More than pen pals

WRITING IN STYLE Heather and Glenn Curtis believe in handcrafting their product  

Heather and Glenn Curtis, the duo behind the famous luxury brand Curtis Australia

Heather Curtis is one lucky woman. If she wakes up in the morning and decides to have a new piece of jewellery in a new design she just has to tell her husband Glenn Curtis. Considering Heather and Glenn are founders of the luxury brand Curtis Australia, that hardly comes as a surprise.

As Heather blushes, Glenn laughs and says: “She has been the supportive rock ever since we started in the 1980s. In 1995, we decided to reach out to the high-end market, and in 2002, we launched Curtis Australia.”

Precious pens

The jewellery ranges from cuff links and brooches to neck pieces, and the brand also has a range of pens. Done up with intricate patterns in solid gold, silver and precious and semi-precious stones, we are talking pens that aren't mere writing instruments, but works of art with numerous hours of hard labour put in. Something most of us would definitely like to possess provided we can shell out upwards of $185.

Wondering why the fuss over an Australian brand that you haven't even seen in the domestic market?

Well, that's because Curtis Australia, after establishing itself in the U.S., New Zealand, U.K., Russia, Italy, the Middle-East, Singapore, Belgium and the Netherlands is finally foraying into the Indian market. Unlike most other brands that debut in Mumbai and Delhi, Curtis chose to launch in Chennai.

“This city is a good place to do things. It is a sophisticated market. A lot is happening here. Chennai has great potential,” says Curtis.

The initial focus will be on the pens, and the range available here will be more intricate and detailed — patterns inspired by henna designs and studded with coloured gem stones. As a special initiative they plan to launch a pen titled, ‘Colours of India', in September. The colours used are synonymous with India, and the blue diamonds and designs are inspired by traditional architecture. You can also look forward to a range of ‘spiritual edition' pens in May. With eyes sparkling like a proud parent's, Curtis gingerly shows me a few pens. There's Dream Writer, which comes in seven colours. And yes, it includes a pretty shade of pink too. Made of precious resin and silver pieces, it has an art deco feel, with a hint of aboriginal art.

Inspired by a doodle

Another's called Spring Flowers, and the pattern on it is inspired by Heather's doodling. “I created that for our 25th wedding anniversary. Heather would always draw a flower when she's talking over the phone. So, I used that to design the pen,” he says.

Their heaviest pen weighs 200 gm, and is made of solid gold.

According to Curtis, designing pens is more challenging, as “we have to keep in mind the size of of the product”.

As of now, Curtis Australia will be retailed through Odyssey. “We don't plan to have a stand-alone boutique for the next five years. People need to understand how much goes into handcrafting these products,” says Curtis. Though many famous personalities use their pens, Curtis Australia doesn't have a brand ambassador.

But, how affordable is the product? “Aspire for it. Because what drives me is people's desire to own one,” smiles Curtis.