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Little Secret In Little Rock: The Vanness Pen Shop


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#1 Mauricio

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 02:57

This afternoon I went to my favorite fountain pen store :cloud9: and I wanted to share a little secret we have in Little Rock, Arkansas: The Vanness Pen Shop, a fountain pen store that has been in business in Little Rock since 1938.

Three generations of the Vanness family in this picture ...
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Back in 1938, the late Orville Vanness had the vision to setup a fountain pen store in Little Rock, Arkansas. And thanks to him, Little Rock and the state of Arkansas has enjoyed a very vibrant fountain pen community for 73 years. The Vanness Pen Shop is a now a third generation family business. The fourth generation recently joined the company. They offer a huge selection of modern fountain pens, inks, paper and all kinds of fountain pen and related items. When you walk into the Vanness store you know you will be taken care of by Mike Vanness, one of the store owners and third generation in the family. This guy knows so much about pens I have always believed his father put fountain pen ink in his bottle when he was a baby. MIke's wife Lisa will be there to assist you as well, always with a smiling face and eager to take care of your fountain pen needs. Mike Vanness taught me how to repair my vintage fountain pens, something that I will be eternally grateful for. They have a huge assortment of inks and paper goods. All this combined with personalized and phenomenal service, just like in the old times, literally. The best part: Their prices are the lowest available in the marketplace.

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Like those Iroshizuku inks? Not a problem. While most establishments sell that ink for $28 per bottle, Vanness sells it for a lot less. I have just about all the Iroshizuku ink colors and thanks to Vanness I have never paid $28 per bottle. Thanks to the Vanness ultra competitive prices, I now have over 200 bottles of inks in brands such as Parker, Waterman, Sheaffer, Aurora, Montblanc, Diamine, J. Herbin, Noodler's, Private Reserve, Iroshizuku, etc. No one can beat them with their ink prices ... No wonder they have been in business since 1938. And they continue to grow. Just a few months ago, they relocated into a larger and nicer store in one of the most desirable locations in town.

In times at which lots of pen stores are closing their doors, we feel privileged to have A GREAT pen store right in town, with great selection of products, deep klnowledge of pens, wonderful service and amazing prices. I like them so much I normally pay them a visit every week, and do not leave that place empty handed.

So, the next time you are in the market for great service with people who have built a legacy in the fountain pen retail business and who will offer you the best prices, consider checking the Vanness Pen Shop. Email them or call them. I guarantee you will not regret you contacted them.

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Here's their contact information:

vannesspen is their FPN member ID

Vanness Pen Shop
11610 Pleasant Ridge Road, Suite 106
Little Rock, Arkansas 72223
U.S.A.

Phone: (501) 353-2362

E-Mail: vanness1938@sbcglobal.net

Facebook: vanness pen

Edited by Mauricio, 22 November 2011 - 06:09.

Tu Amigo!
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#2 pen2paper

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 03:22

Mauricio!
Thank You for this warm introduction to the Vanness Family, and excellent outline of a successful business, that We All Here at FPN are sure to welcome and embrace.. with our usual fervor.

The Little Rock show is one I would early love to visit, along with a drive through family "down Home" area of Mid to West TN. It sounds as though it rivals the friendliness, especially to newcomers, similar to the Ohio show.

Welcome Vanness family. hope we will enjoy your frequent participation, as your time allows.
All the best,
p2p

Posted Image~Hi! fountain pen enthusiast here~

#3 vannesspen

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 15:29

Thank You Mauricio!!!! We have the best customers - and truly appreciate the feedback. As we learn the FPN world; we encourage our peers to give us feedback!

#4 Laura N

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 16:40

Wow, that looks incredible. You're lucky to live nearby. Unfortunately I'm in the Chicago area. :(

#5 Biber

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 16:48

If only they had an online catalog... (?)

#6 Mauricio

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 16:50

Wow, that looks incredible. You're lucky to live nearby. Unfortunately I'm in the Chicago area. :(


Laura,

While you may not be able to physically visit them, you can call them or email them and take advantage of the PHENOMENAL PRICES and courtesy discounts they offer on a regular basis. Now days, lots of pen enthusiasts buy fountain pen items online or by phone anyway. Same inks, paper products and modern fountain pens you may find at other brick-and-mortar and online establishments, but at a fraction of the cost. And expect nothing but the best service possible in the industry.

Edited by Mauricio, 22 November 2011 - 16:54.

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#7 Mauricio

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 16:53

If only they had an online catalog... (?)


They do not have any proprietary lines of products, but a large selection of all kinds or pen goodies most of us are familiar with. There is tons of information available here in FPN and in the internet, but I have not found any other establishment with Vanness' competitive prices. If price matters to you, call them or email them with your list of desired items, and save you some $$$


Edited by Mauricio, 22 November 2011 - 16:55.

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#8 Biber

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 17:56


If only they had an online catalog... (?)


They do not have any proprietary lines of products, but a large selection of all kinds or pen goodies most of us are familiar with. There is tons of information available here in FPN and in the internet, but I have not found any other establishment with Vanness' competitive prices. If price matters to you, call them or email them with your list of desired items, and save you some $$$



I think you'll find that's not how most people shop these days. I certainly don't. I had never even heard of them until a few hours ago.

