Top 10 Graduation Gifts

When I was in college, my roommates & I loved to end our long day of studies by watching Late Night with David Letterman, and our favorite part of the show……Dave’s Top Ten List.

With Graduation fast approaching, now is the perfect time to make Executive Essentials very own Top Ten List to help our many customers find the perfect graduation gift for their sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren.

Executive Essentials Top 10 Best Selling Graduation Gifts:

10. Business Card Holder: Jac Zagoory Atlas Business Card HolderLarge Buckle- Flap Backpack;

9. Leather Backpack: Piel Leather Large Buckle- Flap Backpack

8. Leather Duffel:

For WomenClava Leather Nantucket Duffel

For MenDavid King Leather Two Pocket Duffel Bag

7. Monogrammed Leather Padfolio: Bosca Nappa Leather Letter Pad Black

6.   Monogrammed Leather Wallet:Letter Pad Black Nappa Leather;

For WomenBosca Nappa Leather Slim Credit Card Case

For Men:  Johnston & Murphy Leather Slimfold Wallet

5. Leather Handbag:

For WomenLodis Women’s Business & Casual Totes
For MenScully Leather Man Bag BlackCross ATX Ballpoint Pen Medalist;

4. Leather Messenger Bag: Kenneth Cole Leather Messenger Bag

3. Laptop Briefcase:

For WomenJack Georges Milano Collection Madison Avenue Tote
For Men: Sante Fe Vaquetta Leather TSA Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Bag

2. Engraved Pen: Cross ATX Ballpoint Pen Medalist

And the #1 Top Selling Graduation Gift……….(drum roll please)

1. Engraved Montblanc Meisterstuck Classique Ballpoint Pen

Executive Essentials is the ideal place to shop for today’s finest graduation gifts, check them out today!

Timbuk2 Messenger Bags Invite Environment and Customer Approval

Timbuk2, a city in the Tombouctou Region of the West African nation of Mali…no that is Timbuktu; Timbuk2, a San Francisco based messenger bag company started in a garage, in the 1980’s…yes, that is the Timbuk2 I am talking about!

Who made the first messenger bag? New York based company Globe Canvas for telephone linemen.  However, New York City bicycle messengers soon realized the benefits of the design, and Globe Canvas “messenger bags” were soon spotted all over town.  Timbuk2 wasn’t far behind, and they soon began to capture the hearts of mainstream America. People walking down the street noticed the brightly colored, well-made bags, and wanted them for themselves.Image result for timbuk 2 D-Lux Messenger Bag

Timbuk2 is a young company that not only provides durable messenger bags but also is concerned with the environment. “Like rice and beans, we keep it simple when it comes to being pro-planet. We make durable bags that are tough as hell and built to last. So while our competition is piling up in landfills, we stay on your back, hugging you for a lifetime. Tales of Timbuk2 bags outlasting jobs, lovers, pets, and train wrecks are not uncommon. These stories give us the confidence to guarantee our bags will last a lifetime.”

Some of Executive Essentials’ best-selling bags include the:

  • D-Lux Messenger Bag
  • Netbook Messenger BagImage result for timbuk2 Netbook Messenger Bag

Along with all Timbuk2 bags, these are both made of rugged ballistic nylon, heavy-duty stitching, and waterproof liners.  Each bag comes with a padded adjustable shoulder strap, and many organizational features like a key ring tether. While the messenger bags share many desirable features, they also have characteristics that make each unique for the particular needs of their owners. Check them out at Executive Essentials!


Montblanc Leather

Montblanc Leather is exquisite!  I am a leather snob and the quality of this leather is like none I have ever seen. Made from Southern German full grain calfskin and put through a unique mixed chrome vegetable tanning, semi-aniline dying process, these leather goods stand out above the rest!

Westside Leather Wallet 8cc Black;The Montblanc line offers a variety of leather pieces including briefcases, backpacks, wallets, portfolios, messenger bags, wheeled luggage and of course pen cases!

