San Francisco 2022, and a poll on what we should work on next.

Hello again. Daryl from Musubi here.

This will be an unusually short letter for us, since it mainly pertains to the upcoming San Francisco pen show. We'll have some instructions on how to order ahead for the show, and also on how to sign up for our special paper event.

If you're not attending the show, there's something for you, too. We have some updates on the atelier, and a poll in which you can tell us what sort of handbound journals you'd like for us to focus on next.

Let's get going.

Ordering ahead for San Francisco

You're coming to the show, you already know what you want, and you'd like to guarantee we're going to have it ready and in stock for you. Could we have something to make that process as easy and painless as possible?

Yes, at last. I've wanted to reduce FOMO at our show table for a while now, and this is part of our plan to do just that. We tried this out previously at Manila in 2019, and it was very well-received, so I'm glad to bring it to San Francisco this year, too.

It's called "Carry to SF", and it couldn't be easier to use. The steps are as follows:

  1. Place an order on the website with a shipping address in the United States.
  2. At shipping, select "Carry to SF".

That's it. You can pick up your order at the Musubi table anytime during the show. Please bring something that'll prove it's you (identification, or the card used for the order are swell), and we'll take care of the rest.

We'll charge a small amount for this — about 10 USD per order — in order to cover the space it will take out of our normal freight allocation for the show. Since this is a flat rate regardless of the size of your order, it's ideal for those of you who are planning to buy a large quantity of folio notebooks. You'll save substantially over the usual shipping cost from Singapore, and won't have to worry about whether the stuff will run out before you get to our table.

We will offer this option until we reach the cutoff where we can't physically carry any more stuff to SF, at which point it'll be removed from the website. If you know what you want, hop on in:
Buy Now (folio notebooks)

Reducing wait times at the table

At our last SF show in 2019, the combination of new launches and deep interest in our art-focused papers resulted in some pretty bad wait times at the table. This wasn't ideal, and I apologise for not catering a better system to handle the crowds.
In order to avoid any crushes happening again this year, we've made some significant improvements to our backend systems, and can now offer a pretty cool way to reduce queue times.

When the table is crowded:

  1. Browse what's on offer and decide what you'd like, then let us know.
  2. We'll take your name and email. At this point you can leave the table to go see the rest of the show.
  3. You'll receive an email invoice for the stuff you wanted, complete with all the options for mobile payment through things like PayPal, Apple/Google Pay, and more.
  4. You can pick up your items at the table anytime before the end of the day.

Of course, if the table isn't busy when you arrive, you can pay on the spot and get your stuff right away, too.

This should allow us to completely eliminate any nasty queues to pay, and it comes with the added benefit of not having to carry around a bunch of notebooks while you browse the other tables at the show. Now you'll have your hands free to go visit some of the fantastic ink stations SF is known for.

Please try it out, and let me know directly if you think it's something we should keep around for future shows. I always appreciate your feedback on how we can improve our systems, one bit at a time.


Alright, now it's time for the fun stuff.

Musubi will be holding a special event at the show, hosted by yours truly. It's called Paperchase!, and it's designed to test how much you know about paper and the properties that make it good or bad for fountain pens.

You'll form teams of three at the door, and each team will receive a pack of paper with uniquely coded sheets. The idea is to link up with other teams and figure out which of your sheets match, then work out the properties of each paper. I'll reveal the answers at the end and see how many you got right, and then we'll have a chat about the various properties you'll want to look for in your fountain pen-friendly paper.

This is happening Sunday at the show, and should be really good fun. You can register ahead of time for the event right here:
Learn more, and sign up

If there are too many signups, we'll do a lottery to keep things fair and post the list of participants at the show registration counter. As a newsletter subscriber, you get double entries into this lottery, so be sure to use the same email in the above form as you do receiving this letter.

I look forward to seeing you at the event.

Atelier updates, and a poll

That's all the show stuff handled, so now it's time for news on what's happening at the atelier.

First off, a quick update on our handbound journal division. The disability organisation we work with is currently in the midst of a very major renovation of the workshop spaces in which our artisans craft your journals. I'm very excited for this, since it's going to result in a better working environment for everyone involved, and more space to pursue some of the projects we've been wanting to do for a while now.

Unfortunately, while these renovations are going on, we'll temporarily lose access to the paper cutting machines necessary to trim the edges on our sheets. So the atelier will be taking a short break from doing our made-to-order journals. We expect to come back online in just a month's time, in September.

Special projects like our Musubi Labs diaries (those marked "ships immediately" on the website) will continue to be available, as will our folio notebooks and pen cases. You can easily check the availability of anything from its product page; if it can be added to the cart, we can ship it.

In the meantime, though, I'd love to hear from you on two topics:

  • What should our handbound division work on next?
  • What other kinds of folio notebooks would you like to see?

We've made a short, two-question survey you can answer here. It should take no longer than a minute to do:
Take the survey

As always, I appreciate your candid suggestions and will review each response personally.

Wrapping up for now

That's all from us for right now.

For those of you attending the SF show next week, I look forward to meeting with you in person very soon. And if you're elsewhere in the world, we're always looking for new events to attend — so talk us into coming to your neck of the woods!

As always, stay safe and well, and keep on lighting candles in the dark.

Much love,
on behalf of everyone here at Musubi