#9 Margana

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 02:13

What a shame someone had to be negative about a fine, veteran pen retailer. Don't be dissuaded. Email contact works great and often leads to additional suggestions of items to purchase. I've been very happy with retailers who offer it. :)
A certified Inkophile

#10 pen2paper

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 03:39

It appears there is much interest in learning the ways of the FPN.. takes the brightest among us awhile to sort out the fine points.. Also appears that while there is no online catalog, with several members actively involved with Vanesse, in posisitive miltiple experiences,, they are willing to flex to out needs, to the extent possible.

While some are necessarily cautious these economic tight days, soon you'll' be old and reliable friends : )
Again Welcome : )

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#11 inky

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 05:38

I guess I am just going to have to go to Little Rock one weekend. What are their store hours?
Sheaffer Targa - Parker Penman Sapphire----- Luoshi - Silk Road Green
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#12 vannesspen

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 14:54

Vanness Pen Shop is open Monday - Friday 10am until 6 pm and Saturdays 10 - 5
We got in the Ahab pens Monday and the TWSBI pens Tuesday... already sold out of two colors of Ahab

#13 esterbex

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 15:28

:bunny01: :bunny01: :bunny01:
I can attest to the friendly and knowledgeable service offered by Vanness. I was so enamoured I went twice in one day.

For those of us in this part of the country where access to physical contact with products before purchase is non-existent apart from the efforts of the Arkansas pen club and Vanness, we count ourselves blessed. And the absence of an online catalog apparently hasn't been a deterrent to the success of this enterprise with 73 years under it's belt. It can only get better. :cloud9:

Congrats on the new digs. I CAN'T WAIT to see you soon!
God is seldom early, never late, and always on time. ~~Larry Brown

#14 vannesspen

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 15:51

Thank you guys, for your support; we are working on an online presence, but there is a learning curve and we are an old small family owned company. My husband and father in law believe in letting every customer touch the pens, try the various nib choices and try inks until you find th perfect color. So the online presence has concerned them in that you could lose that emotional attachment to the product and people. FPN is the beginning of our process to understand how to keep the old and modern balanced.
We aren't going any where and we are aware that the fuure involves the internet. For this family it would be a disheartening day when human interaction no longer has any value and the brick and mortar store are a thing of the past. The bonus to modern technology is that people can find rare products no matter where you live!

#15 USMCMom

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 20:05

Wow, that looks incredible. You're lucky to live nearby. Unfortunately I'm in the Chicago area. :(


VERY fortunate to live near by!! We have nothing where I am ... absolutely nothing and that sure makes it difficult to get an ink fix. Guess I need to either set up a road trip or see if Vanness ships.
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#16 vannesspen

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 23:06

Yes We ship- Also we have some items posted on facebook. We can usually send a picture if you need something no longer made. We have unused older pens - including Visconti's and Bexleys. Ask about parts- We do have old parts.

#17 cjabbott

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 02:09

Let me add my praise of the Vanness crew! I lived in Little Rock for a number of years. It was a common occurrence for me to visit the shop two, three, even four or more times in a week (I, too, have visited more than once in the same day!) Great people, great products. Prices and service that will not disappoint! They are definitely one of the things I miss about Little Rock!!
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#18 esterbex

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 03:06

I visited today and was reluctant to leave. I had only intended on ink and paper purchases and ended up with a couple of pens and a TWSBI inkwell bottle as well. :embarrassed_smile:

The new location is quite lovely and the crew attentive and very helpful. They had a store full of people when I arrived but service was quick to come and not rushed through. The inventory is to die for and the prices very competitive. I will be going back just so I can touch and buy. What's an hour and half drive for pen lust love?

I doubt there is a comparable pen store in that region. If you live in the Memphis area, it's worth the drive, homies. You won't be disappointed. :thumbup:
God is seldom early, never late, and always on time. ~~Larry Brown

#19 vannesspen

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 04:50

Let me add my praise of the Vanness crew! I lived in Little Rock for a number of years. It was a common occurrence for me to visit the shop two, three, even four or more times in a week (I, too, have visited more than once in the same day!) Great people, great products. Prices and service that will not disappoint! They are definitely one of the things I miss about Little Rock!!


Thank you- so glad you enjoyed our little pen store!

#20 vannesspen

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 04:54

I visited today and was reluctant to leave. I had only intended on ink and paper purchases and ended up with a couple of pens and a TWSBI inkwell bottle as well. :embarrassed_smile:

The new location is quite lovely and the crew attentive and very helpful. They had a store full of people when I arrived but service was quick to come and not rushed through. The inventory is to die for and the prices very competitive. I will be going back just so I can touch and buy. What's an hour and half drive for pen lust love?

I doubt there is a comparable pen store in that region. If you live in the Memphis area, it's worth the drive, homies. You won't be disappointed. :thumbup:


I enjoyed visiting with you. I told my husband I want a necklace like yours! Something I might find on FPN?

