The 2010 holiday season will soon be upon us and many companies are searching for the perfect gifts to thank their hardworking employees, while still keeping an eye on the all important bottom line. Executive Essentials is the perfect place for corporate gift orders, due to their volume discounts; monogramming, screen printing, and embroidery capabilities; practice of providing samples upon request; and wide selection of quality products for business personnel, with pricing to fit a 2010 budget.
Top companies that have already chosen Executive Essentials for their corporate gift giving include McDonalds, Phillip Morris, United Airlines, Motorola, Proctor & Gamble and more.
Ah…..falling in love, there is no feeling like it! Racing heart, sweaty palms, the sensation that you are just going to burst at the seams with excitement. You cannot get enough of him or her, all day, every day. They occupy your every thought and boy does it feel great!!!
Come on you remember, don’t you? It has not been that long since you’ve experienced the high?…..Even if you are deeply committed and truly love the one you’re with; whether you have been together one year or fifty, it is time to recapture that giddy feeling, reignite that flame and fall in love all over, with that special person in your life!
Valentine’s Day is approaching fast and what better time to start the ball rolling! Come on life is too short, let’s give it all we got!!! You cynics out there who say Valentine Day is a Hallmark holiday, so what, who cares; why not take advantage of it anyways, take the opportunity to get back that gosh darn fantastic feeling when you first fell in love!Below are some great Valentine gifts she will just love and they won’t be gone in a week: the Andrew Philips Leather Heart Shaped Paperweights; luxurious red and pink pens from Faber-Castell, Waterford, Aurora, Cross, Waterman & more; exquisite red and pink leather wallets, agendas, totes and briefcases from Lodis, Knomo, McKlein and Clark & Mayfield; or even a fun red or pink umbrella from Shed Rain and Knirps Umbrellas.
The enchanting land of Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a great, sprawling transcontinental country reaching out from North Africa, across the Sinai Peninsula into Southwest Asia. It is a country of people brimming with culture and history that can lay claim to civilizations older than most thoughts can fathom. It is a place that captures the imagination with images of seemingly directionless camel trains of silk and spice meandering desolate sand dunes across oceans of dust-filled seas led by coifed men and women hidden from the abusive, never abating, rays of the sun. It’s a place of pyramids, kings and mummies. And, Sarcophagi.
Ever since the time of the Early Dynasty of Egypt (circa 4000-2680 BC) Egyptians used the process of mummification to encapsulate and bury their dead. The process was primarily reserved or those of royal blood. The process comes from the Egyptian belief that the bodies of kings, queens and other people of high station be kept whole and undisturbed after death. This would ensure an eternal life for the royal subject – a belief still held by many Egyptians today. The Sarcophagi was an added layer of protection for a mummified body.
Many Sarcophagi were designed to remain in the rooms of pyramids and not buried. Because of this, they were often highly decorative with bright paintings, carvings and detailed construction. In fact, some royal members have been incased in not one, but multiple sarcophagi nested within one another. Very early sarcophagi were made of wood. But, more commonly, they were made of metal or plaster and limestone.
Ancient Egyptians may have perfected the sarcophagi and mummification process, but protecting the things we cherish by placing them in containers is obviously not unique to Egypt. In fact, in the world of pens, Executive Essentials has many excellent ’Sarcophagi’ for the royalty you have rolling around loose in that desk drawer next to your right knee.
Right now, at Executive Essentials there are over 20 pen cases and pen chests to choose from in either wood or leather. The Laban Company provides collectors with an understated wooden pen chest that can carry from 10 to 40 pens. All models have a clear glass top so the case can be used as a display as well. Another great case is the solid wood pen chest (pictured right) from Bey Berk Office Accessories, finished off in a matte black exterior with a cherry finish inside. It can accommodate up to 13 pens, all of which can be viewed through the hinged glass lid. The vertical pen display tray is removable, revealing a small chamber to store refills, ink cartridges, warranties, etc. A great piece to store any small collection.
A real standout in the pen case offerings is the Black Montblanc Meisterstuck Pen Pouch (now with free monogram). It is made of Southern German fullgrain calfskin and has a Jacquard lining. The famous black & white resin star logo with palladium-plated ring is displayed prominently on the lower section of the case, near the clasp. It is a case worthy of the most noble and prized pen anyone has in their collection.