I love leather!  My husband often gives me a hard time about my addiction to leather…..handbags,  furniture, coats, seats in my car, wallets, …whenever I have an excuse to buy leather, I do!!!

Leather Blank Journal Sketch Book;Did you know leather has a longer life on average, is stronger, more fire resistant, retains its shape, and breathes better than many other fabrics on the market! It’s classic look has stood the test of time and it continues to be conceived as a high-end, quality product that even the fashion industry has grown to love!

Montblanc leather products have a unique deep shine and a beautiful Jacquard lining. The quality craftsmanship and finishing materials used, contribute to the unsurpassed quality and the reputation Montblanc holds as a luxury goods manufacturer!

Take one look at these bags…..their distinction is evident!

Top Ten Corporate Gifts Under $100

Century II Ballpoint Pen Medalist;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.

Top Ten Corporate Gifts under $100 include:

  1. Bosca Nappa Leather Letter Pad Black
  2. Cross Century II Ballpoint Pen Medalist
  3. Tumi Meridian Slim Card Case Black
  4. Bey Berk Small Globe On BaseColombian Leather Single Compartment 13” Slim Laptop Portfolio - Black;
  5. Parker Sonnet Rollerball Pen Stainless Steel GT
  6. Movado Crystal Sphere Clock
  7. Kenneth Cole Briefcases – Leather What’s The Bag Idea Computer Messenger Bag
  8. Bey Berk Bull Pen Holder
  9. Andrew Philips Leather To-do Flip Pad Black
  10. Johnston & Murphy Dividends Collection Passport Holder

Remember personalizing with monogramming and engraving can make all the difference! Contact Executive Essentials today!

The zebra is one of those highly distinctive and well-loved animals. And, even though they live in only one country, Africa, they are known worldwide. They are primarily known for their black and white striped coats which give them striking physical features. The pattern actually evolved as a defense against predators, which blurs the outline of the animal and confuses distance, making the zebra harder to hunt during dawn and dusk. And, although in a group all zebras may look the same, each pattern is as individual as a fingerprint or a snowflake.

The zebra pattern has been lifted from the animal and used in fashion and design in clothing, furniture, and numerous other products. Here at Executive Essentials, we have several products that carry the distinctive zebra stripes including a few zebra print pens.

Cross Sauvage Fountain Pen Onyx Zebra

In the world of accessories for women, the Cross Sauvage Zebra Fountain Pen stands high above the rest. Cross specifically engineered this one of a kind pen to suit a woman’s hand for writing by adjusting the balance and shape. The Sauvage features a curvy outline of silver and onyx that echoes the feminine form. The deep engraving of this pen mimics that of an exotic zebra print. This pen is hand-polished and is covered in a jewel-toned lacquer. It is tipped with an 18-karat nib.

Image result for Cross Sauvage Fountain Pen Onyx Zebra

JanSport Black and White Cosmo Zebra Elefunk Messenger Bag

Image result for JanSport Black and White Cosmo Zebra Elefunk Messenger BagIt’s been years since messenger bags replaced the standard backpack as the de facto carrying accouterment for urban dwelling individuals and the designs and styles just continue to expand and evolve. Case in point is Jansport’s Elefunk in zebra print. This is a great messenger bag for books, school supplies, or even hauling groceries from the Good Food Store. It comes complete with an adjustable shoulder strap with a removable pad, one large main compartment, an organizer that keeps essentials handy, dual side pockets with one for a cell phone and a fully padded back panel for cushioning comfort. Did I mention it has a zebra print? Classic!

Retro 51 Exotic Animal Prints Rollerball Pen Zebra

Retro 51 Pens goes 1980’s with this great Zebra print pen from their Exotic Animal Prints series. I am a huge fan of Retro 51. They know how to have serious fun when it comes to writing pens. Not to mention that many of their pens are extremely affordable for the quality you get in both the ink and the barrel. So slide in the Tears for Fears cassette, raise your bangs, cuff your pants and get your 1980’s on with this ultra fun pen.


