Valentine’s Day Gifts for Women and Men

13" Laptop Bellagio Sleeve - Red;
Bellagio Laptop Sleeve

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!

Audrey Leather Vicky Convertible Crossbody Clutch - Red;
Lodis Leather Crossbody Clutch

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-CastellWaterfordAuroraCrossWaterman & more; exquisite red and pink leather wallets, agendas, totes and briefcases from LodisKnomo, McKlein and Clark & Mayfield;  or even a fun red or pink umbrella from Shed Rain and Knirps Umbrellas.

Image result for Ipsilon Deluxe Ballpoint Pen Red
Aurora Ipsilon Ballpoint Pen

For that special guy in your life this Valentine’s Day:  Piel Leather Golf Accessories;  Bey Berk Bull & Bear Bookends;  Clava Leather Wine Carriers; extraordinary fountain, rollerball and ballpoint pens from MontblancNamiki, Cross or Waterman; or top quality leather briefcasesmessenger bags, wallets, portfolios and more.

Falling in love….ooooh what a feeling! Happy Valentine’s Day from Executive Essentials!

Montblanc Wallet: Anatomy of Perfection

Above you will find the exact description that Executive Essentials uses for Montblanc Leather Wallets. I’ve seen this description countless times from Montblanc themselves. This makes sense since it accurately describes the product. However, I realized that even though I had read the description dozens of times, I’d never really taken the time to understand what it all meant. Since I wasn’t a leather worker none of the descriptions really made sense to me – although it all sounded very nice. Well, today did some research to see what all these descriptions meant. And here is what I found out.

Southern German Fullgrain Calfskin

Image result for montblanc walletsIt’s obvious that Southern German refers to the country and the region of that country that Montblanc chooses to procure their hides from. The best I can tell from the internet is that Germany has a strong history in leather goods – as evidenced by the German Leather Museum in Offenbach, Hesse. In general, South German seems a popular place for leather. So Montblanc is choosing a widely accepted source of leather.

The Full-grain aspect of the leather means the hide has not had the top-grain removed. The top-grain is the layer that has the fur and skin. Full-grain leather has not been treated in any way that would damage the grain. This gives the leather strength and durability, allows it to breathe and causes it to develop a nice patina with wear. The skin of a calf is used instead of a cow because calves have a softer and tighter grain than their elders.

Mixed Chrome Vegetable Tanning

Before a hide can be used to make leather products it must be treated in order to make it softer, pliable and easier to work with. The process is called tanning and there are a number of different ways to get this job done. It seems Montblanc has chosen a mixture of vegetable tanning and chrome tanning. Vegetable tanning involves the use of tannin, which comes from vegetables and other organic substances. The process is obviously very non-toxic and provides many benefits for the worker. However, the results of the tanned leather do not hold up well to water and extreme heat, which will make the leather lose its color and eventually become brittle.

Chrome-tanned leather, which first appeared in the mid-1800’s uses chromium sulfate — a type of salt –to treat the hide so that it can be worked into leather products. Leather treated with chromium sulfate is softer and doesn’t’ lose its shape when it comes in contact with water and heat like vegetable-tanned leather. Unlike vegetable tanning, chromium sulfate is a hazardous material. This may explain why Montblanc chooses to mix the two – in order to get the best of both worlds, without the worst of either.


Westside Leather Wallet 8cc Black;
Montblanc Leather Wallet

Semi-Aniline Dyed


Much like the skin of any other creature on this great planet of ours, the skin of a calf or a cow is marked and potted with imperfections and blemishes. A nice patina from wear and use will often time cover up these blemishes, but what really does the trick is dying. In fact, the original purpose of dying leather was to hide imperfections.  Aniline dying is just one of several substances used to not only provide a deep rich color to the leather but to enhance the pliability of the hide. Semi-aniline dyed means that aniline and other chemicals were used to enrich the look and feel of the leather. Another technique is to use only aniline dye.