So, take stock of your free-floating writing instruments and see if you can’t find a not-so-final resting place to keep them safe and warm.
If you’re looking for gift ideas for your soon to be graduated college student then let me be the first to tell you that you have come to the right place. Over the last few weeks, Executive Essentials has gathered some of our favorite pens and talked a little about the unique qualities they contain. We know from years of experience that pens make the best graduation gifts, not only for college graduates but high school graduates as well. And we will present more pens targeted towards specific majors over the next few weeks. But today I wanted to stray a little outside the pen-box and talk about some unique graduation gifts that Executive Essentials carries.
For those who are new to the world of Executive Essentials (EE), you may not know that we are more than just pen store in Mount Prospect, Illinois. EE carries all sorts of gifts and products that make life enjoyable, easier and stylish. In fact, we have many varieties of luggage, desktop accessories, laptop and tote bags, briefcases, wallets, and purses. An entire selection of fine goods made for the fast paced world of business. With that in mind, I thought it might be a good idea to take a look at some of the non-pen products that freshly graduated students might find useful and fun in their new jobs.
Graduation Gifts For Men:
Acme Blueprint Business Card Case
Acme is a company that loves fun and style and they are experts at bringing this style into the business world without making it goofy and childlike. There are a number of great business card cases made by Acme for both men and women, but this Blueprint Business Card Case is one of my favorites. Paying homage to the profession that Frank Loyd Wright made famous, this sleek, sturdy case is perfect for that young professional in their new career.
Bey Berk Lady Justice Bookends
Bey Berk is one of my new favorite companies. I hadn’t heard of Bey Berk before coming to work at EE, but the more products from them I see, the more I understand how committed they are to quality and design. I was first introduced to them through their great pen boxes and cases. These amazing Lady Justice Bookends and just the thing to hold that newly minted lawyer’s law library in place. These bookends are cast in solid bronze and set upon solid marble, measuring nearly 9 inches tall.
Hartmann Horizontal Prescription Pad
We all know that having a degree to practice medicine is mandatory, but it’s not nearly as important as having completely illegible handwriting. Well, that doctor new to the world might have messing handwriting, but that doesn’t mean he needs to have an unkempt subscription pad. This Horizontal Prescription Pad from Hartmann Briefcases is just the thing to help him keep track of his daily doses. And you might consider a nice pen to go along with it.
Over the last handful of years that graduate in your life has been lugging around the same messenger bag from class to class. It’s got coffee stains on the bottom, a ripped lanyard with a broken clip, pretzel crumbs mashed into the pencil pockets and some sort of unidentified stain on the back — donut glaze perhaps? Sure, the strap still works, but only because they repaired it with a carabiner. All it’s filled with fond memories (and other unmentionable items) the ratty, old messenger bag just can’t accompany your graduate into the business world. Instead, they need a great briefcase like the one from Travelpro. This amazing bag is made out of ballistic nylon fabric. It has a pocket for your 17-inch laptop, water bottle and is large enough for legal papers. It has locking zippers and is sized to be checkpoint friendly at the airport. Bonus days!
Graduation Gifts For Women:
Hobo International Vintage Leather Rachel Clutch Zinnia
Being organized in the real world takes more than persistence and determination. It takes a good system and the right tools. Not only will this amazing Hobo International Vintage Leather Clutch be a great place to keep your business cards, but its tri-fold frame design has eight credit card slots, an ID window, three bill pockets, a zip security pocket and a detachable cosmetic mirror. It’s basically a graduates best friend wrapped in cowhide and fringed with antique hardware.
Dilana Collection Leather iPad Easel Black
We can argue about this all we want –and people do — but in a handful of years, the Ipad (and the windows version of it when it comes out) will be the replacement for a laptop. The iPad, in general, can make any professionals life much easier on a day to day basis. Not only does it allow you to keep in constant contact with your clients, friends, and family, but the apps available on the Ipad range from insanely fun to hard-to-live-without-once-you’ve-used-it. Once you have something that important in your life (and expensive) you want to protect it. This Dilana Leather Ipad Easel is just the item to keep it safe and make it easier to use.
