pens and inks and Pen Chalet rebranding as Pen Shelley

Hold On to Your Pens and Inks: 2021 Brings a New Name & Complete Rebrand

2020 was quite the year! We hope you’ve been holding on to all your favorite pens and inks. When 2021 hit we were ready to adopt one of our favorite sayings from The Addams Family’s Gomez Addams, “This is new business, and we do not discuss new business until…next quarter.” Sigh, but now “next quarter” is already here. In an effort to let the little things go, set aside our (probably misguided) philosophy borrowed from “The Addams Family,” and cut back on the drama, we’re addressing one of our biggest and longest standing issues: the company name.

Pen Chalet: Is There a Correct Way to Pronounce That (Or Did Ya’ll Make That Up)?

Since our quest to provide the coolest pen and ink fans with the best pens and inks at the best prices began, trying to pronounce the Pen Chalet name (correctly) has left many of you struggling with feelings of inadequacy and shame. Most start off confident and fearless with the common and well known “pen” of Pen Chalet. The 1st half of the company name is blameless; it enjoys close to 100% pronunciation accuracy.

Pen (/pen/) meaning an instrument for writing or drawing with ink, or to write or compose.

However, the pronunciation of the 2nd half of the company name, chalet, is more difficult to pronounce (and we hear a LOT of different pronunciations.)

Chalet (sha-ley, shal-ey) meaning any cottage, house, ski lodge, etc. built in the style of a type of farmhouse, low and with wide eaves, common in Alpine regions. Origin referenced a herdsman’s hut in the Swiss Alps.

Common Mispronunciations of Pen Chalet (phonetic spellings):

pens and inks pen chalet rebrand to pen shelley april 2021
{featured products: Kaweco AL Sport Gold fountain pen, Pineider turquoise ink, and Field Notes Heavy Duty notebook}.

Fans of pens and inks are often sticklers for accuracy, so it’s not surprising that incorrectly pronouncing the company’s name leaves many of you uneasy. And it happens a lot. Here are some of the variations of Pen Chalet we’ve heard recently: Pen Cholit, Pen Kalut, Pen Kolit, Pen Chalit, Pen Shallot (isn’t that an onion?), Pen Chalee, Pen Sell It, Pen Caillat (wait…now I want to listen to Colbie Caillat’s “Bubbly”), Pen Shelly…the list could go on, but we think that’s enough. Don’t you?

Just So You Know, Chalet IS an Actual Word ( It’s English, kind of/mostly)

We’re not saying it’s your fault; we’re just saying we’re going to blame you. Just kidding, we don’t even blame you! A lot of English words are really difficult to pronounce (or easy to pronounce badly). It’s not surprising when you try to pin it down to the actual facts. For instance, if Chalet is an actual word, what language is it? And the answer is English; kind of mostly by way of parts of Switzerland and southeastern France.

All Those Borrowed Words Make Correct Pronunciation a…Bit…Well, Difficult

Making fun of other people’s pronunciation may be an acceptable form of modern day entertainment, but doing so seems a bit risky considering English really has no strict pronunciation rules, and the spelling system operates on it’s own level of crazy. In fact, if it wasn’t more fun to blame you, we’d have a really easy time blaming it all on the English language. We could easily argue that the the universal struggle to pronounce simple little words like “chalet” is actually the English language’s own fault. Here’s a few of our hypothetical supporting arguments. (I mean, if we were going to let you off the hook and place the blame elsewhere).

Fun Games the English Language Plays:

  • Different words have different pronunciations in different regions.
  • Peculiar properties of English spelling often lead people to mispronounce words they’re reading.
  • The same letters and letter combos often represent completely different sounds in different words. For instance, the “ch” combo used in the word chalet (as seen in Pen Chalet or PenChalet.com) sometimes represents a hard “k” sound (like in the word “chaos”).
  • Many English words are borrowed from other languages (even if they end up mangled a bit), so sometimes pronunciation rules of English are borrowed (or partly borrowed) from an entirely different language. (Like that kind of french word chalet we’ve been talking about that has a silent “t” in accordance with the French pronunciation standard).

What If We Just Rebrand the Company Instead of Conducting a Crash Course in English?

