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The Story of Benu

A glittery, shiny Benu penBenu was founded in 2016 when Alex Semanin and Kate Dmitrieva got together to make pens and accessories “for those who prefer bold, bright colours and new designs that are playful, stylish and fun”. A quick look at their range looks very much like they have succeeded - their pens are definitely bold, bright and fun, with vivid colours, glitter and flakes of gold embedded in them.

They both had backgrounds in watches, jewellery and home decor, but making fountain pens was more appealing to them.

Fountain pen fans can be quite mixed - some really want pens with some long-term heritage about them, from companies that have been making them for many decades, or longer. But there’s always a place for the new and interesting. But only if it’s really good. Fortunately, Benu’s pens quickly proved to work well and reliably, using nibs made by respected maker JoWo, and with plenty of attention to detail in the design and manufacturing processes.

For us, it started with getting some samples to have a look at. And in what was a bit of an odd decision with hindsight, we decided not to sell them. The thing was, we all liked them, but we thought they were just too strange for our customers. You lot. Yes, we thought you’d find them too bright and colourful; too glittery; too different.

So we told Benu we weren’t going to stock them, and could we send the samples back to them? They said to keep them. So after a little while, we decided to let our staff have them. And they (well, we, I was there too, keenly grabbing!) loved them. In our next meeting, half the people attending were using a Benu pen, and enthusing about how nice they were.

That was the point where we realised our error. If we were all that keen on them, surely our customers weren’t that different to us? Maybe you’d want them too. So we told Benu we’d changed our minds, and got them on our site.

And it looks like we were right - they’ve been very popular. There’s nothing at all wrong with a pen being boring - they usually are, and that’s just fine. But that’s not what everyone wants. And Benu pens are very much not boring.

It’s not all been easy - Benu was originally based in Russia, so the invasion of Ukraine prevented them doing business with the rest of the world. Fortunately, they were able to leave the country, moving the company entirely to Yerevan, Armenia.

Their efforts seem to be paying off - the range of Benu pens keeps increasing, with more colours and finishes being dreamed up all the time. And they’re now also making quite a range of hand-painted pens, where every individual pen has the design carefully painted onto the barrel by their artists. They’ve even made a couple of these exclusive to us, as part of our birthday celebrations.

For this year’s birthday, they made beautiful hand-painted pens with celebratory fireworks and trees.

Benu pen decorated with painted fireworks and trees Benu pen from above, decorated with fireworks and trees


Benu pens are very much for people who want their pen to be noticed - but if that sounds like you, check out our selection of Benu pens here.

Michael Randall

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