PQ News & Announcements

  • iPhone 6 and a birthday

    Mr. PQ begins the slide down the backside of 40 this week and he has the dubious distinction of sharing a birthday with either Labor Day (yea, party) or the first day of school (birthday, what birthday?)  This year he has a few days of buffer between the first day of school and the Great Unveiling of ’14. In case you missed the announcement announcing the announcement of the official announcement, Apple is releasing a new something they won’t say. It’s an iPhone.

     

    So, in addition to thinking about school supplies and Tandoori Chicken (birthday dinner; why do I insist on making things I have no business replicating?) I am awash in iPhone 6 anticipation.  Will it organize my wardrobe?  I was told baggy sweats are not appropriate attire for our weekly staff meeting. (Even when said staff meeting is held on a surprisingly cold and rainy day and I foolishly wore uniform shorts to meet my morning training clients, and baggy sweats were the only warm thing I had in my car and it’s cold in our warehouse.).  Will it tell me if I drank enough water?  Will iPhone 6 know I drank 4 cups of coffee to offset the all-nighter I pulled, meticulously labeling school supplies, packing vegan-organic-bpa free-gluten free-nut free-taste free meals for the Quills?  (Ok, I admit, I got sucked into season 3 of Breaking Bad and they had Cheetos and pbj for lunch).  But we come from a simpler time when school supplies were limited to 4 Pee Chee All Sport Portfolios (quick: name the 3 sports depicted on the back cover? (No googling allowed) Three #2 pencils and a handful of spiral notebooks that even space age technology couldn’t prevent from unraveling.  Today, the supply list includes a stylus, an iCloud account and a Pad & Quill iPad case (we recommend the Contega self-propping case or if you have a kid with an artistic bent, the Graduate Edition for iPad which includes a marvelously blank canvas for your budding artist to personalize.)  Pad & Quill cases can be wonderfully theft deterring as we’ve learned over the years, because for better or worse, the thug who would knock a 10 year old to the ground to steal his iPad 3 is not likely to mug said kid for his diary.

     

    But back to iPhone 6.  As an allied health professional, I am keenly interested in the biometric data that may and might one day be available from the new iPhone and iWatch.  From a small business owner standpoint, the iPhone 6 offers a wonderfully blank canvas on which to create a whole new line of covers and cases.  So, sweats notwithstanding, we are seriously excited to introduce what our craftsmen have been up to in anticipation of this amazing new technology.

     

    So, I’ve packed up my sleeping bag and thermos of coffee, ready to plop myself down on the chewing gum riddled sidewalk alongside our fellow Apple geeks, to await the Great Release.  Happy queuing everyone and Happy Birthday to Mr. PQ!

  • Sexy should not be in your resume

    We are currently hiring to fill various positions in the Pad & Quill workshops.  After reviewing a few hundred e-applications I have the following advice to offer young applicants:

    Dear Job Applicants,

    Please refrain from sending me cover emails that begin with "yo, I'd like this job", or "Hey, call me about this position" etc. Please create an email for yourself that includes your first and last name and not your social media "handle" or email such as "mr.sexypants.mpls@seriously?.com" and please, for the love of god, consult with a resume writer so that you don't include lines such as, "I was a line cook and stuff like that" under employment history.

    Regards,

    Mrs. PQ

    If your professional correspondence contains the word “sexy” in any capacity, you are probably not a candidate to purchase our new Valet Luxury Sleeve for MacBook.

    If you believe Zumbaz and your favorite 80’s concert t-shirt is perfectly acceptable attire for “casual Friday”, there’s a chance you will not fully appreciate the supple, full grain leather of the Oxford Luxury Case for iPad Air.

    If you still own and readily admit that you possess a “snakeskin” jacket, the hand-hammered copper rivets on our new Attache leather bag might be lost on you.

    If Boonehill wine is still your go to on a date night, there’s a chance you won’t be impressed by our parachute grade thread that stitches our Valet Luxury Sleeve together.

