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This behind-the-shop post is from our interview with Kristina Gilliam, Director of Operations at PenGems during the NYC Planner Addicts Expo, a virtual event for ticket holders held on July 18, 2020.   


PenGems, known as the sparkly pens with the gem on the top, are a popular favorite throughout the planner community.  The company was founded by Angel McMichael, who served 12 years active duty for the US Air Force and now serves in the Air Force Reserve. She started out making the crystal pens from home but today the company has grown into a small team that is on a mission to make the world a colorful place with #nouglypens. Pippin is the adorable penguin ambassador which represents the brand’s fun and “chill” personality.      


PenGems releases new collections monthly which are usually in the works for months and sometimes a year in advance. Angel is the designer and finds inspiration from many areas but also welcomes feedback from the team and community. The pens are released in boxed set collections, many of which sell out in one day, but can also be purchased individually on the website. Additionally, there is a Signature Collection that includes popular pens which are always in stock. Each pen is filled with more than 120 sparkling crystals and features coordinating metal barrels, hardware and gemstones. They have 0.7mm black ballpoint cartridges which have a very smooth feel and glide when writing. There are also several options for refill cartridges including blue ink and gel ink.


The company has done several designer collaborations within the community including Peach Pom, Scribble Prints Co., Plan It Perfect, the1407planners and Pippin Loves Fiona.  

Some of the collections are released with coordinating products like notebooks, which are produced with their sister company, Einstein Paper Company. PenGems also has fun apparel and accessories that features the brands signature colors and Pippin the penguin ambassador.


Starting from their small but mighty team, PenGems focuses on giving back. The company is based in a small town in Texas and employs women from the local community.  They have done several give back initiatives through their Sparkle For A Cause pens that have helped raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness, foster children and more. There is also a licensed collection with the US Air Force. 

Thank you so much to PenGems for the live interview. We are so excited for what is coming this fall and the new Halloween Collection! For the latest information about releases and more, follow PenGems on Instagram and Facebook.

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