Who Are We?
The Pay-it-Forward Project was formed in 2017 by Oscar Rodriguez, inspired by a conversation with a local retailer, and the shop's policy: Employees were offered unused ink and stationery items as a way to "pay it forward".
Upon hearing of their success, Rodriguez took to planning and reached out to the amazing stationery community for aid. The response from the community members was amazing! Hundreds of supplies were donated for the soon-to-be "Pay-it-Forward Table". At the 2017 DC Pen Show, we were successful in handing out over 400 fountain pen starter packs, and re-homing hundreds of pieces of stationery paraphernalia.
The success of the DC Pen Show spread, and the community was very receptive to the idea of Pay-It-Forward: Other shows and regional groups were asking for a similar table at their own shows. A more widespread Pay-It-Forward Project was established. Shortly afterward, the Project made debuts at the Colorado and San Francisco Pen Shows that year. You can look at our Shows page to see where we have been since!
We have had wonderful volunteers in the past that have offered services such as nib grinding, nib repair, pen appraisal, vintage pen repair, and handwriting assistance at the shows that we have attended.
In February of 2018, we collaborated with the Carolina Pen Company, Franklin-Christoph, Story Supply Co, Papier Plume, and Rickshaw Bagworks to establish a Kickstarter project by introducing the "Heart of Gold" line of items. The purpose of this Kickstarter was to cover the cost of show tables, shipping costs, signage, supplies, and other administrative expenses. We were successful in raising $21,429 prior to taxes, expenses and fees.
The Pay-it-Forward project continues its endeavors in giving back to the stationery community, and is working to debut overseas. We hope to in the future expand our offerings, and collaborate with more custom makers.