Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Grand Re-opening - 7/14/2018

So we worked hard from Saturday June 30th to July 13th.  Every day was tiring and long.  We had contractors working everyday , fixing things.   All of the Pen Boutique staff put in some early morning  and late evening hours to get things done by Friday.

Around Friday we decided that we can re-open on Saturday July 14th.  It was still a work in progress and we sent out the information as part of our weekly e-mailer  that we are doing our re-opening tomorrow!

We did not think that turnout will be great since it was a last minute email - around 4 PM in the evening.   But to our amazement, many customers came and showed their full support! At one point of time we were running out of space and were thinking that even our expanded space will not be enough!

We are still having the Grand Re-opening sale for this week.  We are pretty sure you will love all the items on the sale.  We have special discount  plus free gift with purchase. So do stop by and check our new renovated location....  More space and more things to do :-)

The Graf Von Faber-castell shop in shop and also Montblanc shop-in-shop.  What to choose ?

The quietness before the storm.  We have the balloons and donuts.  We are set to open :-)

Yug is  helping the customer with the Sheaffer Ferrari fountain pen awesome deal.

Joseph and Deanna are customers and friend from 2004.  They have shown their support from the beginning and also have allowed us to involve in many of the non-profit movements. 

A customer from 2004 when I opened the Columbia Mall store.  Still supporting us and shows up to support every-time without fail. 

 Customers checking out the new wall of Montblanc with brick.  Totally mesmerizing.  After all he is the "greatest showman!" :-)

The end of the day employees took a selfie to mark this day!  After all the hard work, it is an amazing feeling to have a successful launch!
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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Renovation at our Columbia Maryland store.

Hello Pen Enthusiasts!
We have good news and bad news - The good news is that our Columbia renovation project is starting to make our store look like a store again!  The bad news is that the Columbia renovation project is still going on!  You know that old saying “The best laid plans…”  Well, that most certainly applies to our current situation.  The closing of our Bethesda location took longer than anticipated, but due to the dedication and hard work of our Montgomery Mall staff it finally got done.
Now that all of the displays have been moved to our Columbia location, the store is being set up to give you the best Pen experience possible.  We are excited at the prospects this expansion has opened to us and look forward to all of the new adventures in our future!
We are tentatively hoping to re-open our storefront by Friday, July 13th.  Despite warehouse access being limited, we are still shipping online and phone orders so feel free to purchase via our website or by calling in.  A limited stock of Pelikan Edelstein Ink of the Year Olivine bottles just arrived, so make sure to secure your bottle if you’re interested!
We look forward to welcoming you to our new store!

The Pen Boutique Team

---------------------------UPDATE 1 - JULY 10th 6:00 AM -------------------------------

Julio was working until 4:30 AM in the morning along with the movers to bring the furniture in.  It was not an easy task.  But the dedication of the Pen Boutique team, especially Julio is beyond amazing.  These cases are huge and the large truck was used like 3 times to bring the items to the Columbia store from Bethesda,MD ( a solid 45 minute drive).  

Unfortunately, not everything is rosy.  Couple of nice cases broke. 

------------------------UPDATE 2  - JULY 10th   1:00 PM --------------------------------------

We started from where Julio left off.  He left at 6:30 AM.  We were at the store at 8AM waiting for the help to arrange these huge furnitures.  We really respect these professional helpers.  They are strong and work tirelessly.  Compared to them we all have easy work  - especially with wonderful pen customers. We are actually living a passion and at the same time having business too.  Respect to these hard workers. 

At 8:30 AM they were finally here.  Now the daunting task of arranging this and even worse rearranging it after fixing it in  one place to make sure that all look ok.  Again big thanks to these professional helpers.  They are always smiling even when we ask them to rearrange.  Blessed to have these group.  So far here is the result. 

At 1:00 we all left to lunch.  Joe is not budging.  He wants to get through the orders from the warehouse.  He wants to stay back and continue to ship orders. So, we decided to bring lunch for him with his favorite Harmless coconut water. 

It is 5:00 PM.  It is coming along.  Wow, it is a tiring day.  Almost there.  Pretty positive that Manuel and co, are super tired with rearranging furniture like "nth" time.  But these guys still have a smile everytime.   

It is coming along.  I am pretty sure you will love this new set up - Leena.

---------------------------------------8/11/2018   9:00 AM ---------------------------

Another new day!  Let us hope we get this all done today!

Manuel and co are already here ready to work.  These are some hard working guys.  Today is mostly putting the shelves together, connect to plug and power up the cases. 

Then we have Maureen, Aurora , Joe and I here unboxing the pens from both Montgomery Mall store and the Columbia store.  Then we will be arranging it in the various cabinets and then displaying them.

---------------------- 8/11/2018  11 AM ------------------------------

Still with cabinets and installing all these cabinets.  Connecting power and more.  Phew.

---------------------8/11/2018   12 PM -----------------

Lunch time!  It is pizza for all. Still work to be done and then we need to ship also for warehouse orders.  Joe and staff on it and want to finish it before the day ends.

---------------------8/11/2018   3 PM -----------------------------

Finally it is coming through.  Lot of work to be still done.

---------------------- UPDATE 6 PM -------------------------------

Wow it is coming along!  Lots of hardwork  by the team.  Plus the pizza and the coke to pump up some energy.   We are working now on display.  Some more work to do on the cabinets but overall it is coming along.  Everyone is tired and I think we all will be sleeping like log today :-)

UPDATE :  Leena

----------------------------------- 7/12/2018 -------------------------------------------------


Here is another day and let us hope all will be done today.  It will unboxing and displaying.  Lot of work but I am pretty confident that Pen Boutique staff will overcome and should be done by the end of the day.

Julio and Joe looking at the pile and discussing how to get everything done.  Not an easy task.  These 2 are my pioneers and make sure Pen Boutique is at its best. 

Aurora and Linda displaying the pens.


1 PM.

Things are looking pretty good.  Aurora, Maureen, I , Linda, Yug, Joe, Julio are arranging pens.  Displaying them and we seem to be on a roll!

But it is pizza time!

See the smiles. Yeah good food and good company brings it.   Hard work and now it is chow time!

It may be that we are doing some serious stuff  but always there is room for fun!!!!  That is what makes us click! :-)

--- 7 PM --------

We are staying a bit late today.  There is still a lot to do, so tomorrow might be the day when we finish all and we should be set for Saturday for Grand Re-opening. 

Below are the pictures so far.  It was a tiring but fun filled day!  Thanks for all the customers who came to check us out and we will see you on Saturday!

--------7/13/2018   - FRIDAY THE 13TH     ----------------------------------------------

Yesterday was pretty tiring day.  Let us hope the staff has enough energy today.   I am dragging myself  and can see how tiring they must be.  May be donuts , some sugar can kick start them. 

9:00 AM 


All have showed up and seems like they are pumped up.  Seems like I may be the only one who looks tired.   All have worked hard and of course it seems there is always room for fun with pens in between to test it and admire them, revisit their features so that we can be ready for more questions.   But all in all, we worked throughout the day.   Here are some pictures.  I think we are almost there.  We should be open tomorrow.   It should be an exciting day. 

Julio going to his bike at the end of the day. 

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