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Pensharing: how it all began

I’ve been meaning to write this for a long time…

My fountain pen journey began when I was a schoolboy. My parents gave me a gorgeous, slim (it was the 80s!) matt black / gold trim Papermate fountain pen which I used day in, day out.


It was probably thrown away when it was replaced by the (equally slim) Parker 95 Thuya Lacque which I received as a gift for my 21st birthday.


I used the Parker religiously for years and years until at some point (and for the life of me I cannot remember when), I suddenly didn’t. I found myself up until my 40th birthday using all manner of ballpoints or rollerballs or gel pens, and my handwriting had genuinely become a mess. I was actually quite ashamed of it and recalled the days of my youth when I was proud of it.

Again, my parents came to the rescue – they were looking for a significant birthday present to buy me for my 40th birthday and I thought a nice fountain pen would fit the bill (the decision for said pen will have to be the subject of another post!). In the end I received a beautiful, matching set of midnight blue Montegrappa Miya fountain pen and rollerball.


I didn’t think I would get that much use out of the fountain pen, maybe special occasions etc and that I would use the rollerball more. However I’m not exaggerating when I say that the first time I wrote with it, it instantly reignited my love of fountain pens and I have not used a rollerball, gel pen or ballpoint since that day.

More importantly – my handwriting has improved beyond all recognition, back to (and probably better) than it was when I was using a fountain pen many years ago.

So onto the next step of my journey – I stumbled upon the website, run by Dan Smith. I never realised there was an army of fountain penthusiasts out there and Dan’s excellent reviews (both written and video) really captured my imagination and just added more and more fuel to the fire.

Instagram and pen shows soon followed and by then I was totally consumed by the fountain pen addiction, with mutliple Instagram-inspired purchases, as well as branching out with different inks and paper.

So far, so familiar?

Probably 15 or so pen purchases in, I realised the pen lust could never be satisfied. I also knew that I would never be wealthy enough to buy every pen which caught my eye and that even if I was, I could still only use one at a time…….

This is when the pensharing penny finally dropped. There were more and more sites out there devoted to the sharing economy: your property, your bike, your power tools, your handbags – why not your fountain pens? The property, bikes and power tools etc sites were, to me, more about earning some cash from stuff you own which you’re not fully utilising. But what really captured my imagination was the handbag sharing sites, which cater for women suffering the same kind of addiction as the fountain pen community….

So earlier this year, with the idea having been at the back of my mind for a year or so, I started building the site, and launched it to my Instagram friends a few weeks back, and then onto the unsuspecting public at the London Pen Show earlier this month…

Thanks for reading – more posts to follow!


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