PQ News & Announcements

  • Hecho en Mexico

    mexico trip

    There are seasons in life, and the past 20 years have been a season I’d call the diapers to braces season. While Mr. PQ and I had every intention of seeing the world, even booked a tour of Europe as a celebration for completing college, the good Lord and oldest kid had other ideas, so as I shopped careers the end of senior year, I also shopped for cribs, strollers etc. Each time I began researching travel brochures, another quill happened on the scene. Not to be deterred by the growing population of our family, I dragged our tribe to the four corners of North America, loving every experience. However, I still wanted to see the world beyond the pages of a book or someone else’s slideshow.
     
    So, when Mr. PQ said he wanted to travel to Mexico to visit our tannery and manufacturer that is supplying some of our amazing leather dry goods, I was eager for the opportunity. One, because I’d finally get to use my passport, and two because I wanted to meet and experience the people who help us design and craft some of our products.
     
    We arrived in central Mexico, home to the largest leather suppliers in the Western Hemisphere. It is a beautiful country and as we’ve spent the past four days working along side our partners, eating with employees in their cafeteria, talking with designers, touring tanneries and factories, and finding the same level of attention to detail and hard work our employees invest at home.
     

    mexico design

    At one point as we chatted with a line worker, bent over a Little Pocket Book. She was so immersed in the wrapping and pleating process. My impulse was to grab her up in a hug and thank her for her diligence. We are so blessed to be working with this group of people from Alvaro our lead designer to Raul the amazing prototyping specialist.
     
    The first 20 years may have been more about bandaids and homework with the kiddos. The next 5-10 seem to indicate my passport gets some serious stamp action. I know Brian mentioned we have sourced some waxed canvas in Scotland...sounds good dear.
     
    Mrs.PQ

  • Mrs. PQ's version of Open Letter

    “Mom do you know if even one kid brings a phone into an AP testing site the entire room of tests are voided?”

     

    Our oldest son is preparing to take his first AP Exam, Human World Geography, and as per usual, in studying with him, I know a great deal more about things like gentrification and dairy circles then I used to know.  Taking your third and fourth trip through high school teaches you a thing or two.

     

    Much like taking a trip through a business start up.

     

    You learn the good ways to coax all of the beauty and functionality from a product imaginable, and you learn the bad ways; I’ve got a basement full of prototypes and discarded blueprints.

     

    There are good ways to manage a supply chain and an inventory system and there are not so good ways.  What am I supposed to do with 497 Octavo frames with no left rail?  (Hint:  stacked alternately they make great nesting sites for mice in the winter.  Thank goodness those were stored in the garage.)

     

    There are good and bad ways to convey to the public how you care about your customers, your products, and your employees who have become like family.  (I honestly don’t think anyone cares that I will retweet pretty much anything coming out of Alton Brown’s mouth.)

     

    In our endeavor to convey all of this to you, we lost our way a bit, but we never lost our commitment to craft amazing things, to be inspired by nature and innovation, and to bring you amazing products from our workspace to yours.

     

    Kind of like Prom, state qualifying long jumps and epic tennis matches all rolled into one, there are exciting changes afoot at Pad and Quill, and we can’t wait to share them with you.

     

    Mrs. PQ

     

    Here's a hint of what we are working on.

    New Textures...

     

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  • You wake up one morning- An open letter from Mr. PQ

    Have you every caught your reflection in a window, paused and asked, “when the heck did I start wearing Dockers?” Well, that's sort of what happened to us.

     

     

    This January Mrs. PQ and I fired up Safari and ventured over to padandquill.com. That's when it hit us, our site is not Pad and Quill. Not at all. We're fun people with a passion for technology, art, literature and life. Our current site does not convey who we really are. So we began a journey of discovery – and we'd appreciate your advice! We figure if you're interesting enough to own a Pad and Quill case, you're probably clever enough to have some darn good opinions too.

     

     

    So far, it's been an illuminating journey. Turns out Kari and I weren't even on the same page at times. But we're getting close to something pretty amazing. So throughout the upcoming weeks we'll be sharing all sorts of ideas, designs, logos, fonts, colors and who knows, maybe a product idea or two. We're out to make padandquill.com every bit as interesting, unique and well made as our products we offer. And we'd love it if you'd come and share an opinion or two.

