A connoisseur of flight with a passion for travel and history, Manager William Huckaby shares his thoughts about fine writing instruments and his hope for traveling to Italy in this months exclusive Store Spotlight in the New Jersey location at Bridgewater Commons.
How many members are on your team, including yourself?
We have 2 full time, 2 part time, and 2 seasonal part timers.
What is particularly unique about your store or store location?
Our store is one of the few upscale stores in this mall.
Are you a fountain pen, roller ball, or ball point kind of guy?
I am a Fountain Pen person; however, I do use ball points and roller ball pens.
Which pen would you say you personally like the most and why?
I think that Cartier has one of the best nibs available, however, that is not to say that other pen companies do not have wonderful nibs too. There is Montblanc with their Meisterstück 149 fountain pen which is a wonderful writing instrument. Delta has a 14k nib which is also very good.
William, how long have you been working with Paradise Pen Company?
I started with Paradise Pen part time in 1999 when it was still Colorado Pen Co.
What first brought you to the Paradise Family?
My first time in a Paradise Pen (Colorado Pen) store was in January of 1999 to purchase a bottle of ink. I was given an application, which, I did not fill out for about two weeks until my wife asked me if I was going to. I did and she delivered it back to Store 20 on a Tuesday. Thursday the store manager called and wanted to know if I could start that Saturday. I did start part time, and with the exception of a few weeks here and there, I have been the company ever since.
How did you get into fine writing industry?
I have always liked fountain pens even when I was a kid in school. I worked one whole summer to save enough to purchase a Sheaffer Snorkel fountain pen.
Tell us something we don’t know about Paradise Pen at Bridgewater Commons.
Ruth Ann was responsible for me taking a part time job with Paradise Pen (Colorado Pen) and now works with me and enjoys pens as much as I do!
Tell us more about you, William—Who are you and what are your passions in life?
My family is the most important to me and then my friends; I feel that the person we become is a mixture of ourselves and the influence from family and friends. A good relationship makes us all a better person.
I love to travel, Charleston, SC and New Port, RI being two of my favorite places in the US to visit. I plan to go Paris and London and hope to return to Italy as a tourist.
At home I enjoy reading historical novels about Winston Churchill, General Macarthur, and others. Books on Art Deco are another passion and I enjoy searching for the unique items when we travel.
What advice can you give to individuals who would like to purchase their first writing instrument?
A person who is buying their first writing instrument should consider how they will use the pen. How the pen will fit their needs? How does it feel in their hand?
What questions should they be asking?
How does the ball point, roller ball and fountain compare to each other. What is the difference between BP and RB refills? If considering a fountain pen for the first time, then they should ask about the difference in using cartridges compared to ink from the bottle.
What is your favorite color if ink and why?
Pilot’s Iroshizuku Kon-Peki Blue. It a very rich blue and flows well on paper.
There are many new collections being introduced so far this year. Which one do you find the most appealing and why?
The new Cartier Roadster Rivets collection. I used to fly and have always enjoyed seeing the older aircraft such as WWII vintage. The new Rivets collection is reminisce of this era.
How to you educate your customers to be adventurous when it comes to trying new writing instruments and how should anyone reading this interview expand their love of writing?
Show the customer the new products, tell them about the product, where the pen is made, the materials used and relay any stories that is related with the pen. Cartier has some very interesting stories related to their pens and the Montblanc Writers series, the Diva series and Patron of the Arts also have interesting stories that makes purchasing the pen more memorable.
Remember that whichever type pen you prefer, roller ball, ballpoint, or fountain it is your personal preference and the one you will enjoy most. Then venture out and try something new, we will be glad to demonstrate each pen and let you decide which one will be your next great adventure in writing.
Paradise Pen is known for carrying a plethora of fine writing instruments. However, we carry amazing accessories as well. What is your essential writing accessory and why?
I think desk accessories are a part of the appreciation of not only writing but the complete office environment.
If you live in Bridgewater, or are visiting the area, please stop by and visit Paradise Pen at the Bridgewater Commons. They can be located at:400 Commons Way, Suite 255
Bridgewater, NJ 08807