An interview with Mano Duggal from Phidon Pens

I was in Phidon Pens last thanksgiving and I was extremely impressed with the store and the incredible service I received. I felt comfortable and welcome in the store and Mano was very helpful.

Mano was kind enough to answer some questions for Writing and Scribbling.

What originally brought you to fountain pens, ink and fine paper?

My husband has always loved writing with a fine writing instrument especially fountain pens and I love fine paper. It was after attending the Toronto pen show a few years ago, Baldeep came home and said lets open a pen store. Hence Phidon Pens.

Do you sell more Fountain Pens, Ballpoints or Rollerballs?

yes,we do. FP’s do take the cake of the sales, but we do sell alot of RB’s and BP’s and MP’s

What are the pros/cons of being a brick and mortar store only?

In our opinon the only way to buy a fine writing instrument is to feel it, hold it in your hand, dip a pen in ink and write with it. Often when customers are looking to buy one, I end up showing so many before they choose one. Each persons hand is different, and a pen sits very differently on everyones hands. Also we sell a service here and its a very big part of what we do and our customers like that. We are not selling online and don’t have the market.

What is your favourite ink and favourite pen? What do you use daily?

My favourite is Sailor but for everyday writing Lamy is fantastic, I write with a F nib (Alstar). Baldeep my husband has many favourites but Pelikan is absolutely his favourite FP. My favourite ink is waterman green right now. Baldeep likes Visconti Blue, Omas Grey.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced getting Phidon Pens off the ground?

Just getting people in here, once they find us they are here, so lots of advertising, radio,print and of course word of mouth.

What has been the most satisfying aspect of promoting and being part of the Fountain Pen community?

We have developed wonderful relationships with our customers and our world has grown so much and we share common interests with our customers. Our business has grown with word of mouth .

Are there any products that are unique to Phidon that people should be aware of?

Over and above the 45 brands of pens we carry, we have some brands that are exclusive to Phidon Pens, Classic Pens from the states, Onoto from England, Curtis Australia from Australia, Marlen from Italy. We are the only ones in North America who sell these brands.

Our note books are unique, Behance, Whitelines, Apica, Maruman, Rhodia, Clairefontaine and many more. We have just introduced Rotterfaden notebooks, agendas, check out www.rotterfaden.com this is a brand new product form Germany and again we are the first ones to have it here in Canada. Also recently added to our collections of notebooks, Leuchttrum, paper quality is fantastic and there is no bleed at all.

Inks we have all major brands.

Our leather products are very unique, brand we carry are not availbale everywhere. bosca, tusting, brics, jack georges to name a few. Our Leather agendas are beautiful, Fiorentina from Itlay and Epica also from italy. hand made paper in leather bindings.

What does the future hold for Phidon Pens?

We are enjoying each day, bringing only the very best to our customers and keep introducing new products that are very unique and want to the best in Pens, Paper. Inks and Leather. We have always wanted the customers pace of life to slow down when they come and they can take their time and enjoy and pick up what they are looking for.

We have just introduced cameras into our store. not any camera but lomo cameras. Check it out
at www.lomography.com , their product sits very well with our products. Their motto is”The future is Analogue” and selling pens and paper, our future is Analogue as well. They look at unique places to sell their cameras, Urban outfitters, Holt renfrew and others and now Phidon Pens.

I would not hesitate to recommend that any fan of Fountain Pen, Paper, Ink or related products visit Phidon Pens. I really appreciate Mano and Baldeep’s dedication to focusing on providing a service and not just moving merchandise. This little gem of a store is a real find.

See the great time the london pen club had there here.

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1 Comment

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One response to “An interview with Mano Duggal from Phidon Pens

  1. Great interview with Mano Both Mano and Baldeep are terrific people to deal with and your interview does a great job of demonstrating that. Thanks for the ping back to the London Pen Club blog.