     

     

    Come on, let's build something together.

     

     

     

    Your fan,

     

     

    Mr. PQ

     

    photo

     

    Well, if only the website was currently as awesome as our front door ;)

  • 19th Century Romantic

    As a small business owner I am constantly adapting to market shifts and technology advancements.  For a nineteenth century romantic, this can be daunting.  But, I do peruse the tech blogs and fight the zombie stare when Mr. PQ is explaining things to me, just managing to cling to the tail of a rapidly advancing society.  I love  iPad mini, and my iPhone 5, even more as it’s encased in a PQ Little Pocket Book.  That being said, I use a sand timer for my tea, hike with a compass and generally run gadget free.  There is value in remembering life before technology, in most cases.

     

     

    Earlier this week a parcel arrived from our new merchant service provider.  As I extracted the contents I showcased each new item for Will and Karl (Operations and Customer Service)  A new iOS credit card scanner, (“sweet”, Will and Karl) new software to install (“awesome” Will and Karl), and a stack of carbon duplicate sheets for credit card transactions.  Cue the blank stares and crickets.  I don’t necessarily like being old enough to remember the days of hand cranking a credit card receipt, or worse yet, hand writing the entries, but the boys perplexity was priceless.  Karl had a faint memory of having seen one in a hipster vinyl store, Will was still trying to imagine how those carbon sheets sales would hit his inventory software in the cloud.  Meanwhile I was busy reminiscing about the good old days when a transaction could be penciled rubbed onto a paper, mailed to a bank, debited from an account and some 10-14 days later a check would arrive back to the merchant.

     

     

    As our dear Uncle Mel once said when he learned that transactions are not hand written anymore "Damn, it’s just like printing money"(true story).  Not quite Uncle Mel but close.   Though much has changed in how money is exchanged, some things still remain the same. A company delivering handmade quality goods to customers has never gone out of fashion for this days of old reminiscing girl.

     

     

    Mrs. PQ

     

  • Winter and Design

    Minnesota weather. As of this writing the low temperature last night was -14F. The mental strain of this weather get's to us up here. Mrs. PQ checks the coldest temps on earth daily just to make herself feel better.  About 3 days ago, parts of Minnesota were actually competing with Nunavut, Canada, coming in close to -35 degrees below 0.  

     

     

    So that might be why we get real busy this time of year working on all types of new designs and prototypes. Sure as heck can't go outside and play as it's the one time of year that Minnesota weather...is trying to KILL YOU.

     

     

    Maybe all these extremely low temperatures is why we think that 2013 is going to be one of our most exciting product years to date.  Many new beautiful designs are in the works and some interesting new products that have never been done before.  All of this innovation, passion and creativity is designed for one purpose to make holding your favorite technology device a more beautiful experience.  That is what Kari, myself and the PQ team love to do, craft handmade beautiful accessories that we hope people will love to use. Now how do I turn up this woodburning stove...

     

     

    Mr. PQ
    (Brian)

  • Coming home

    We hope you Holiday season is going well!  We completely understand last minute shopping here at PQ.  Why, because I am one of the worst.  Just ask me if I have Mrs. PQ's gift yet.  Does having an idea around the concept count? So if your like me, we are now shipping same day on most cases for iPad, iPhone or Kindle.  They can still arrive at your home for Christmas!

     

     

    Speaking of home, our eldest is returning from college this week. I believe it is not just to ask dad for more money either.  Seriously, I know she, Mrs.PQ and the rest of the crew can not wait to spend this long weekend together as a family.  Although our home dynamics have changed, the traditions around Christmas remain the same.  An evening of watching 'A Christmas Story', baking cookies, stuffing stockings and Christmas Eve service are some of the yearly holiday traditions we will be enjoying.  For various reasons, they seem to be more precious this year then in the past.

     

     

    Kari and I are truly wishing your holiday season is filled with Joy and the Hope that this season represents.  Have a great Christmas.