    Having blown past your 25th high school reunion, you might be impressed that our Attache, Oxford, and Valet luxury leather, executive collection will be with you at your 50th reunion; we know we are  (long live the Oxford Comma).

    Mrs. PQ

    Kari

  • The Yin/Yang of the PQ marriage

    As my declaration of need for an audio office evoked such a lively discussion in our “comments” section on Facebook, I determined a trek to the Apple Store was warranted.  I have conducted audio experiments in side-by-side comparisons of Bose, Dr. Dre Beats, and Apple standard issue headphones. Dr. Bose won in a landslide.  Noise cancelling will be deferred for now, but sound quality will not, I'm going for the other Doctor of headphones.

    As the Memorial weekend brought luxurious weather, it seemed fitting that a paddle on our local chain of lakes should preface a trip to the Uptown Apple Store.

    “I need to get a hat.”  Great, Hoigaards, our local, family-owned outdoor store is on the way.

    “I was thinking of the haberdashery.”

    I seriously doubt they sell bucket hats at the local haberdashery.

    It’s a Henry vs Humphrey style debate that plays out regularly in our house.

    He says, “I need shorts”.  I say, “Great REI is having a sale. “  He says, “I was thinking Banana Republic”

    We go for cocktails.    I say, “Hand me a long neck Bud Light with a vodka shot in the neck.”   He says, “Hendricks, straight, on the rocks”.

    He is “shaken, not stirred” while I am known to belt my favorite rendition of “Jose Cuervo” while getting dressed for the night.  (Truth be told, I favor Don Julio Reposado but that doesn’t rhyme as well)

    It’s Pad & Quill in a nutshell.  We hold our love of natural beauty and skilled craftsmanship in a 24 year relational weave of yin and yang, black and white, “little bit country/little bit rock and roll” tapestry and somehow by God’s grace it all works out.

    It’s like how our product line compliments and works together.  The Bella Fino for my iPhone 5, which I love for its simplicity and ruggedness, slips perfectly in my Field Bag pocket.  It’s almost like Mr. PQ planned it that way.

    It’s almost like he knew Father’s Day was coming up so we are showcasing two of our most beautiful iPad cases this week.  The Aria for iPad Air and the new Walden Case for iPad Air and iPad mini

    I’m going off the grid next week, which should allow Mr. PQ a rejoinder to my many musings.  I’ll return with a full report on iPhone 5s GPS, Gaia GPS, GoalZero solar chargers and how to get lost without being lost in the Superior National Forest.

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

  • Tech Savvy? Heck yeah.

    “You should plan to be at the Pad & Quill headquarters by 11 on Friday, we are filming so you need to look cute?  What?  Don’t I always look cute?  Here I thought Mr. PQ was a fan of flannels and jeans.  But I digress.  We are shooting some video footage as introduction to our new line of leather goods and iPhone cases, very exciting.   Now back to cute, here’s where I need help, comprehensive, someone raids my closet and takes me shopping help.  Help which assures me that 7 gray t-shirts and 3 pairs of jeans does not a wardrobe make.  Don’t get me wrong, I do own other clothes.  Mr. PQ is an amazing shopper, he buys me things.  He even buys me outfits.  I just don’t know what to do with the clothes on a day-to-day basis, and jeans and a t-shirt are seamless, especially when I can throw in my old leather kicks as an accessory.  Solid, until the filming of a video arises.  So, here is where my million-dollar idea kicks in.

     

    Attention app developers, I need help.  I want someone to write me an app that allows me to enter all of my clothes into a virtual closest, it needs a function where I can move the clothes to a dirty laundry bin so as to take them from “inventory” until I do a load of wash.  Then I want to enter what I am doing that day, e.g. bookkeeping, personal training, trail running, house cleaning, or date night with hubby.  I also want to be able to enter my mood, e.g. “a little crabby, it’s that time of the month” or “spring baby!”  Or “be at the warehouse at 11 and look cute and don’t be nervous” The app would compile that data and shoot me out a few possible options.  Like this on my Pintrest page.