#21 esterbex

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 05:09

I enjoyed visiting with you. I told my husband I want a necklace like yours! Something I might find on FPN?


You never know. But I can put a bug in an ear and see what can be made to happen.... ;)
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#22 angelofmusic81

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 22:39

After seeing this very post, my husband (trump321) and I made our way from Memphis down to Little Rock to check out this gem of a store. Man, none of the praise here was hyperbole, I can tell you that. Courteous and attentive service, a selection that made me a little woozy, and fantastic prices. Seriously, I saw pens that I had only ever heard of in hushed tones so that it felt almost like being in the presence of a vaunted celebrity--and I think my grail pen has now become a Dupont... Anyhoo, I just wanted to wave my new blue carbonesque VP and my Iroshizuku and Edelstein inks around in praise of a fantastic brick and mortar that is definitely worth the 2 1/2 hour drive! If you're in the area (or don't mind ordering by phone) show them some love! They definitely deserve it!

Edited by angelofmusic81, 04 January 2012 - 22:42.


#23 leod

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 22:59

looks like we just found the next Pam store :thumbup:
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing

#24 vannesspen

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 23:21

After seeing this very post, my husband (trump321) and I made our way from Memphis down to Little Rock to check out this gem of a store. Man, none of the praise here was hyperbole, I can tell you that. Courteous and attentive service, a selection that made me a little woozy, and fantastic prices. Seriously, I saw pens that I had only ever heard of in hushed tones so that it felt almost like being in the presence of a vaunted celebrity--and I think my grail pen has now become a Dupont... Anyhoo, I just wanted to wave my new blue carbonesque VP and my Iroshizuku and Edelstein inks around in praise of a fantastic brick and mortar that is definitely worth the 2 1/2 hour drive! If you're in the area (or don't mind ordering by phone) show them some love! They definitely deserve it!

Thanks for the positive feed back! As you observed- it is so much fun to try the inks and pens in person!
And the carbonesque will soon be a collectible! I always like to find new ink friends!

Hope to see you guys at the Arkansas Pen show- it will be open on Sunday too ( I think one of you works Saturdays?)

#25 beurling

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 23:47

what a lovely post..

it makes me wish i lived in arkansas myself...got any room? :)
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#26 angelofmusic81

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 23:48


After seeing this very post, my husband (trump321) and I made our way from Memphis down to Little Rock to check out this gem of a store. Man, none of the praise here was hyperbole, I can tell you that. Courteous and attentive service, a selection that made me a little woozy, and fantastic prices. Seriously, I saw pens that I had only ever heard of in hushed tones so that it felt almost like being in the presence of a vaunted celebrity--and I think my grail pen has now become a Dupont... Anyhoo, I just wanted to wave my new blue carbonesque VP and my Iroshizuku and Edelstein inks around in praise of a fantastic brick and mortar that is definitely worth the 2 1/2 hour drive! If you're in the area (or don't mind ordering by phone) show them some love! They definitely deserve it!

Thanks for the positive feed back! As you observed- it is so much fun to try the inks and pens in person!
And the carbonesque will soon be a collectible! I always like to find new ink friends!

Hope to see you guys at the Arkansas Pen show- it will be open on Sunday too ( I think one of you works Saturdays?)



That's the plan! We may even try to finagle a Saturday as well. We'll definitely be back to see you guys anyway--you've still got my Sheaffer! :)

#27 esterbex

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 00:40

The fan club groweth! Posted Image

You Tennessee folk up Nashville and Middle Tennessee way need to make it to this show. Last year's was so much fun that folks are crossing big ponds to join us again. Vanness will be there in full dress....so droolicious! Posted Image And maybe there'll be a chance to visit the store while you're there? I can't wait!!! Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
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#28 Ghost Plane

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 00:53

Oh dear. I have the strangest urge to make a field trip :embarrassed_smile: Meanwhile, I found them on Facebook. :thumbup:

#29 The Scribbler

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 02:22

Over Christmas I made another visit to Vanness. What a wonderful visit!

Mr. Van Vanness warmly greeted me when I entered and was delighted to spend more than an hour with me showing and discussing pens. I happily left the store with a very nice Visconti Rembrandt pen.

This is the second pen I've purchased from Vanness and it won't be the last.

Their service is phenomenal.

Their selection is superb.

Their prices are competitive (in fact, I've not found a Rembrandt at a better price anywhere).

I'm a happy and very satisfied customer. (And thankfully for my wallet, one that lives 10 hours away :lol: )
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#30 vannesspen

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 02:56

The fan club groweth! Posted Image

You Tennessee folk up Nashville and Middle Tennessee way need to make it to this show. Last year's was so much fun that folks are crossing big ponds to join us again. Vanness will be there in full dress....so droolicious! Posted Image And maybe there'll be a chance to visit the store while you're there? I can't wait!!! Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Last year we did an evening open house after the show- I may do it again. We can't take it all to the show- and this year we are helping behind the scenes some so we may have only three tables - but are considering asking Sheaffer to come.... and are getting door prizes from - tba