Brad Dowdy is known as the Pen Addict, host, along with Myke Hurley, of the Pen Addict podcast, and (with the support of a number of guest posters) the Pen Addict blog. Since we’re visiting the US in a virtual way, as part of our Round the World Sale, we thought we should pop down to Georgia, and catch up with him.
Who you are and what you do?
Hi, my name is Brad Dowdy, and I’m known online as The Pen Addict. I launched my blog in 2007, began The Pen Addict Podcast in 2012, and am a partner in two stationery companies, Nock Co. and Spoke Design.
Where in the U.S. you live?
I live in Macon, GA, which is approximately an hour and a half south of Atlanta.
Can you list 5 top products that we sell?
Well this is a fun challenge!
I’m a big fan of the Caran d’Ache 849 Ballpoint, and CultPens always keeps the latest and greatest stocked. I need to acquire the new purple Nespresso model, in fact.
Anything from Pelikan makes my list. Not only do you get the products sooner than we do in the US, your prices are outstanding, even taking into account worldwide shipping. My favorite Pelikan? Anything M805-sized.
I’ll always support any shop that carries Rhodia paper, but if you are looking for similar quality, with a few different layouts and styles, it’s hard to beat what Maruman offers. My favorite is the Mnemosyne 180 Creative Notebook Squared A4+.
The Rotring 600 is one of the greatest stationery products ever created, and I’m happy to see the full lineup represented well on the virtual shelves.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t include your collaboration with Diamine for the Iridescinks. They are crazy cool, and exactly what I like to see with store exclusive products.
Can you list 5 top products that we don’t sell?
I think Leonardo Officina Italiana fountain pens are a must. They offer a great combination of performance, style, and value.
Traveler’s Notebooks, and the entire associated system, are a stationery customizers dream product. It’s so simple, but limitless in what you can do with it.
Apica is another high-quality Japanese paper brand who makes great products. In fact, I think the Apica C.D. Premium A5 Hardcover notebook is one of the best quality notebooks on the market.
Tono & Lims is a South Korean fountain pen ink manufacturer that is making unique, fun colors that I have been enjoying recently.
Tactile Turn is a small US machined pen manufacturer whose work I have enjoyed for years. They make a wide variety of both standard refill pens and fountain pens.
How has life been in the US during lockdown?
I’m fortunate that I’ve been able to work for myself from home for the past 4+ years, so on that front things are reasonably normal. All of the pen shows in the US have been cancelled for months, and will be at least until August, so that has been a bummer. I know our entire community will be happy when we see the end of COVID-19 spread and we get back to some sense of normalcy. Until then, myself and my family are being as diligent as possible and following all of the safety guidelines.
How have you been occupying your time?
Learning how to be a better school teacher to my 11 and 13 year old children. While somehow they managed straight A’s, my teacher performance is solidly in the failing range. Outside of that, I’ve been trying to bury my head in more books and stay off of social media. Trying, not necessarily succeeding.
If you could go on holiday right now where would it be?
I’m a beach person, so anywhere warm with sandy beaches and blue water would be my jam. I’m not picky on the location, as long as I can soak in some peace and quiet, despite being cooped up in the house for months.