     

    Retailers could make a fortune as they could post little ads to my app that would suggest things for me to buy, and give me coupon love that is oh so hard to turn down.  (An aside, Gap I love your clothes, but please stop showcasing new arrivals on models that weigh about 47 pounds.)

     

    This of course brings me to a few other techie devices I’d actually buy, hint to Apple, I’m a terrific product tester.

     

    Lifeprinter, a new kickstarter campaign, which looks so simply wonderful that we backed it.    The Star Wars shirt under the suit coat should sell you, if nothing else does.

     

    iBracelet with wireless headphones.  For those long runs when, inevitably the sounds of your own breathing is going to drive you nutty.  Hello Apple, product tester here!

     

    So, let it not be said that Mrs PQ doesn’t have just a little tech saavy.

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

  • Surviving this winter

    Latest Entry from Mrs PQ

     

    Writing from the Pad and Quill headquarters, firmly ensconced in the frozen tundra.  I’m staring out a window smudged with dog nose prints and a half-hearted attempt by a kid to form gel window clings into the words “let is sn*w” I think the mutt ate the “O” out of pure frustration that winter is trying to kill him when he goes outside.

    IMG_0157

     

    We did get the dog park today before the latest rendition of Snowmaggedon hits.  I personally love winter, primarily because I have a full circus of tricks to make it move faster then it means to move.  For instance, on December 22nd we begin our journey back from the outer reaches of space, back towards our sun.  Thus, that is the first day of spring.  Pitchers and catchers reported for duty this week, therefore winter is officially over, a pox on your house groundhog.

    IMG_0046

    IMG_0586

    The changes of spring are as imminent as a mustache appearing on the youngest boys lip.  At least I think that was a woodpecker I heard this morning and that is the explanation for the dark shadow on the kids lip.  It can’t be lack of cleanliness as he has recently discovered daily showers, hair product and dare I say, girrrrlllllsss.  Three teens in the house has compelled me to temporarily cease taking my allergy pills in exchange for the sublime bliss of a protractedly stuffed up nose; a pox on your house AXE.

     

    Being about four months into the remodel of Pad and Quill, we are feeling pretty good about our little company.  Good like slipping into a pair of jeans that fit just right after spending the day in a stuffy, wool school uniform.  Pad and Quill was starting to look and feel like every other kid on the block, and that’s simply not us.

     

    We’ve been listening to our customers as we go to our drafting boards and have some great products flowing through the design process.  Like daffodils popping their heads up through the snow, we have some pleasant surprises awaiting our customers, and incredibly, they don’t all revolve around the Apple IOS product line.  ☺

     

    But, more on that next week as we post the first installment of Mr. and Mrs. PQ debating the merits of the Pebble and the pending release of the iWatch. Hint: spring marathon training is definitely a time to run barefoot and naked, for the life of me I don’t get why Mr. PQ doesn’t understand that.

     

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

  • Curated means?

    I'm not always known as the grammar expert here at PQ. Not only does Mrs. PQ points this out, but occasionally a friendly customer. I had a general idea what 'curated' meant, but needed to back up with some authority so I went to the Internet...

    According to dictionary.com, one of the definitions is the following:

    "to pull together, sift through, and select for presentation, as music or website content"

    That's about right, I'm going with it. Several months back we wanted to bring in a local artist to showcase their work on our Author Series for iPad Air and Mini cases. The search was not hard as Tamrah Ryan is a good friend of Pad & Quill and has a great eye for design.

    Tamrah-101

    Tamrah is a local photographer, business owner, wife and mom of 3 boys.  She recently opened her own Etsy Store (I know eCommerce guy, I'm not supposed to link to other stores then PQ, I don't care), so Check out her Etsy store! as it's filled with lovely curated vintage items that are worthy of purchase. I think you will see right away her passion for unique stuff.

     

     

     

    We reached out to her and asked if she would mind pulling together some patterns, sifting through them and getting her favorite ones ready to present to our customers.  Sound like a familiar definition?