Ogon Aluminum Credit Card Wallet Zebra

Image result for Ogon Aluminum Credit Card Wallet ZebraI don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that nothing goes together better than an aluminum credit card holder and zebra print. The Ogon Credit Card Holder is a unique carrying case that allows men and women to carry the essentials in a pocket size case. Easy to find in a purse, it also fits perfectly in a jean pocket. The open fan-shaped compartments are functional in design and allow easy access to each card. The wallet features seven expandable pockets made of resistant PVC to fit up to 12 cards. The aluminum is made of water-resistant material and it has a simple button that makes opening and closing easy.

Fashions, fabrics, and styles come and go like the tides. But some designs and patterns are timeless. Make sure to check out these and other great zebra print products from Executive Essentials. You won’t be disappointed.

Back To School: Messenger Bags and Backpacks

Even though it’s only early August, it’s time to start thinking about that special time of year that parents love and kids tend to forget about – back to school. There are still plenty of opportunities to swim, camp, travel, and vacation, but you don’t want to get caught at the end of August with all your back to school shopping to do and all the great sales behind you. Planning ahead can mean the difference between getting the school supplies you want rather the school supplies that are left over. More importantly though, getting an early drop on your back to school shopping means having the time to browse all the new bags, pens, notebooks and other school essentials that you will need in the coming year.

Here at Executive Essentials, we have a wide array of items that every back to school student – from grade school to college — could use. In particular, the Executive Essentials online catalog has a plethora of backpacks and messenger bags, including brands like The North Face, JanSport, Ed Hardy and Timbuk2, just to name a few. These are bags that are sure to inspire the creative side in anyone while exceeding the requirements for function and comfort. Take a look at my top 5 picks for backpacks and messenger bags that will make any student look forward to that first day of school.

Timbuk2 D-lux Messenger Race Stripe in Red and Cement

Image result for Timbuk2 D-lux Messenger Race Stripe in Red and CementIt’s hard to say enough good things about the Timbuk2 messenger bags. My wife purchased me one when my son was born to use as a ‘cool’ diaper bag. I immediately fell in love and long after the diapers disappeared I still strap it on daily and head off on down the road. In recent years I’ve used this bag for just about anything, including carrying live fish, which is possible because of the rubber-ish interior that holds water well – or keeps it out.

The exterior of these bags is made out of ballistic rubber an extremely durable substance. There are a ton of different sized pockets that accommodate everything from pens and pencils to bicycle helmets. The straps are ultra comfortable and adjustable, so no matter what your body size you can keep the bag tucked to you firmly regardless of how over stuffed you have it with groceries. Perhaps the best aspect of these bags are the colorful and unique designs that they all come it. Truly a unique and wonderful bag that does it all. And right now they are on sale at Executive Essentials.

JanSport SuperBreak Backpack Blinded Blue Block Check

Image result for JanSport SuperBreak Backpack Blinded Blue Block CheckJanSport is a company that has been sending kids to school for decades. It makes sense then that they understand how to make a reliable, comfortable backpack that can make it through a school year and still have use left over for the summer. JanSport backpacks have a great design that screams function. The backpack itself is wide, with a squared bottom to more easily accommodate books. The inside is uncluttered and cavernous, perfect for younger students who often loose items in more complexly designed backpacks. The outside pocket is great for carrying pens and pencils and the padded back-rest gives enough comfort to walk to and from school. And they have many patterns and styles to choose from.

David King Leather Jumbo Backpack

Image result for David King Leather Jumbo BackpackFor those older students with a taste for leather, you should take a look at David King Leather Backpacks. These leather backpacks have a great stylistic flair, reminiscent of the Indiana Jones era. These vacuous bags have an astonishing 962 cubic inches of storage capacity, wrapped up into 5 simple compartments for neat organization. The handy oversized flap keeps unwanted weather elements away from what needs to be kept safe. This bag has everything you need for your daily routine. And it comes in 4 great colors to match any mood and taste.

