Getting to know: Phidon pens


Mano Duggal’s Phidon Pens has become somewhat of a downtown Galt institution. Indeed, it’s not often that a small independent business survives – no, thrives – for a full decade in any town. And yet Phidon continues to flourish – in part because of Mano’s charm and charisma, and in part because of her fantastic ability to curate a splendid array of fine pens, paper, ink and luggage. TOQUE sat down with Mano recently to chat about her business and upcoming tenth anniversary celebrations.

How would you put Phidon Pens into words?
Phidon sells fine writing instruments, fine paper, leather journals, notebooks and inks. We take pleasure in bringing our patrons the best in pen, paper and ink. We love what we do here and we have the most wonderful, loyal customers ever: students, architects, doctors, lawyers, teachers, moms and dads buying their child’s first special pen and, above all, everyone who has love for a good pen and a notebook.

Why pens and paper?
Why not pens? Why do people buy good beer, high quality wine, fine art or a car? It’s what gives people pleasure. Our customers enjoy using a nice writing instrument. The value is in what you hold to be true to you; it’s in whatever enjoyment you are going to derive from it. There is nothing like having a good pen and a notebook to put your thoughts down; it kind of slows the pace of your life. We are all so rushed these days; I feel that writing is more important than ever.

Which three pens among those you carry are your favourites?
Pelikan, Lamy and Sailor.

What pen would you recommend for a first-timer, say, as a birthday gift?
The Lamy Safari.

You’re in downtown Galt. What’s brilliant about this part of the region?
We love the stunning community we have here: it’s so beautiful with the river running through and all the amazing architecture. We are surrounded by bakeries, coffee shops, home stores, a chocolatier and so much more.

You hold classes, seminars at Phidon, don’t you? Can you list a couple good ones coming up?
We have a wonderful fall line-up with a nice mix of Hand Lettering, Art of Journaling, Introduction to Calligraphy, Modern Calligraphy and more.

It’s a big year for the business. Do you have anniversary plans?
Ah, ten years feels amazing. Like I’ve said before, it’s the people who have shopped here for the past decade I am most grateful for. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has been here in the last ten years. We have lots planned for our 10th year celebrations – including calligraphy workshops, an author reading, the chance to chat with manufacturers’ reps, other special events and, of course, our annual anniversary sale. Do join us at the store on the 14th and 15th of September.