroundings each and every day, and we use the products on our site to capture moods, notes and bits of life just like you.
Known for our quality service and high environmental standards, we believe in choosing quality brands that align with our ideals to offer the best products for the everyday user.”
While I wasn’t able to make the NSS (National Stationery Show) this year, a few of our blogger friends did! The image above is from Diane over at Pocket Blonde. She seemed to be quite pleased by the new dotWebbies, the new soft covered “R” premium line featuring 90g ivory paper and also the new Unlimited books. (Which I can’t wait to check out!) Vist her blog if you’d like to see more pictures of What’s New at Rhodia.
Brian from Office Supply Geek also perused the show, and in his recent post he also mentioned admiring the R pads and the Unlimited Pocket book.
Have you seen all of the new products in the 2011 Exaclair catalog yet? Which items are you eagerly anticipating?
Though Exaclair is the US distributor for Rhodia products, we often receive requests via e-mail and on our Facebook Fan Page from people outside the US looking to find a local retailer selling Rhodia. While we would love to help you, it would be much faster if you sent your request directly to Clairefontaine by filling out this form.
Feel free to request retailer information for Rhodia, Clairefontaine, J. Herbin, Quo Vadis, Exacompta, Brause, and all of the other Clairefontaine brands via that form.
Our friend Cheryl at The Writer’s Bloc Blog wrote a post yesterday about using s0me of the lighter shades of J. Herbin fountain pen ink for the purpose of highlighting. This makes perfect practical sense as to why such light color inks exist, but I’ve had a little bit of difficulty making this work for me. Bouton d’or bled through the thin pages of Eat, Pray, Love and made a smudgy mess when I tried to highlight over ink jet printed pages of a book I had been working on. (Maybe I didn’t let them dry long enough?)
Do you use fountain pen inks to highlight? If yes, how do you use them, and which colors are most successful for you?
Established in 1895, Pieritz Brothers is one of the oldest family run office supply stores in the United States. In addition to being fully stocked in office supplies, the store has become a lively mix of eclectic music, art, and a museum of historic office machines & other items. Pieritz Brothers carries a number of the different Exaclair brands such as Quo Vadis, Rhodia and Exacompta. They also have a variety of fine writing instruments from Germany and Japan. Continue Readering »
I recently reviewed these leather pen holders from Quiver and found that the two pen models work quite nicely with the Rhodia Webbies and small Quo Vadis Habanas. (Julie reviewed both the 1 and 2 pen models here.)
Since writing the review, Bob Koch at Quiver Global noticed a great deal of interest in the Quiver products from Webbie users and gave me a coupon code to extend to our fans. For a 5% discount off of your order from now until December 12th, enter the code “rhodia2010″ into the promo code box during checkout.
Mooguy recently sent us this photo and said that he buys his Rhodia at at Librairie Papillon, Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia.
Will you show us where you Buy Your Rhodia?
Did you know that you can get a new Webbie at Levenger with the Italian leatherette cover monogrammed with your initials? If you don’t want to use your initials, (I always found my own to be rather uninspiring) you could always try something like; HIP, WOW, YEA, or FUN. (I would smile every time I picked it up if I had “FUN” monogrammed on the cover of my journal.) Not liking any of those? Here’s a list of 3-letter words that are fair use in he game of Scrabble. I’m feeling partial to ZIG, ZAG, ZOO, YUK, YAK & GNU. (Did I just accidentally write a poem?)
If you were to get a three letter monogram other than your initials, what would it be?