The North Face Borealis Computer Backpack

Borealis Backpack TNF Black;If your college bound these days your biggest expense is no longer books – it’s your laptop. And in order to keep that laptop safe from the world, you need a well functioning laptop bag that can also double as a backpack for everything else you need to learn. Even though The North Face is well known for their outdoor gear, their more urban equipment holds up just as well to coffee stains and road rash as it does to bear encounters and mountain climbing. This spacious, but light pack has a padded laptop compartment and a secondary compartment to carry additional supplies. The backrest is a breathable mesh to keep you cool on those daily commutes. It also has dual water bottle compartments, a sturdy top handle, and reflectors for when you have to stay late at the library.

Briggs & Riley Verb Go Messenger Bag Moss

Image result for Briggs & Riley Verb Go Messenger Bag MossI’ll admit, I’m a bit hesitant to even mention other messenger bags when Timbuk2 has all the bases covered. But, after checking out this moss colored Briggs and Riley bag, I have to say there might be room for more than just one messenger bag in the Executive Essentials catalog. Besides having a more elegant, less young-urban look, the Briggs and Riley messenger has a considerable number of features and pockets allowing it to accommodate a number of lifestyle needs. It’s water repellent and scratch resistant, has a buckle clip and magnet front flap closure, an adjustable shoulder strap that can convert to cross body and it fits laptops up to 15 inches. At 2.7 pounds empty this bag is light and just waiting to be filled.

So that’s a quick look at just a small fraction of the backpacks and messenger bags you can find at Executive Essentials. So don’t delay. Back to school will be here before you know it and be prepared for it, is the first step in succeeding.

Still looking for Gift Ideas?

It’s December. Are you still shopping? I am. There are always last-minute gifts and the people for whom it’s always exceeding hard to find the right item. If you are still searching for gift ideas after reading the Penaholic’s Gift Guide (part one and two), then this post is for you. In this post, I will cover non-pen gifts—gifts for artists, writers, office workers, and more. If you have already finished your holiday shopping, let me draw your attention to the discounts too good to pass up.

Artist Sets


Graphite Line Gift Box Assorted;
Caran d’Ache Graphite Line Gift Box

Earlier this year, I reviewed Caran d’Ache’s Supracolor Soft Aquarelle set. In my head-to-head testing against Prismacolor and Daler-Rowney, Supracolor Softs gave a superior performance. Their colors were bright, the lay-down of the wax was creamy, and the pencils had good lightfastness. Caran d’Ache offers more than just watercolor pencil sets; they have sketching pencil sets, professional pastels, and artist crayons. One of the most impressive sets is the Caran d’Ache Graphite Line gift box. It not only has pencils in all hardness grades between 9B and 4H, it also has 6 Grafcubes. Caran d’Ache grafcubes lay down superlatively smooth lines—they don’t even feel like graphite. Caran d’Ache artist sets are professional quality materials and thus not inexpensive. But most artists will agree that their quality is unmatched.  For art students or people who are dabbling in sketching, the smaller Caran d’Ache Graphite Line Book is a good buy. The set is a portable set of 5 pencils (HB, 2B, 4B, 6B, 9B), 3 natural soft charcoals, and a white pastel pencil that comes in their own carrying case. Caran d’Ache sets are discounted between 15-17% for the holidays.