I mentioned a great briefcase for the men, so I thought I would pull one out of the catalog for the women. There are so many to choose from here at Executive Essentials that it was hard to choose. But I did finally find this Winn Slim Ladies Briefcase. This great bag has a computer sleeve built in that is good for laptops (and Ipads) up to 15 inches. It comes with a makeup pouch in matching leather, metal feet to protect the bottom of the bag, an adjustable shoulder strap, a full-length zipper and a file folder pocket. She’ll be organized and stylish.
These are just a few of the many great graduation gift ideas available here at EE. The catalog is literally bursting with items to suit any taste and need. So take the time to look around and see if anything fits the character and needs of your soon-to-be-graduate.
Hunting on the internet for a unique Mother’s Day gift is the last minute pastime for a lot of folks right now. Spinning around the internet in search of good deals for that one item that is fun and heartfelt. It’s a tough combination to find and it takes a great deal of thought to know what gift is perfect for your mom, but here at Executive Essentials, we have been trying to help out these last few weeks, by outlining some of the great pens and deals we have in the EE Catalog. And there are a bunch, just take a look at our post on Montblanc Mother’s Day Gift Pens and our general Mother’s Day Gift Pens posts.
But, now that we are in the final stretch before the big weekend, we thought we would talk about some of the other great gifts that we have here at Executive Essentials. Just a few basic necessities that every mother needs in their day to day life regardless of their occupation or disposition. With that in mind, here are 5 perfect gifts for Mom on Mother’s Day.
Did someone say bags? I don’t know about the Mom you’re shopping for, but my mom loves bags. She has bags for different moods, different occasions and even has certain bags she uses for certain people that she chums around with. She even has bags that she keeps her bags in! It’s a bag obsession and I don’t think she’s alone in this. This seems to be a running trait in many moms. It makes sense too. Mom’s know that they need to be prepared for anything at any time — and they usually are. And where do they keep the items that keep them prepared? In their bags. Here at Executive Essentials, we have a plethora of unique bags that would work great as Mother’s Day gifts, so take a look and get you Mom one more bag that she’ll love!
Ok, so your Mom isn’t big on carrying around a tote now that all the kids are out of the nest. Or maybe she likes to travel light at night as she hits the hottest restaurants in town with her friends. At Executive Essentials, we can help with that as well. We have a huge line of women’s wallets that will make heads turn. We have everything from the fun and stylish Alicia Klein to the super chic Pylones brand that minimizes the size of their wallets, without sacrificing functionality. From sophisticated to irreverent, we have a little of everything, so take a look and find the one that fits your mom perfectly.
For the wine connoisseur mom in your life, these wine carriers are to die for! Now, you may be thinking that you can carry your wine in any old bag or tote to the next party, but these wine carriers go beyond just simple totes. Executive Essentials carry’s Royce and Bey-Berk leather carriers that defy the expectations. Many are for single bottles of wine, but some have enough compartments for two bottles at a time. Bring wine to a party or a picnic in one of these and people will automatically expect the wine to taste better — and it probably will. This is a unique Mother’s Day gift. And now you can Monogram it for free.
Is your mom a corporate headhunter, always on the go from point A to point B via plane. Then maybe what you need to do is upgrade her current laptop or briefcase. Executive Essentials has a smorgasbord of briefs to choose from and you are sure to find one that fits perfectly with the tastes and lifestyle of your mom. Be it leather or canvas, large or small, you can find just what you need in our catalog and at the right price!
Do you live leagues away from your mother? Do you have infrequent contact with your mother, saving up your conversations for special holidays and cases of natural disaster and tragedy? You’re not alone if you do. It’s a trend that happens all too often. But, you don’t have to be just another statistic. Give your mom what she really want’s this Mother’s Day — more you! And here’s how you do it. You get your mom a letter opener from Executive Essentials and then you write her a nice letter. You put the letter opener in one box and the letter in another. On the outside of the box with the letter opener you write, “Open First”, in big letters. You can see what happens after that. Add a little snippet about how she’s going to get a lot of use out of that letter opener in the years to come so she had better keep it close. Then, make sure she does get some use out of it. It’s the gift, as they say, that keeps on giving.