In the last year we’ve all had to learn a lot of new things. Here are a few of the “new things” many of us had to learn in the last year: how to work from home, host a zoom meeting, celebrate birthdays, graduations, and weddings without leaving the house (or letting anyone else in), how to wear masks (all the time), how to hold entire conversations with your pens and inks for lack of human interaction, or how to understand what people are saying without facial cues or lip reading. It’s been a lot. So we don’t want to ask you to learn even one more thing. So we’re ending the English lesson immediately. We have a much more efficient solution to the confusion surrounding the pronunciation of Pen Chalet. We’ve thought about it long and hard and discussed it at great length with many great minds, some mediocre philosophers, a roomful of pen addicts, and multiple convenience store workers, and we all agree. We can solve the problem with a bold, fearless, simple, quick, complete and utter rebrand of the entire company.

The Re-brand: How Pen Chalet Became Pen Shelley

We had several choices (we listed some favorites above – you may remember). Since the goal was to choose a new name for the company that was easy to pronounce, we decided that there’s really no easier way to reintroduce ourselves than by giving the company an actual name; a name that will sound familiar to everyone. (Plus 1/3 of the Pen Chalet Staff members could swear that the winner of their high school’s “best smile” award was a Shelley – so you might even say the new name is award-winning). Once we agreed the company’s new name would be Pen Shelley, the re-brand just fell into place.

pens and inks pen chalet rebrand to pen shelley april 2021

What Did We Include in the Pen Shelley Re-Brand?

pens and inks and pen chalet rebranding as pen shelley

You’ll notice the website is already sporting the new look. The re-brand, based around the company’s new name of Pen Shelley, began with a new logo design. Previously the logo featured a graphic representation of a chalet (and if you still don’t know, this references a building or a house and originated in the late 18th century referring to a sheepherder’s hut or cottage), but as the difficult to pronounce chalet is no longer part of the equation, we had our favorite designer replace it with Shelley. Did you already notice the changes while browsing the pens and inks on the site?

The Perfect Day for a Complete Re-Brand of the Company:

We hope our complete re-brand and reintroduction of the company as Pen Shelley creates an opportunity for you to cut out one of the annoying things that cause you daily stress and frustration. Now you don’t need to worry about how to pronounce “chalet” or whether it’s English or French of Swiss or something else. No need to thank us. We’re just doing what we can to de-stress your life a little bit and give you a reason to smile a little…maybe even laugh a little when you realize that today is actually the 1st day of the wonderful month of April, and this is our version of the traditional April Fool’s joke. And since we’d never play a joke ON you – only FOR you – we’re even including a Pen Shelley sticker with every order placed today (while supplies last) and offering you stellar sales on some outstanding pens and inks and pen accessories (check out the Pen Shelley Rebranding Sale for discounts up to 60% and an exclusive discount code). We hope you enjoyed the “rebrand” as much as we did. And happy April Fool’s Day – we hope it’s utterly pentastic and that you find all the pens and inks you’ve been dreaming of right here at PenChalet.com.

3.9 12 votes
Article Rating
46 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Scott Dykes
1 month ago
Robert Morris
1 month ago

You got me! Happy April Fool’s Day!

Raynald Wilson
1 month ago

Cool…and Chalet is also a French word with the exact same meaning…LOL

Allen Greer
1 month ago

Firstly, I’m amazed that most Americans cannot pronounce or even comprehend the meaning of this relatively not-esoteric word. Secondly, if you are trying to dumb things down, you missed an opportunity with the second “e” in Shelley. Most people likely would spell this as “Shelly.” I see lots of misdirected website searches in your future.

Devendra Karam
1 month ago

i love Pen Chalet

Marla
1 month ago

This HAS to be an April Fools joke! Yet I wonder… who would put so much verbage into a one day prank? If Pen Shellie / Shellee / Shelley is for real, the name kinda’ evokes the feeling of a children’s stationery shop – remember Hello Kitty in malls of the 1980s? All the rage, but they did not sell high-end fountain pens!

Regina Morin
1 month ago

If an American can pronounce Chevrolet, she should be able to pronounce Chalet. I liked Chalet: a place where pens could rest and be cozy while the world outside them was cold and unappreciative. Pen Shelly? A poet?
An actress? Commmooooonnnnn!