    She began by researching and designing with our own Will Bowe some unique patterns that we could screen print on our tough bindery cloths.  The vision was something that would really make a statement and yet still remain refined. After many patterns she found the 5 worthy of being called 'Curated'.  These are all unique and quite gorgeous.  You can take any spine color or elastic and mix/match to create your very own case or a case for that someone special.

    Here are two of my favorite patterns. Let us know what yours are in comments below!

    Bright Red with Circles

    Author_Air-106

    French roast with Metallic Gold Quatrefoil

    Author_Air-109

    Again, take a look at Tamrah's Etsy store, pick up a unique gift then if you feel inclined come on back and check out her work on our Author cases as well.

    Thanks!

    Brian

    Mr PQ

     

  • Which one?

    We get lots of questions about the differences in our new leather bags.  I thought it was time to discuss the design and features represented in our three carry bags.

    Messenger Bag

    When we set out to craft these bags one of our biggest litmus tests was the question:  Does this tie together old and new ideas? The messenger bag concept is a classic designed larger bag meant to sling over the back for the daily commute. This design holds lots of stuff and has pockets to keep everything in order.  We took that idea then added luxurious and organic materials to make something new, yet familiar.  We love the two large pockets for holding your cords, chargers, battery back ups or hard drives.  Along with a large laptop pocket designed to hold up to a 15 inch Macbook Pro retina. Finished off with a large leather flap that has a real cherry wood laser etched Pad & Quill mark to make quite a statement.

    Messenger_1

    The Satchel

    Think of the satchel as a slimmer version of the Messenger.  Same gorgeous materials in a more deft package. When we first made this design we had a more pronounced handle at the top and the flap did not go very far down, sort of brief case looking. We decided that was a bit too old school and we wanted something with a larger flap and more subtle handle at the top. A design somewhere between a satchel and soft sided bag.  We also wanted something that holds up to a 15 in MacBook Pro retina laptop as well as a journal or iPad. Add to that misc cords and chargers all bundled in a minimal designed carry bag. That is what we achieved in this leather bag and that is the Satchel by Pad & Quill.

    Satchel_14

    The Field Bag

    The Field Bag is like taking our Satchel, going portrait in the orientation and then adding a ridiculous amount of pockets. Did I mention many pockets?  This is my favorite bag for travel by far!  We wanted a bag that does not swing behind you as you move, but rather sits just behind your back. The vertical orientation allows for this quite nicely. Great for tight commutes on planes, trains and various other modes of transportation. This bag holds laptops, journals, cords, chargers, iPads, iPhones, and other items in a slim, yet ready to grown leather and canvas package.

    Field_6

    Ultimately your the one who has to decide which bag is right for you. Pad & Quill bags are not only designed to last but make a statement. Organic materials, unique hand made craftsmanship and subtle design combine to offer 3 very unique and beautiful bags for all the daily adventures you might encounter.  So go ahead and Carry On!

    Brian

    Mr PQ

     

  • A grave breach of protocol

    I showed up to the PQ headquarters on the last day of 2013 with my Timbuktu bag and my Macbook conveniently slung into a repurposed, cotton bag.

     

    “You do know we own a bag and case company?” Quipped the mostly patient Brian.

     

    Yes, and the leather bags are shipped in these cotton bags, great for carrying my junk.

     

    At this point Brian rolled his eyes and noted two salient facts.  First, my $1300 Macbook Air probably shouldn’t be classified as junk and second, IT’S NOT EVEN ONE OF OUR BAGS.  I’d grabbed one of the many sample bags we tested this summer and it was emblazoned with some software company logo.  To Brian this stumble in protocol is roughly akin to wearing a New England Patriots 2012 World Champion t-shirt.  (To the NFL unaffiliated, the New England Patriots lost that game to my New York Giants and all those championship shirts that bear their name are adorning little kids in destitute corners of the world; the ultimate in re-purposing.)

