EXPERIENCE DOES COUNT
The Culmer family has been in the fine writing business since 1931 when Tierney’s grandfather, Charles Culmer took his flourishing fascination for fountain pens and joined the Waterman Company in St-Hubert, Quebec as a messenger. After serving in World War II, Charlie returned to discover that Waterman did not intend to raise the salaries of servicemen, so he and his brother in law packed up their families and headed to Los Angeles where they established to Western Pen Company doing good business on the repair side of operations, cleaning, fixing and overhauling pens retailed by major department stores. But, they longed to be back in Montreal near extended family. As Charlie had more than an “inkling” of what he was doing, he opened his own pen store in 1954. Joined by his wife Yvette & eventually their sons & daughters in-law, the Peel Pen Shop Inc. enjoyed more than 50 years of successful business in the heart of downtown Montreal.
MAINTAINING A LEGACY AND EMBRACING CHANGE
With a paralleled fascination, & keen knowledge of the writing instrument industry, son Robert Culmer took the family business to another level when he began a distribution company in 1980. Together with his wife Barbara, they represented several well known European luxury brand names and were responsible for their sales & distribution across Canada under the Culmer Distributors Inc. banner. His brother John & wife Delores relocated to London to open their own Peel Pen Shop, and to this day John remains active in the repair and restoration of fine writing instruments. Although now in Mississauga Ontario, the distribution business continues to represent many of the finest brands available.
THE NEXT GENERATION
The passions runs deep. Finally into the third generation, (on average only 4% of family businesses survive to the third generation) Tierney Culmer owns the business and has successfully added yet another layer with the creation of the Culmer brand. For over 30 years she has been focused on continuing the family tradition of designing, manufacturing and importing high-quality, unique writing instruments as well as their sales & marketing through both retail & promotional channels.
Tierney has become a leading figure in the world of business gifts and promotional marketing in Canada, and has partnered over the years with such revered pen lines as Cross, Sheaffer, Sensa, Waterman and Pelikan to name a few. Her knowledge of the pen business is highly respected and she has won several industry awards. She is known as a mentor and is active in Woman Business Enterprises Canada (WBE). “My Dad would always tell me to find something I loved and to find a way to get paid for it, and that’s exactly what I have done.”