There are a couple of things that I get really, really excited about. Pens (obviously) and leather goods. In the pen category, primarily pens with a machined metal barrel or that bare the name rOtring.
With leather goods, I love handmade wares of artisans that make their livelihood from the trade. Although I myself make handmade goods, mine are more of a hobby to help pay for new items to review on the blog (thank you all!), but there are others that do it for a living. I've said it before; I love small business.
I was given the privilege and opportunity of making an exchange with a talented artist that calls Australia home; Bas from Bas & Lokes. Outside of making beautiful leather goods, Bas is such an approachable and kind person that seems to really love what she does as well as the people she does it for. Even in simply exchanging emails with her, I can honestly say that I doubt I've ever felt more appreciated as a person than in "speaking" with her. She says some of her greatest joys are making people happy through her work. Such an outstanding artist and person to boot!
I received my package from Bas and she had her wares all bundled up nicely; classy!
Bas was kind enough to send me a few of her wares and I wanted to talk specifically about her "Reynolds" single pen case. I requested the Saddle Tan finish which has a rich reddish brown dye and is simply stunning. The case just looks and feels so great!
Really, I wonder if there is a more stylish way to carry a single pen. You've invested in a beautiful pen that you want to protect; an incredible handmade leather case for it is definitely appropriate and recommended!
Now, you can buy a cheaper leather case on Amazon or eBay for sure, but expect to get something made with a thinner material that carries a much lower quality than these.
One thing I really love about her work is how thick the leather is. She doesn't skimp and hand selects the best pieces for her wares. This case feels so hearty, sturdy and well made (and smells amazing). The case has a nice broad flap that tucks into a ring of leather about a third of the way down to keep your pen covered, secured, and protected when carrying in your bag, purse, or pocket.
Bas herself is extremely fond of her Karas Kustoms Render K (and new Bolt) and even graces her product images with it. The case has a large enough sleeve to fit a Render K of course, but I've tested mine with a variety of other pens for size: Lamy 2000 rollerball, Lamy Safari fountain pen, rOtring 600 fountain pen, and a Retro 51 Tornado. I don't yet own anything on the super high end, but know that it will cradle your Pelikans, Montblancs, Edisons, or other precious beauties just fine. If you have anything that is REALLY large, you might run into trouble.
I've been oogling Bas' work for awhile and again feel so privileged to have been able to share my works with her and to receive some of her beautiful pieces. Please, give her wares a look if you're in need of some quality leather goods.