Jacquard Lining

In the beginning of the 1800’s, Joseph Jacquard created a textile with an intricately woven pattern. He accomplished this by inventing one of the earliest programmable looms. Although the fabric that he created was eventually named after him, it comes in many different styles including Damask and Brocade. In Jacquard’s time, this style of fabric was expensive and much sought after. In modern times Jacquard lining is much more commonplace. However, the look and feel of the jacquard lining is a great touch.

Black & White Resin Star Logo with Palladium-Plated Ring

The black and white resin star logo simply refers to the world famous Montblanc emblem that tops the caps of all pens in their line. The Palladium-plated ring is a part of that logo. Montblanc is known for using a number of different precious metals in their pens. Palladium is a rare and lustrous silvery-white metal discovered in 1803. Today it is used in the production of catalytic converters and electronic equipment. It’s also used by Montblanc to provide a nice finishing touch to their leather goods.

I hope that was useful in some way to give you a better understanding of what goes into making a finely crafted Montblanc Wallet. Go ahead and take some time to see the great selection of wallets we have here at Executive Essentials.

Unique Mother’s Day Gifts

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.

Mother’s Day Bags


Mayfair Grosvenor Place Nylon 15" Expandable Zip Tote - Black;
Knomo Tote

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!


Mother’s Day Wallets


Borrego Under Lock & Key Amanda Continental Clutch - Dark Brown;
Lodis Clutch

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.


Mother’s Day Wine Carriers


Connoisseur Wine Carrier;
Royce Connoisseur Wine Carrier

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.


TSA Approved Laptop and Briefcases


W Series Verona Leather Checkpoint Friendly Ladies Briefcase;
McKlein USA Leather Briefcase

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!


Letter Openers

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.

Best Father’s Day Gifts

In Germany, Father’s Day, which they refer to as Vatertag, has a whole different type of style than here in the United States. Their Father’s Day celebration happens forty days after Easter on Ascension Day –which is a federal holiday and therefore a really good day to celebrate since everyone has off. But, their version of Father’s Day isn’t only about fathers, but about men –gentlemen to be specific.

Montblanc Limited Edition Ludovico Sforza Fountain Pen

They call the day Mannertag or gentlemen’s day. It’s a day where males, teenaged or older, gather together and go on a day long hike. With them, they bring several small wagons, Bollerwagen, which they all take turns pulling. The wagons are filled with the alcoholic beverages of choice as well as some favorite foods. They then spend the day walking the trails and countryside of their area drinking and eating. As you can imagine, these days don’t end well for many of the participants. But, tradition is tradition.

If you don’t feel like adopting a German Father’s Day tradition, mostly because you know dad is going to make you pull the wagon, you can still give him a German gift this Father’s Day with a Montblanc Pen. As a manufacturer of fine writing instruments, jewelry, leather goods and watches, Montblanc has much to offer in the way of Father’s Day gifts. Here are just a few examples of what you can find at Executive Essentials.

Montblanc Limited Edition Ludovico Sforza Fountain Pen

If your dad is an art lover in either practice or appreciation, then the Montblanc Limited Edition Ludovico Sforza Fountain Pen is just the writing instrument for him. Sforza was revered as one of the most prominent patrons of the Italian Renaissance during his time as the Duke of Milan in 1494. During this period he supported many famous artists and many famous paintings. Among the most famous is Leonardo da Vinci’s, “The Last Supper” painting.

The pen that Montblanc has put together to commemorate this patron of the arts is limited to 4,810 pens. Each pen is Rhodium-plated engraved with Sforza’s coat of arms. The gleaming black lacquer is accented with silver inlays and the entire pen is modeled on the castle in which the Duke lived as evidenced by the cap top. As one package this pen is a masterpiece in craftsmanship, with subtle curves and bold lines.


Montblanc Albert Einstein Limited Edition Writing Instruments
Montblanc Albert Einstein – Great Characters Limited Edition Fountain Pen

If your father spends his time with his nose buried in scientific journals and can’t get all the way through the first, “Back To The Future” movie without arguing about the problems inherent in time travel, then the Montblanc Albert Einstein Fountain Pen is the perfect gift. A commemoration of the man who studied and posited theories on light, matter, gravity, space and time, this limited edition pen is both fun and functional. Montblanc Albert Einstein – Great Characters Limited Edition Fountain Pen


On the barrel of the pen, you will find engraved, many of Einstein’s famous formulas include E=mc2. The barrel itself is made of platinum as well are the fittings. The cap is lacquered in a deep, dark, blue meant to capture the essence of an endless universe. A true pen for a fan of science fact.


Montblanc Westside Leather Wallet 8cc Black

Made of European full-grain cowhide with a Jacquard lining this wallet has 8 pockets for credit cards, 2 compartments for banknotes, and 4 additional pockets for pictures and other random items you might need to carry with you on any given day.than the Montblanc Westside Leather Wallet is perfect for this Father’s Day occasion.


Montblanc Westside Double Gusset Briefcase Black

Everyone dreams of having a nice leather briefcase to carry all their important materials around in. And if that briefcase just happens to have a double gusset, then all the better. Montblanc’s Westside Double Gusset Briefcase in black is made of Southern German full-grain calfskin with a Jacquard lining and Montblanc branding throughout. Ruthenium-plated metal fittings with satin finish, black & white resin star logo adorn the outside. It contains 2 main compartments, large zipped inner pocket, large back pocket, pockets for your mobile phone, 2 writing instruments, 1 medium and 6 small documents. The detachable branded shoulder strap is black and strong.

These are just some of the many great items we have at Executive Essentials, perfect for a Father’s Day gift. So take some time and look around and find a gift that will make your Dad smile on his special day.

Executive Essentials Launches New Website – April 2015

Executive Essentials is thrilled to announce the launch of our new website, We specialize in fine writing instruments that run the gamut from cool and funky Retro 51 rollerball pens to unique, luxury Limited Edition pens from MontblancLamyDelta, and Montegrappa. We also pride ourselves on being a refill destination, offering a wide variety of pen and agenda refills. Pen refills include ballpoint and rollerball refills as well as convertersbottled ink and cartridges for fountain pens. Additionally, many of our products can be personalized. Pens can be engraved while wallets and leather goods have a monogram option. This allows you to create a unique item for yourself or a thoughtful gift.

The new design was specifically created to provide a better browsing experience for the consumer. The brighter colors and fresh layout make it easier than ever to search and navigate the site. Every page highlights important brands and categories such as ballpoint pens or briefcases, and offers an expansive drop down menu. Filtering options on brand and category pages help narrow down your search for the perfect pentech accessory or umbrella. A search bar is also located at the top of every page.

The layout of the item pages is neat and organized, maintaining our high standards and attention to detail. You can easily view the details of any item by simply hovering over the image to zoom. Extensive product descriptions depict details and functions of every item, and customer reviews and ratings are found on each product page. To help narrow down a lengthy pen ink refill search, we list every pen with its available refill complete with images and color options.

Possibly the most valuable of the upgrades is the responsive web design. This technology allows the site to scale its pages to properly fit the viewing device. Customers can now easily browse and navigate Executive Essentials on their mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones. The responsive design ensures a practical and pleasant viewing experience.

Executive Essentials was established in 1990 with a retail store in Schaumburg, Illinois, and an online business followed in 1999. We are proud to offer an extensive selection of fine writing instrumentsdesk accessorieswalletslaptop cases and agendas. With a desire to offer the best customer service and products available, business professionals and pen enthusiasts will find name brand items available at competitive prices. We are proud to be an authorized dealer of many quality pen brands such as CrossWaterman, Parker and Montblanc.

The launch of our new site provides the customer with an unparalleled assortment of interesting, unique and specially selected products. Our family owned and operated business is proud of the redesigned, customer friendly site that fits our values of offering optimal selection, quality, value and superior customer service.

Foolproof Gift Guide For Him

We’ve all been waiting for it, and here is it; June has finally arrived. It’s the end of school, the start of summer, and full blown graduation season. It’s time for vacations, a day at the lake, and nights outside by the grill. It sounds easy and carefree, but we all know better- at least when it comes to graduation. There are constant variables that worry our minds. Will the rain hold off for that outdoor party? What do I wear for the ceremony? What do I get my daughter’s boyfriend for college graduation?

While the weather may be unpredictable and that blouse might still be at the cleaners, we can at least take the pressure off of gifting this season. We’ve sorted through the new tech and old classics to present this foolproof gift guide for the guy in your life. Whether your son is moving onto college or starting his first job, we have the perfect addition for the new chapter in his life. Just take a deep breath, and keep on reading for an instant stress reliever.

The guy: the ultimate baseball lover

The giftRetro 51 Big Shot Popper


The guy: college grad starting his first job

The giftCross Bailey Rollerball Pen


The guy: just completed his MBA

The giftParker Ingenuity 5th Technology year of the Dragon


The guy: the new M.D.

The giftMontblanc Meisterstuck Classique Ballpoint Pen


The guy: making the jump to high school (needs to store that new ID)

The giftOsgoode Marley Leather Money Clip Wallet


The guy: the constant traveler

The giftDopp Country Saddle Collection Travel Kit


The guy: starting his first job in sales

The giftKenneth Cole Leather Billfold Wallet


The guy: first day at the law office of…

The giftDavid King Leather Messenger Bag


Stay tuned for the best gifts for her…


With graduation season and Father’s day just around the corner, one of the most popular gifts for men is wallets. They make great gifts and leather ones can even be monogrammed. However, there are several different styles of men’s wallets and if someone isn’t familiar with this product it can be confusing to buy. Hopefully, this handy guide will make shopping easier.

The most popular style of men’s wallets is the bi-fold. This means that the wallets fold in BOM-M-98_3half. From there you get into several choices. The first is size. On the small side, you have thin fold wallets that are designed not to be bulky and fit very well in any pant pockets. The downside is that they won’t hold as many cards. Larger styles, often called hipsters, have room for more cards but are taller and might not fit in the pocket easily. Some bi-fold wallets have a third pocket that folds out. This again will give more room for cards but will add bulk.

One major choice to make in the bi-fold wallet is the option of an ID holder. This is a BUD-120013R-2clear area of the wallet that is designed so you don’t have to take your ID out. This is very convenient but they sacrifice room that could be used to carry other cards. Almost all three pocket wallets have this ID area so if size is a secondary concern this might work.

Another popular style is the tri-fold wallet. These are designed to go mainly in the side pockets. Tri-folds are narrow but can also get bulky due to their design. The typical design for them has areas for cards on each side and an ID window in the middle. Sometimes, there will be variations of this basic design such as no ID window or the ID window is on the outside of the wallet.

Bosca Dolce Old Leather Money Clip Amber;Other popular designs are card cases and money clips. Card cases can come in many different styles but they don’t have an area for keeping money. What they lack in space they make up for with sleekness. Money clips usually look like card cases but have a clip, either on the inside or outside, to hold money.

One newer trend in wallets is RFID protection. RFID blocks the ability for thieves to read your credit card information contained on a chip embedded on your card. For a more detailed explanation, check out this past blog. This might make a good gift for a man who travels quite a bit.

The best way to figure out which wallet to purchase is to look at what he is carrying now. People are creatures of habit and a wallet is a very personal item. The best bet is stick to the style they have now unless the person you are buying for expressed an interest in changing what they carry. After all, gift giving isn’t the time to reinvent the wheel.