Pretty Southern

What does it mean to be a Southerner in the 21st century?

November 2012 archive

Baltz Fine Writing Instruments

Their slogan says it all – “Make a statement without writing a word.” Southerners know the simple art of writing with a quality pen, and founders Bart Creasman and Cass Baltz have a true understanding of what it means to produce premium, hand-made writing instruments and accessories. The pair of gents met while playing soccer together during their days at Davidson College. After graduation, they found themselves in North Carolina looking for more meaningful work. Both young men always had a knack for woodworking, and after going through several rounds of prototypes, they created their first line for Baltz Fine Writing Instruments.

Bart & Cass relaxing over pints

Their pens are crafted at their shop in Raleigh using exotic woods combined into a unique design – featuring Birdseye Maple, Padauk, and African Blackwood.

“We named these styles after our friends who helped us get off the ground,” said Bart Creasman, who went onto explain how the first line of prototypes were created in Cass Baltz’s father’s cabinet shop. After reading an article on how wood pens were a special gift to send overseas to U.S. troops, the pair looked around but couldn’t find any unique pens made in the South. “We thought, we could do something like this,” Creasman explained. That’s when the idea for a business truly started to form.

The Sartorio pen, complimented by a nice glass of whiskey.

In August 2011, the partners received a grant from the Kickstarter(hyperlink) campaign plus took out a loan to launch their first line of Baltz pens. Their next steps are to continue promoting their new offering, plus adding a few more products. “We’d like to do money clips,” Creasman said, “or handmade sunglasses with wood sides. There’s lots of options for mixing wood and leather to bring a modern style to classic products.” The newest Baltz line, Exemplar +, features exotic woods combined into a unique design – including Birdseye Maple, Padauk, and African Blackwood. The custom designed hardware finished in polished stainless steel with the curved clip distinct to the brand of Baltz Fine Writing Instruments. Their pens come with both blue and black ink inserts from the Schmidt rollerball ink writing system. And of course, all the pens are handmade by these gents here in the South.

The Mincey pen (journal sold separately).

For more information about Baltz Fine Writing Instruments, check out their website, like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. While y’all are at it, follow Pretty Southern too. Check back soon for our 2012 Southern Holiday Gift Guide for the ladies and gents in your family.

Words Southern Women Say

If y’all loved our post Words Only Southerners Say then you’ll love Sh%t Southern Women Say. As it’s Pretty Southern’s mission to ask the question “What does it mean to be a Southerner in the 21st century?” we were tickled to discover this video by Julia Fowler. This /Writer/Producer/Dancer/Choreographer/Pilates Instructor/Actor/Chi Omega from the University of South Carolina cast three of her pals from Mississippi, South Carolina and Louisiana for their first collaborative You Tube Video.

Of course, like real Southern ladies, these gals can “funnel a beer” and drink Jack Daniels like gentlemen do. There’s also some curse words in here, but they sound so much sweeter with a Southern accent. Now this is why we love the South! Some of our favorite quotes from this video are “my mama is drivin’ me crazy” and “my daddy is gonna kill you” plus enough “durn”, “damn,” “sweetie pie,” and “bless your heart” to keep you smilin’ all week. Let us know your favorite quote in the comment section below.

Editor’s Note: the above image of Bryce Dallas Howard as Hilly Holbrook is a stock photo we accessed during our interview with “The Help” and not to be reproduced.