Ana’s St. Louis Pen Show Recap

Laura posted her impressions and photos from the St. Louis Pen Show yesterday. For me, as a staff member for Team Dromgoole’s, the show is a much different experience. I don’t get time to take classes or shop. I am up and out the door several hours before the show opens to set up the table and make sure we are ready to greet customers or the curious. I am on the show floor all day and have to clean up and shut down the tables after the show closes.

In the time in between, I am ready (I hope) to answer any questions or provide advice and direction to anyone who asks. Most of the time, I have an answer or a recommendation to where someone might look. But every now and again, someone will ask a question that throws me for a loop. You can never be prepared enough!

A view from behind the Dromgoole’s table

During these long days, I do have moments of sheer delight. I met a woman who had been staying in the hotel and had a couple hours before her flight so she decided to walk around the show, knowing nothing about fountain pens. I showed her a Pilot Vanishing Point. I inked it up and handed it to her to try writing with it. Watching her eyes widen and her mouth fall open in sheer delight was why I continue to work shows. She didn’t buy anything from us but I think she will definitely consider one in the future. Either way, I hope she walked away thinking the fountain pens are amazing and the pen community is generous and kind.

Marty (@AVLMarty) was the boss of the Retro 51 and Tactile Turn tables.

I did get to have an amazing dinner at my favorite restaurant near the hotel, Bombay Food Junkies and was able to convince a whole slew of people to join me in eating 100% vegan Indian cuisine and tasty oatmilk milkshakes.

Our group enjoying all the delicious food at Bombay Food Junkies.
Falooda (Rose Flavored Milkshake) with poppyseeds (like boba pearls but smaller) and topped with cashews! Delicious!

As I said earlier, I don’t get much time to wander around the show but I do get a few minutes, even if its just on my way to get water or a snack. Which is how I ended up with a few wonderful items.

It’s not everyday that you go to a pen show and leave with a magic wand but, in St Louis, you can! Wand by T. Wyitt Carlile, notebook from The Creeping Moon available in our shop.
A few of the little treats I was able to pick up: stickers from Inky Converters, a vintage Lady Sheaffer Skripsert and a Unemploed Philospher’s Guild Alchemy pouch from Notegeist.

The St. Louis Show is still not as large or well-attended as some of the more established shows. This year, the list of available classes and workshops was much better than previous years including paid-for classes which means better quality classes with more dedicated students than a free workshop.

Many of the attendees are attending their very first pen show so, as a vendor, I spend a lot of my time teaching newbies how to fill a pen, or the difference between a cartridge and a converter and such. Its always a joy when someone gleefully grips their new pen to their chest.

This year, the show felt busier and better attended than last year or 2022. So, the show is growing but it has a way to go before it is in the realm as the bigger shows.

Did you attend the St. Louis Show? Would you?

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7 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I did not attend the St. Louis show, though it’s not outrageously far from me. Ordinarily, I attend the Chicago show, but finances prevent me from attending any show this year. We expect to move in the next year and then I’ll be close enough to attend the DC show, which is really exciting.

  2. I think I went to the STL show this weekend, but I was so wiped out by Sunday night I am no longer sure!

    1. I saw you there so yes, you were there but I get how tiring it was. I slept for 10 hours on Sunday night!

  3. Reading about pen shows makes me nostalgic and homesick for Colorado. I used to live in Colorado Springs and could easily attend the Denver Pen Show in October each year. However, a couple of years ago I followed family and moved to Rapid City, SD. No pen shows for miles and miles. I really miss pen shows! I’ll have to find out where the closest pen show is to me and see if I can make a special trip of it someday.

  4. I attended the Show this year and all the previous 4 years. It’s a great Show run by the wife & husband team of Ann & John Morgan + very friendly and helpful volunteers. It’s one of the best-organized pen Shows with about 145+ tables.

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