Now in its third generation, the Vanness family continues to serve central Arkansas. Orville Vanness could never be pinned down to a date for his original store. He began repairing razors in the Snodgrass and Bracy drugstore in the early 1930's. He quickly added on fountain pen repair. He dreamed of having his own name on a sign and sometime around 1938 he opened shop in downtown Little Rock. Orville passed his skills on to his sons. Together, Dennis and Van continued the family tradition with added locations and retail merchandise. Today, Orville's grandson, Mike, (Dennis' son) carries on the family tradition.
The "regulars" know that old parts to pens can be found in the shop area, and often enjoy tinkering with their pens while visiting the store. You can find a picture history of the family business on Facebook.
The people that keep Vanness going:
Mike - Grandpa Orville says Mike was working on repairs "helping out grandpa" before he could read. Part time engraver, and part time janitor. FULL TIME pakcer and shipper. Enjoys the grandkids when he gets a few hours off work.
Van- Second generation from the Store and Came out of retirement to help out; he enjoys building new shelves and counting inks.
Lisa - Occasional problem solver, part time pen specialist, sometimes social media "guru" and married to Mike. She handles marketing and buying for MOST aspects of the store. Lisa is left handed - and doesn't smear her ink. Known on Instagram as @justvanness.
Jasmine- A long-time Vanness employee who has worked with all three generations of the Vanness family, she works the front of the store, but nowadays shemostly makes samples. She thinks she might get caught up eventually...
Edward- he takes the website product photos and styles the cool banners and newsletter shots.
Chad- assists in bringing the new pens and inks to the store ( aka creatively finds ways to get new colors made); part time help in the front of the store. Full time dad to 2 boys.
Shandra- Works Saturdays helping in the retail side. As a true pen addict customers can find her at the store if theres any new releases.
Truffle - The official Vanness mascot. Loves scratches, foam peanuts, and playing tug with blue rags.
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