Today we are talking with Kim Graham from Fahrney’s Pens in Washington DC.
RD: Please give us a short description of your store.
Kim: For over 85 years, Fahrney’s has served as Washington’s premier pen store. Fahrney’s is the pen retailer of choice for many of the city’s prominent businesspeople, politicians and diplomats. Providing a unique dedication to its customers, while delivering the highest quality products and service available.
Additionally, Fahrney’s offers unique services like The Pen Doctor. For more than 30 years he has been responsible for the repair and adjustment of Fahrney’s customers’ writing instruments, including fountain pens, rollerballs, ballpoints and pencils. His workbench is a fascinating amalgam of the old-fashioned and modern where he works his magic on sick pens. Pens and so much more – watches, stationery, men’s jewelry – are all available at Fahrney’s Pens.
RD: Have digital devices and apps changed how people use notebooks?
Kim: Absolutely! Once an important part of every student’s early education, the world of digital devices and apps has rendered the penmanship and the handwritten note an obsolete form of communication. People are texting/email notes and using digital lists and calendars. However, Fahrney’s customers find that though digital devices provide a level of convenience, putting pen to paper is still a necessary and important pastime.
RD: What do you see as the future of notebooks?
Kim: While their use may not be as widespread as it once was, notebooks are making a comeback in trendy and fashionable circles. Not only are they portable and crash proof, they allow us to express or own thoughts, inspirations and observations at any moment, capture memories, take notes and make lists. Your notebook will not only help organize your thoughts but is an everyday accessory to reflect your personality. Plus recent research has found students who used paper score significantly higher on tests than those who use laptops! In fact, we’ve noticed an uptick in sales in this category! With that said, notebooks are and will continue to be an important commodity.
RD: Why do some people continue to use paper in a digital world?
Kim: For some, the exercise of slowing down and expressing your thoughts and feelings on paper is both relaxing and rewarding. For others, writing things down helps you remember what you wrote – it is said that one of the most effective ways to study and retain new information is to rewrite your notes by hand. For most, writing something on paper is perceived as being more permanent, personal and private.
RD: How do people “discover” paper and notebooks now that so many stationery and office supply stores have disappeared?
Kim: The internet and social media must be the primary source for educating consumers on what is available in the market. Fahrney’s carries a variety of softback, hardback and leather notebooks, pads and journals.
RD: Any additional comments or observations that you would like to add?
Kim: Fahrney’s customers love the webnotebooks and the yearly planners! We’ve also found the pencils to be an ever-popular item, and we sell them by the box. Our customers love Rhodia paper, especially if they prefer to write with a fountain pen. As many of our customers do, and we’ve continued to expand on our offering both in the store and on our website.
A Few Current Projects:
An innovation in teaching cursive handwriting has hit the market, and students are mastering cursive in mere hours rather than months! Believed to be the key to saving cursive’s place in the classroom, Fahrney’s Pens is a proud Founding Supporter of CursiveLogic.
Now Fahrney’s and Cross, America’s oldest manufacturer of fine writing instruments, are teaming up with CursiveLogic to bring cursive handwriting instruction to classrooms across America. CursiveLogic’s new crowdfunding campaign – Cursive to the Classroom – unites companies and individuals who want to save cursive with educators who want to teach cursive. Companies and individuals sign up to sponsor workbooks and educators sign up to receive them. You can view the campaign at www.cursive2class.com.
Fahrney’s is proud to have partnered with Write Notepads & Co. in sponsoring a local Washington, DC public school and producing a Fahrney’s Exclusive Notebook. At Write Notepads & Co. they’re empowering students who need these the most. When you buy a Write product, they’ll not only donate free composition-style notebooks to a sponsored school, they’ll also show you the exact school that is benefiting from your purchase. A donation code is printed inside each and every Write notebook that, when entered onto their website, shows you the sponsored elementary or high school.