Last week, I gave the inexpensive pens picks for my 2012 gift guide. In this second half of my pen gift guide, I give my picks for mid-range and luxury collections. Though the price tags are larger, the prices are still small compared to the years of writing these quality pens can give.
In this second part, I also go over my picks for essential pen accessories–pen cases, stands, and displays. Every owner of a fine pen should have at least one good case to keep their favorite writer protected. Onward to the pens!
Mid-Range Pens ($75 – $150)
Italian pens dominate the second half of the gift list this year. The first entry on the lists goes to an underappreciated writer, the Aurora Ipsilon. It and its more expensive big-brother the Aurora Ipsilon Deluxe (which boasts a 14k gold nib, and a $200 dollar ) aren’t stars in the fountain pen world. But among writers who want a pen that will always put ink on the paper, the Aurora Ipsilon is tops. The barrel has a thin brass core under the resin to give the pen a bit of heft; the body is well-balanced for long writing sessions. The Ipsilon has multiple nib types available, depending on your preferences: steel, gold-plated, or 14k gold. Aurora pens are known for their “tooth” – a distinctive, resistive feel when you put pen to paper that some like, and others don’t. Often the highest praise goes out to the broad-nib version, which puts a hearty amount of ink on the page (yet writes like a medium in American brands). It is a favorite for many pen collectors, earning it a place on this year’s list as an excellent buy. The only way to know for sure if it’s going to be your next favorite is to ink up one and give it a try.
Before the Bon Voyage, Stipula tested the waters with a little pen, the Passaporto. The Passaporto revived a tradition of eyedropper fountain pens in mid-range priced pens. An eyedropper is a fountain pen where the cartridge is done away with completely, and the barrel of the pen becomes the ink reservoir. It is filled by (you guessed it) an eyedropper in the inkwell. The Passaporto could hold nearly five times the amount of ink a regular cartridge-filling fountain pen could. The downside: the Passaporto was diminutive in larger hands, and its lack of clip made it harder to carry around (not to mention, the Passaporto’s round body had the tendency to roll off the desk with a light nudge). Enter the Bon Voyage, which keeps the main aspects of its predecessor’s translucent design and adds a clip and O-ring to keep the barrel more secure when it is used as an eyedropper. The Bon Voyage can still be used with cartridges, for those who don’t want to hassle with bottled ink. As an update to the Passaporto’s design, the Bon Voyage is a winner for long writing sessions, travel, or for folks who just don’t like to refill their pens every week.
Available as a Fountain Pen or Speedball (a rollerball that uses fountain pen ink cartridges).
Delta Markiaro Posillipo:
Delta is a company whose sterling reputation has made me keen to try a pen in their line but found them price-prohibitive as a casual pen collector. Enter Delta’s newest entry-level pens under the Markiaro name, the Markiaro Gaiolat and the Markiaro Posillipo. Of the two collections, the Markiaro Posillipo is the more elegant; its body is a shining, gently marbled resin. The rich colors on the Posillipo are gorgeous reflections of their Italian origin. The lower cost of the collection (compared to Delta’s normal offerings) is, in part, due to its steel nib (rather than its wide array of more expensive gold, or fusion nibs that are gold with a steel inlay). Delta’s steel nibs are smooth, firm, on the wet writing side. The grip section on the pen is metal, which may detract some writers who find it to be too slick to comfortably grip for long writing sessions. But pen collectors and pen aficionados who are interested in branching out into Delta will be well-served by the Posillipo. Aside from the just-under-two hundred dollars Capri Day and Night collections, the Posillipo is the least expensive—and one of the more striking—ways to experience a truly classic Italian pen brand.
I am a recent convert on the Meisterstuck Classique. When I had a chance to review the Classique this fall, I was struck by three things: the timelessness of its resin-and-gold appointments design; the way it felt like a natural extension of my hand after a few minutes of writing; how durable and well it had held up over the last quarter century. The Classique is durable, luxurious, and—well—priceless. The Classique is the first heirloom-quality pen on this list. I have no doubt that it will continue to function admirably for the next twenty-five years. The Classique has only a modest number of trims available: gold & platinum. But the number of options aren’t what you consider when you buy a Montblanc. You think about how effortless it is to write a page in a journal or sign a name to an office invoice. The Classique does not come cheap, but it is worth the price.
