When you ask a simple question, you never know where the answer might
Our beginning, here at Points of Distinction, came about from a
simple string of events leading to an equally simple question. For
those of you who might be interested, here's a brief rundown on how
we came to be. For everyone else, just slide on over to the rest of
the website and start perusing!
Just after the turn of the new year in 2006, I was digging around in
one of my desk drawers at my office, looking for another one of
the many things I have a tendency for misplacing. Don't ask what it
was---I don't even remember, and the scene is repeated too many
times, for too many years, to keep track. Often early in a new year,
the search has something to do with getting better organized---always
a top resolution, about which, I must admit, I am never sufficiently
At any rate, in my search I ran across a nice old fountain pen that I
hadn't seen for quite some time, a gift from my sister that had been
used, enjoyed, and tucked away (the pen, not the sister!) when, I
think, it became difficult to find replacement ink cartridges. I was
glad to stumble across the pen, as I've always been quite a pen
lover, tending to hang onto favorite pens for a long time, even when
they've developed a problem that can't be readily resolved. I have
never been a big fan of throwaway pens, or throwaway anything,
really. (Ask my wife---she'll readily confirm that I DO NOT throw
things away, even when I should!). A good pen should serve its owner
well for many years, providing a comforting, environmentally-friendly
sense of continuity.
Well, this fountain pen was a slim, black lacquered Diplomat, with
nice gold plated fittings, and the look had held up well.
I washed out the nib, took some of the few remaining cartridges I
could find, began using it again and quickly remembered how much I
had enjoyed it. In search of a full supply of replacement
cartridges, even thinking I'd like to try a fine point in place of
the Diplomat bi-color engraved medium nib with which my pen was
fitted, I started looking for a supply source for Diplomat products.
Having no luck, I finally located the web site of the German
manufacturer and sent a short email asking to be directed to their US
supplier. In quick reply, I was advised that they did not,
unfortunately, have any US distribution---none! Their pens had last
been sold by Staples, but that relationship had been dissolved a
couple of years earlier.
Almost as quickly as I learned that there was no US partnership, I
posed the simple "well, would you like to have a partner?" question
to the export manager who had replied to my email. A bit to my
surprise, his answer was an equally swift endorsement of the idea,
and the foundation of Points of Distinction had been started. OK, we
didn't know what we would call our company, there were yet several
months of sampling, contract negotiations, a big family wedding that
consumed our energies and resources, a first meeting in NYC, etc.,
etc. Still, it was with that first 'would you' and the corresponding
'you betcha' that the seed was planted.
Thanks to the talents and hard work of lots of great family team
members, we've built Points of Distinction as a family-based business
with a genuine commitment to doing things right, beginning with
selling only a genuinely solid, well crafted, and high-value product
line. To that foundation we add an attitude of total customer care
that we've learned from all of the good, and yes, the bad,
experiences that we've all encountered. We then try to top-off our
approach with a commitment to good, solid 'do unto others' ethics
that guides our decisions, rounding out a formula for long term
success in most any endeavor.
If you're already a lover of Diplomat writing instruments, we look
forward to helping you with supplies, repairs, accessories, and
upgrades. If you've not yet tried a Diplomat, we invite you to
experience the pleasure of owning a pen or pencil that will serve you
well for many years, be noticed often and admiringly by your friends,
and be seriously missed whenever misplaced. More than that, we
invite you to try doing business with a small company that will
pleasantly surprise you at every turn by treating you and your
business with the respect and integrity they deserve. No, it's not
rocket science--it only seems that way because almost no one seems to
know how to do it any more!
We look forward to working for you! You won't be disappointed.
Larry Ragland, President
Points of Distinction, Inc.