WHANGANUI’S NEW TREASURE TROVE

Pat and Susanne Clay have opened Inkt in the restored AE Kitchen heritage building at 17 Victoria Ave.
Their shop specialises in quality pens, inks and related items. There are 200 different fountain pens, ranging in price from $6 to $1000, as well as rollerball pens, the biggest range of pens in a store in New Zealand.

They can supply refills for every type of refillable pen available in New Zealand and Mr Clay does pen repairs. They do not sell disposable pens.

Inkt stocks about 300 fountain pen ink colours with products from Japan, France, Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom. The range includes scented inks, sparkly inks and inks for drawing and calligraphy. They also stock 30 colours of sealing wax and other stationery items including blotters, nibs, notebooks, washi tape and accessories.

Mr Clay has run the business via a website for about seven years and the retail premises is a progression based on increasing demand.

“I’ve been using fountain pens since I was at school,” Mr Clay said. “They are much nicer to write with than ballpoint pens and a lot of people enjoy writing with them. “I often have people phone and say they have a favourite pen but they can’t find a refill for it. If they bring it into the shop, I can generally get a refill for them.”

Mr Clay says a lot of younger people are now using fountain pens.

“If you have a ballpoint pen you can have blue or black or blue/black but with a fountain pen you can write with ‘your’ colour or change the colour of the ink depending on how you feel that day.

“It’s like a retro throwback thing but it doesn’t have to look old-fashioned. People are writing letters and taking time to think about what they’re writing. It’s a little more meaningful [than electronic communication].”

Mrs Clay compares the experience in the store with shoe shopping. “We have women come into the shop and it’s like buying new shoes,” she said. “They are looking at all the ink colours and flipping through the catalogue to find the colour they like. Very few people own just one fountain pen; it’s a pen enthusiast type of thing. It’s cool.”

By: Sue Dudman sue.dudman@wanganuichronicle.co.nz

The shop is open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm, Saturday 9am to 2pm and Sunday by appointment.
17 Victoria Ave Whanganui 4500 New Zealand Phone (06) 262 8080

http://www.inkt.co.nz

I have never met Pat but he was my first contact with the real fountain pen world. I had been into Whitcoulls for a Lamy Rollerball but they did not have one. 5 Days. But they had fountain pens. My history with fountain pens is for another day but yea, why not. I picked the red one which as it turned out was a Lamy Safari.

Saturday night and I go to use it and find its got a dried out cartridge in it. A new cartridge made no difference nor did a rinse under the tap.

Upon Gurgling my problem top of the list was INKT. I flipped them an email and got an immediate and friendly reply with the solution.

As I said to Pat at the time I had no hard feelings about Whitcoulls. I had been a customer of theirs since the 1960’s when it was Whitcombe and Tombs. What they had enforced on me was a crash course in pen cleaning and the online pen world.

My first couple of purchases were quite entertaining as NZ Post drove all over Auckland with my pens onboard. The issues seemed to be the nut holding the steering wheel (courier) and once I took advantage of their system and made my local post shop (by the supermarket I go to)  my designated address it has run like clockwork. I place my order with Pat on any day but Friday and next day at 1:00pm my delivery is waiting to be picked up.

Try getting that sort of service out of Amazon.