     

    Once his eyeballs ceased their slot machine like spin, he painstakingly walked over to our inventory shelves and unwrapped a whiskey leather/green waxed canvas field bag and matching laptop sleeve and brought them to my desk.  He then took me through the exact “opening” experience our customers enjoy, meticulously attaching the shoulder strap and subsequently draping the bag over my shoulder.

     

    “Welcome to the Pad & Quill family.”

     

    What a family it is and what a year it’s been.  We’ve written about the months of brainstorming and designing, soul searching and rebuilding that we invested in bringing a new line of products to our customers.  We solidified our commitment to using our resources responsibly both in how we consume and how we use what we don’t need to help others.  We are quite thankful for our little company sending out a warm glow of productivity from the blindingly frozen north.

     

    Brian heads off to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week, the Macworld convention in gorgeous San Francisco couldn’t come soon enough, and our design team has shifted back to their workshops in anticipation of crafting more fantastic products.

     

    Happy and Blessed New Year

     

    Kari

    (Mrs PQ)

  • Plastic Cases Happen

    They meant well.  We all know that, but when you received that bejeweled iPad case, smiled and thanked your loved one. Right at that moment... know that Pad & Quill was thinking about you. We understand the guilt of being appreciative to the gift giver, but...not so much of the plastic iPad case. There is something about bright pink/black plastic and fake diamonds that just does not work with your design ethic.  Yet at the same time you are very appreciative of the giver and their efforts.  It's tough.

    You will notice that at Pad & Quill we try to minimize the degree we use plastic material in our construction. When we set out to craft products we use some litmus tests to help us refine what we are about to produce. A couple of those include:

    - Is the product largely constructed by hand, by passionate, well trained craftsmen?

    - Is our product organic, sourced from natural elements and in keeping with good stewardship of our environment?

    These two litmus tests do not leave much room for the bejeweled encrusted iPad case and that's why December 26th is a good day for you!  For one day, all of our iPad cases are 15% off and our most popular iPhone case, the Little Pocket Book is $10 off.

    The motivation of the giver, that's always the best part of Christmas. With that said, we hope you like our gift to you for December 26th!

    Mr PQ

     

  • Candy Crush Addictions

    In the rush and crush of the holiday season chocolate has become my enemy.  Not because it is lurking around every corner and it’s tempting from every store aisle shelf, shouting “indulge!” “indulge!” “I will not add a layer of insulation to your waistline as I did last Christmas!”  No, chocolates seeming omnipresence does not make it the enemy.  Waiting has made chocolate the enemy.  Tis the season of waiting.  Waiting in lines, waiting in traffic, waiting for kids concerts and events to begin.  Waiting for some kids concerts to end (one can really only actively listen to so many sixth grade flugelhorn renditions of Ole St. Nick.) And while waiting I’ve developed the horrible habit of playing Candy Crush, where, at level 51, chocolate has become the enemy.

     

    If you have not been sucked into a Gustav-like addiction to Candy Crush, you would not understand the travesty that is level 51.  Suffice to say, for you non Crush addicts or you newbies like my son who took 42 days to pass level 15, at level 51 little blocks of chocolate goodness pop up to impede your progress and you can only advance by destroying them.

     

    The great has become the enemy of the good.  I sense this game is the plotted revenge of those ridiculous little striped candies at grandma’s house that inexplicably drew moisture and cigarette smoke toward their little crystal dish, causing them to congeal into an immovable mass of carcinogenic disappointment.  Here I thought Lent was chocolate’s greatest adversary.  Epiphany’s come, and grandma’s realize it’s time to scrape the ribbon goop into the garbage, replacing them with little message hearts from Saint Valentine, and they go to the great landfill in the sky, where they’ve connived for years on how to supplant chocolate as the favorite holiday confection.  Now their vengeance has been reprised in Area, I mean Level 51….

     

    Spare yourself this waiting agony and cruise on over to the Pad & Quill site, where online shopping is still occurring and arrival by Christmas is still happening in the US through regular shipments going out Friday the 20th.

    Mrs PQ

    (Kari)

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