J. Michael Click
1 month ago

I hope this is an April Fool’s joke! I think Pen Chalet is a wonderful name!

J. Michael Click
1 month ago

Whew! You had me worried for a moment. I have a weird (but very real) personal attachment to your company and the idea of its name being messed with really upset my apple cart. You can only imagine, given my last name. (The new Clic: its mother was a Bic … “Hey, Click! Was YOUR mother a Bic?”) (How do you spell that, C-L-I-Q-U-E?) (Chick! Order ready for Chick!) Perhaps I should change my name to “Ben Chalet!” Whaddayathink? (grin)

Karen Fallon
1 month ago

I liked your name and had no trouble pronouncing it. The new name seems silly.

Diane Dean
1 month ago

Boo! I loved the name Pen Chalet. I have Pen Chalet stickers all over my notebooks. I’m sad.

Lindsey
1 month ago

This is amazing. Just when I thought I couldn’t love y’all any more than I already do…

James Andrew Menger
1 month ago

I am not certain money spent on rebranding your name was well spent. I really liked “Pen Chalet.” Unless some one is terribly invested in details (medication if good for this) I feel Pen Chalet was a good choice. I will most certainly live with new and order again…wait…is this a joke…. Pen Shelly huh?

Peter b
1 month ago

You had me going there. For a minute or two Happy Apral Fool’s da.

Greg Moore
1 month ago

First this was very entertaining. Very creative. However I share you aversion to mispronounced names and words. While endeavoring elucidate the semantics and etymology of a dwelling such as a chalet does seem futile. We must endure the vicissitudes of pronunciation and foibles of the English Language and articulate the proper way to utter the name. I say this as someone that had his middle name misspelled on his passport even thought the Passport office has a copy of my birth certificate with the proper spelling. My Middle name, you ask? Worcester. As in the town in massachusetts or a… Read more »

W.Walker
1 month ago

Happy April Fools Day Pen “Shellly”! Penultimate Dave did something similar with pen brand names on his YouTube video last evening.

douglas v. Fornango
1 month ago

I’m 74, native of Illinois, have only heard one pronunciation of “chalet”(emphasis on second syllable) in my entire life, and have never heard of anyone, American or European, who had a problem with it. Like so many words in English, it is borrowed from another language (French), so conventional English phonics don’t apply. Sorry your company felt pressured into “rebranding”.

Louise
1 month ago

I thought this with dumbest thing I’d ever until I realized it was an April Fools joke1 Good one, though!

Donna S. Fernandez
1 month ago

I can’t believe you’re doing this! Is this an AF’s joke? I hope so!

KarenS_923
1 month ago

I liked this joke better than last year’s Pen Shallot! At first I thought you plugged in every person’s name into the email, because Shelley is my last name. But then I saw it on your website, and I actually laughed out loud!

I hope you still have stickers left over at this late hour, because I feel like I MUST make a purchase today just so I can have the Pen Shelley sticker! 😉

M. Shaw
1 month ago

I keep spelling the new name wrong. It seems it is spelled as “Shelley” (2 Ls & 2 Es), not “Shelly”, “Shely”, or “Sheley”. 😀

Richard Hamon
1 month ago

Wow! First, I have always LOVED the name, Pen Chalet. Of all the pen companies out there, your name was utterly the best! And to be honest, your name is why I originally chose to do business with you. The image it conjures is fantastic, a romantic bungalo or cottage stuffed with lovely pens. I mean come on! It doesn’t get better than that. And the sound of the name is music to the ear. If folks can’t pronounce it, fine. It gives you a wonderful opportinity to educate them, and in doing so, to create lots of juicy buzz.… Read more »

Robyn Johnson
1 month ago

Boy, you got me, too! When I read over your notice, my first thought was, “Ohhhh, noooo!…I really liked their name and their cute little Pen Chalet logo!” I, too, had seriously wondered it you were having to “dumb-it-down” because folks just don’t read like they used to, and it seems as if their vocabulary is now limited to what they can type on their tiny phones with the least amount of key strokes. I thought, surely everyone knows what a chalet is and how to pronounce it. I was totally befuddled. