- Vendor Name: Dave Dollar
- Business Name: Dave Dollar Custom Pens
- State/Country: The Woodlands, Texas, USA
- Phone, Email and Website. 281-723-4972 Dave@DaveDollarCustomPens.com DaveDollarCustomPens.com
- Brands/Description of your products/Services: My three primary pen models; “Liberty, IKE and Mercury” each have a miniature US coin in the finial which is also a play on my last name being Dollar. Coins themselves are art in miniature and that is what I also see custom 3-part pens as. My “Liberty” was my first and is my larger model for those who want a thicker pen as it utilizes a 15mm cap to body thread and wider section at the pinch. My “IKE” is my mid-sized pen with a 13mm cap to body thread and can find a home as a desk or pocket pen in most situations. My “Mercury” is a more unique design in the custom pen industry as it sports a 11mm cap to body thread with the threads being on the section instead of the barrel.
- How long have you been active in the fine writing industry and accessories? I have been making pens since 2018 and specializing in custom 3-part (primarily fountain) pens since 2021.
- About your business/ What was your inspiration, and how did it get started? I have had an interest in woodworking for more than 35 years but had never used a lathe until a friend of mine set me up with ~$4000 worth of lathe, tools, pen blanks and pen kits for $500 in 2018. I made kit pens for about 3 years before taking the natural leap of making more of the pen myself, machining the cap, barrel and sections of fountain pens.
- What do you think sets your products/services apart from other vendors/exhibitors? I have what I believe to be a unique offering in the custom fountain pen community as I have designed my “Mercury Pocket Pen” model as an homage to the pocket pens of yesteryear. My first pen show to visit was BWIPS in 2022 and I was impressed by the thousands of pocket pens from the early 20thcentury and their diminutive size. My Mercury pen is thin at 11mm in the cap thread with the short version just 4-3/4” long. The Mercury fits in any notebook loop as well and addresses the needs of those who do not want a thick pen body. My Mercury pen also doubles as my Rollerball offering as I offer it with an interchangeable Schmidt Rollerball nib that uses your favorite fountain pen ink.
- What’s a project you’re working on right now? Why is it meaningful to you? I have recently invested in precision lathe equipment as I want to expand my capabilities to produce more detailed and nuanced pen offerings utilizing accent rings and piston-fillers.
- Why you are excited to be at the Baltimore/Washington International Pen Show 2024 (BWIPS)? The BWIPS was my first-ever pen show to attend in 2022. It was my introduction to this eclectic industry and I thoroughly enjoyed my first time to exhibit there in 2023.
- What do you think sets the BWIPS apart from other pen shows? A well-attended and rich in variety show without being overwhelmingly or uncomfortably crowded.
- Is there anything special or new you are particularly excited to introduce at the 2024 BWIPS? My wife is a Graphic Designer and sketching artist and uses a “Sailor Fude de Mannen” pen all of the time, as many in the “Urban Sketcher” community do. She inspired me to design a “Barrel & Cap” upgrade for that ubiquitous, and inexpensive pen using the beautiful materials that are available to us in the custom pen community. I have named this pen “Fude Freedom” and I am excited to introduce it in Baltimore.
- What advice would you offer to first-time attendees of the 2024 BWIPS? Don’t skip a single booth, no matter if you think you already know what they offer or you are not exactly interested in buying what they have. Each vendor has a different story and many unique offerings that express their passion and everyone is so nice.
• Do you have any hobbies? Woodworking and shooting sports.
• Favorite place you’ve traveled? Toss up between Spain and Italy.
• Where are you from? Pasadena, Texas, USA
• What’s your go-to comfort food? Pizza.
• Describe what a perfect day outside of work would look like for you. Start the day with some great coffee and then spend the morning outside in Texas, blue skies, 70 degrees, doing a bit of shooting with pistols. Hanging out with our now 1-year old grandson Simon who just started walking and inevitably chasing him all around the house until his nap-time. After lunch of pizza, going into the shop for a few hours to improve my craft by learning to do something new with materials or pen designs. Take a nice walk at 5:00 pm and then after cleaning up have a nice whiskey or glass of wine with my wife.
• What would be the theme song of your life right now? “Running Down a Dream” by Tom Petty.
• Who is someone that made a big impact on your life? Why? I have been married to my wife Judith for 31 years and she is the finest women I have ever known.
• What excites you the most right now? I am recently retired and learning how to make the most of every Saturday the week allows.
• What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done? Driven a Sherman Tank and fired it’s big gun.
• Are you a morning person or a night owl? Night owl.
You can view a vast selection of Dave Dollar Custom writing instruments in person at the Baltimore/Washington International Pen Show 2024.
Buying your admission tickets in advance for the Baltimore/Washington International Pen Show 2024 will save valuable time—no more standing in long lines or wasting precious moments of your day.
We look forward to seeing you soon!