     

     

    Mr. PQ

    Brian

     

     

     

     

    This year we have

  • WOODCHUCKcase

    We are very excited about our newest addition to the PQ Bookshelf. WOODCHUCKcase. Started by two young Minnesota entrepreneurs who are creating beautiful real wood skins for iPhones, iPad's, laptops and more.  Their story is not unlike Mrs.PQ's and myself.  Started out of their houses, prototyping and eventually brought these gorgeous USA made products to market.

     

     

    Their passion is to make beautiful wood products, keeping it local and employing sustainable processes throughout manufacturing.  The fit could not be better as we love:  Minnesota, wood, keeping it local and really cool devices.  PQ always offers FREE domestic shipping so try out a Woodchuck skin for iPhone 5 or 4/4S with one of our cases.  30 Day money back guarantee makes it fairly risk free!

     

     

    Keep and eye out for more Woodchuck products at PadandQuill.com and a TOP SECRET future collaboration that is stunning.  Let's just say aluminum, wood and leather can make something quite stunning.

     

     

    Mr. PQ

    (Brian)

     

  • Traditions

    Watch for our Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials!  Best values of the year are coming.

     

    You can count on traditions at the PQ household around this time.  Several of these time honored  ones include a 5k turkey trot, ZERO Christmas music prior to midnight of Thanksgiving day, the annual 1.5 hour trip to cut a fresh tree and lots of good food with family and friends.  The richness of each year seems to magnify as each of our four Quills grow.  For example this is the first year we have one coming home from college for the holiday's. I'm still finding that one really strange.

     

     

    I think that tradtions that we enjoy around this time of year are why we love being in this unique business.  We are passionate about the rich tradition of hand crafted products.  Our hand finished wood is simply that.  Cut on a big router but then hand sanded and coated with Varnishes to brighten and magnify the Glory of real wood.

     

     

    Our iPad, iPhone, Macbook Air and Kindle cases 'Make the Case for Books' because that is what they truly are.  Handmade 'book' cases using traditional methods and materials like 'Library Corners' and bookbindery cloth from Arresotx a company with over 130 years of book making in their rich history.

     

     

    Whatever your traditions are this holiday season we humbly ask you consider a new one!  A beautiful handmade case from Pad and Quill.  We think you'll find the fit, finish and handmade aspects of our products truly amazing.

     

     

    Have a great Thanksgiving!

     

    Mr. PQ

    (Brian)

  • Keeping Promises

    Keeping a promise.  Another way to say it would be Let your Yes be Yes and your No be No.  This is something that Mrs. PQ and I work dilligently to instruct with our four mini quills.  Promises mean you will be a person of your word.  Do we perfectly do this?  Of course not, but we do strive to have integrity in all of our dealings and make sure all is made right. That includes family relationships, our workplace and working with our valued customers at Pad and Quill.

     

    This is one of the main reasons behind our 30 Day money back promise.  We work very hard to craft very unique handmade iPad , iPhone and Kindle cases. We want to back that up the hardwork with a promise.  Try out a case for 30 days, for any reason your not satisfied send it back and we will refund you!

     

    We are entering a season that is very precious to Kari and I. A celebration of our faith and great Promises kept. We hope that the upcoming holiday season will meaningful for your family as well!

     

    Mr. PQ
    (Brian)

  • Art and the mini

    We are VERY excited to announce our newest handmade cases for the iPad mini

     

     

    The Graduate Artist Series #1
    We are very excited to announce the first series of our handmade, locally designed and screen printed cases for the iPad Mini. 'The Road Home' and 'The Apple Tree'.

     

    The Octavo 

     

    Our classic Spanish bonded leather journal case for the iPad mini.  5 gorgeous interior colors to choose from and on sale during pre-order!

     

     

    The Graduate Edition

     

    A bindery cloth classic.  3 New Gorgeous color combinations to choose from and on sale during pre-order!

     

    As we have experienced with our Little Pocket Books, put your order in now as demand can cause delays in shipping!

     

    Mr and Mrs. PQ
    (Brian and Kari)

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