Leather Writing Pad Holder;

Andrew Phillips Leather Writing Pad Holder


Though I used to recommend journals or agendas as gifts (and they are always good buys for people who aren’t fountain pen fanatics), I have recently discovered that writing pad holders are a much more versatile gift. Not only can the recipient use whatever brand of paper/pad that they like the most with a writing pad holder, the holder can carry (and protect) the pens with their pen-loops. The trick is finding a color/style combination that your recipient will treasure. Writing pads tend to fall into a narrow aesthetic style, relying on the rich leather of exterior to impress. If a rich leather look is what you are looking for, Jack Georges has a lush elements pad in a mahogany leather finish.  Andrew Philips offers a more contemporary take on the writing pad with up-to-date colors available (ocean and petal are fairly trendy, while the black and burgundy are classic choices). As an added bonus, you could fill the pad with a truly excellent writing paper, like Rhodia or Clairefontaine.

If a writing pad seems too old-fashioned, the Gilt Edge Journal may be the better gift. The Gilt Edge journal pairs a calendar/planner section in the front with lined pages in its main section, making it a nice hybrid between a focused agenda and a journal.


Leather is back in a big way. A good leather bag can make a stellar gift. Bags are often expensive enough to be wished-for but can present a unique challenge to a gift-giver. Choosing the perfect bag is about as easy as (or, if you’re finicky like I am, hard as) finding a good shirt. Two of the most popular styles are body messenger bags and wheeled briefcases. The across-the-body messenger bags are appealing to those who don’t have much to carry with them on their daily commute. My favorite of the messenger bag line is David King’s distressed leather line. The distressed leather gives the bag character that it usually takes leather years to develop. David King’s Messenger bags fit small form-factor laptops in the 10”-13” range. My Samsung Series 7 tablet fits comfortably inside a messenger with room to spare. The messengers have a compartment for the laptop and can fit papers, cords, and other peripherals in the second large compartment.


Distressed Leather North South Messenger Bag;
David King Distressed Leather North South Messenger Bag 

When a messenger bag won’t hack it, briefcases and their wheeled brethren are a better choice. Kenneth Cole’s leather flapover briefcase is a gorgeous example of tastefully distressed leather for laptops up to 15.4”.  In the wheeled flavor, McKlein’s Lakewood leather briefcase has a detachable wheelbase, making them flexible enough to give to someone who may or may not want the capability to pull their case.


There are some fantastic discounts for bags running right now. Kenneth Cole has a 65-73% discount on most of their bags, McKlein has a 33-60% discount on a range of their bags and wheeled briefcases, and David King has 55-58% off retail. There are some truly gorgeous leather bags to be had for under 100 dollars.

Desk Accessories


Voyager Clock White;
Dalvey Voyager Clock

A desk is more than just a place to hold work; it’s about creating a professional frame of mind whenever you sit down at it. Though desk accessories may not jump out in your mind as typical gifts, this year I’ve seen four of my friends start up independent/freelance ventures. With all of their start-up expenses, quality desk accessories haven’t been at the top of their list. A quality desk piece can make the day that much more professional–especially in a home office. The Mosaic Desk Set is an excellent gift to outfit a desk that’s otherwise been slapped together with holders and trays. For those inclined towards a more traditional wood finish, Bey Berk’s four-piece desk set is attractive on most wood desks that are in a cherry or mahogany finish.


In my last gift guide, I covered pen stands and pen cases that would befit a pen lover. Two stands that I left out (as they already come with pens) are the Retro 51 pen stand and the Delta Dolcevita Desk set. Depending on your budget, and their tastes, the Retro 51 stand complements black & white settings nicely. The Delta Dolcevita, on the other hand, is a pure luxury piece. Delta’s pens are second to none, and in its distinctive orange resin and black appointments, an eye-catcher whether it ends up at a home office, or not.

Dolcevita Desk Set Ballpoint / Fountain Pen Orange;


Though they are billed as desk accessories, my book ends are generally deployed on bookshelves or end tables. For a giftee that has more than their fair share of books (or are building their own small library), bookends are always an attractive option. Best of all, as knick-knacks, there are one of the easiest gifts to give with confidence. The Architectural Leaf and Bey Berk Black Marble bookends are especially sleek and would look good on any shelf.