Throw a dart at the Montegrappa catalog, and you will hit a vibrant pen that’s the envy of any desk. I’ll admit it was a struggle to pick between the Emblema and the expressive Piccola (which is half the asking price of the Emblema). In the end, the Emblema won out for its well-balanced celluloid body that seems to post its cap better than the Piccola. The Emblema features an 18k gold nib that offers a tiny bit of flex and a very smooth writing experience. Of all nibs, the 18k nib is in the sweet spot. 14k nibs are often stiff, and anything more than 18k is just fancy talk for a gold inlaid piece of jewelry. The 18k nib is just soft enough to offer the slightest bit of line variation in writing (called flex, this quality is highly valued by many pen collectors), but strong enough to stand up to hours of serious writing. Like vintage pens, the Emblema is crafted from celluloid, a plant-based resin that has been used in first-class pens for more than a century and a half. With its engraved silver band and its appointments, the Emblema looks like a piece of luxury furniture. It is, frankly, stunning. If you have the resources–go for the Emblema. You will not be disappointed.
Pen reliability could be called “S.T. Dupont,” and I would not argue the title. As the most expensive collection on this list, the S.T. Liberte is neck-and-neck with Montblanc for prestige, quality, and luxury in a writing experience. Whereas Montblanc pens are known for their lightness in the hand, S.T. Dupont pens have more heft. Liberte owners sing the highest praises of their flawless writing experiences. And they are gorgeous. More restrained than the colorful Montegrappas, the Liberte shows off its style in simple black or white with silver appointments. The Liberte is considered a “feminine” pen range; its “masculine” counterpart would be the Defi Collection, with finishes in carbon fiber (and an even higher price tag). Honestly, a sleek pen is a sleek pen to me, and I enjoy both the Liberte and the Defi. I find the prices on the Liberte to be slightly more in line with a pen that I’d want to show off on my desk (and use to write on special occasions). Whatever the case may be, any S.T. Dupont will give you as smooth a writing experience as money can buy.
Available as a ballpoint, rollerball, or fountain pen.
Since I’ve rather breathlessly praised some very beautiful and very expensive pens, the next question that comes to mind is: how do you keep these pens safe?
If your gift recipient is anything like me, they are not content to let their favorite writing instruments luxuriate on their desks, untouched and unloved. For the on-the-go writers, pen cases are a great gift accessory. A good case is key to keeping luxury pens pristine and work-horse pens free of infuriating dents and dings in their resin.
Libelle’s Double Pen Sleeves keeps everyday pens safe. For more expensive pens that I don’t want accidentally brushing each other, I turn to pen cases with individual pen loops like the Namiki Nylon Pouch or cases that look like cigar holders (Libelle or Aston Triple pen cases). For an extra touch of luxury, Montblanc offers pen sleeves with their distinctive logo on the front of the case. Of all of the pen cases that I’ve used, Libelle and Aston top my list as the most dependable and most stylish (for a reasonable price).
While I can’t say that pen stands are a necessity (I’m a true believer in a hands-on approach to pens—all of my work pens are hauled around in roll cases), there is some attractive pen stands that may suit your recipient… especially if you are purchasing a luxury pen that is meant to be ogled as much as it is to be used. Minimal pen stands are the best choice for pen-lovers, because they emphasize the pen. The Jac Zagoory Ripple Pen Stand does just that: the stand is no more than an attractive base that holds the pen upright. It shows off the pen as a true work of art. If having a pen-at-hand on the desk is more important than an artistic display, Bey Berk’s double pen stand may be just what your giftee needs.
Pen collectors will attest to how necessary it is to have a pen display case. They make a good gift for a budding collector who’s just bought their first few pens; they make a great gift for the collector who needs to upgrade their storage to accommodate their habitual increase in collection size.
Reed and Barton make one of the most attractive pen chests on the market. Its cherry wood finishes pairs well with most dark wood furniture pieces. My cherry wood case (a six-pen display) next to my journal collection is the most conversation-starting piece in the room.
For us truly recalcitrant collectors, Laban makes a wonderful line of pen chests that range from 10 to 40 pens. Display case plus pull-out drawers for storage…could a collector ask for more?