Truphae 2.0 - Our Venture into Brick & Mortar

Truphae Brick & Mortar Grand Opening

By Chris Henline

Those who know me know that I'm quite the dreamer - but never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined a Truphae storefront in downtown Greenville, SC, fully stocked with the finest of fountain pens and ink. Complimented by the huge support of brand distributors and our faithful customers, our leap to brick and mortar turned into one of the most epic weekends I’ve ever had! 

Downtown Greenville Pen and Ink Store

 

How did we end up here!?

As a long-time proponent for online retail, I was a die-hard believer that the Internet was the only place for Truphae.

As a bit of an introvert, this just made sense to me! We began Truphae in 2016, working solely out of our apartment, fulfilling orders from our kitchen table. I always wanted to focus on being easy to deal with, and on trying to provide as good of customer services as I could.

Thankfully, I believe this helped to grow our business tremendously over the course of 3 years – to the point that we were no longer able to house our inventory.

Something had to give - you can only live for so long with pen boxes in your bathroom, kitchen and dining room! 

With the closing of several fountain pen retailers in our areas of Greenville, Charlotte, Atlanta, and more, it felt like there was a need for a place where people could come test out any pen they please. It would be a great way for us to finally meet the people that we electronically corresponded with for so long.

I could know people by their face instead of their Instagram username now! So what began as a storage issue and a lack of workspace blossomed into so much more.

Chris and Kylie - Truphae President

 

September 21st, 2019

One of the most nerve-wracking factors to opening a store was the lack of knowing how many pen enthusiasts would be willing to make a trek to our little town.
We were lucky enough to host the Grand Opening the day after the Pelikan Hubs, so we were able to get in touch with Atlanta and Charlotte’s hubs to invite their attendees to the opening - and I'm so glad that we did!
When the big day rolled around, we had the privilege of meeting and greeting hundreds of fellow Penthusiasts.
The Ink Lounge
With the support of brand reps, we were able to showcase thousands of pens, from brands such as Aurora, BENU, Diplomat, Esterbrook, Montegrappa, Pineider, Platinum, ST Dupont, Visconti, Waldmann, and many more. There was truly something for everyone!
Retail Pen Store - 550 S Main Street Greenville, SC 29601
Waldmann Fountain Pen Vendor
Truphae Brick and Mortar Store
Fountain Pen Vendor Showcasing His Product
We were even lucky enough to have the Nib Grinder himself, Mark Bacas, here!
Mark Bacas - Nib Grinder

Launching the thINK Initiative

If you’re like me, you’re a bit peeved that kids are no longer taught to write in cursive.

In a world overloaded with technology, it feels like they’re barely taught to write at all! However, there is a huge shift happening in the fountain pen demographic.

In an industry that the general populous would view as a washed-up has-been, we’re seeing Millennials grow more and more fond of fine writing instruments. I think it's a reprieve from the technology that's shoved in our faces at every waking moment.

We want to do our part in fostering this creativity, so we are launching the thINK Initiative!

For every purchase made in-store (big or small!), or on our website, we will donate a beginner fountain pen to a creative writing program, art institute or school.

Happy Truphae Customers

We have begun taking applications to receive these fountain pens, so if you know anyone that works closely with young people in this capacity, please feel free to reach out and we will work on getting some free fountain pens to you! 

 

What’s next?

If you thought this was the end of the festivities planned for our brick and mortar location, think again! We plan to do brand events every few weekends, with some already in the works.

Visconti Pens Available For Purchase At Our Retail Store

We plan to host events with David Oscarson, LAMY, Pilot, and Visconti within the next 4 months. We also plan to work with a local calligrapher to offer periodical lettering classes through her Sip & Script affiliation. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to find out when these events will be held.

ST Dupont Vendor Booth

In conclusion, we want to extend a heartfelt thank you to our amazing supporters and customers – you are all like friends to us, and I hope that we can repay this amazing fountain pen community through our continued involvement in bringing unique experiences to both our online and in-store supporters.

Thank you all! See below for more photos!

Waldmann and BENU Pen Vendor Booth

Esterbrook Fountain Pen Collection

Waldmann

Truphae Store Entrance - 550 S Main Street Greenville, SC 29601

Truphae Downtown Store - 550 S Main Street, Greenville

Truphae Retail Store


4 comments


  • Debbie Vincent

    Sounds like your store opening was a big success. Wish I could have been there. Oh well . . . Just for my incredible box. Thanks for putting the vials of ink in a baggy. One of them had a slight leak. I’m glad also that you put more ink in the tubes. Once I was able to clean them off, my fingers were, I must say, very colorful. I’ve been looking for a way to store the tubes but so far my boxes are either to high or too short. You need to look into a solution.


  • Jack Peterson

    Glad that you have opened a store. All success and prosperity to you and to TRUPHAE!


  • Bruce McElya

    Well Chris, it was a big fun day for my wife and I. We drove in from Aiken and met some really interesting pen experts. Thanks for hosting a great grand opening. I’ve never been to a dedicated pen store, and new firsts in life are always fun.

    We purchased a new Waldmann while there and it’s a real beauty! Happy to have it, and we hope the best for your new store, and what a location. You’re right there in the midst of all those downtown executives who need nice pens. Carry on. See you next time we’re in the neighborhood.


  • Geof Dunn

    Wow Chris, what a great story and beautiful pics of the Big Day! So happy for you, your family and the Truphae Team not to mention the people that live close enough to visit your gorgeous new store. Congratulations again! One day, one day…..
    A Canadian pen friend 🖋🇨🇦✒️


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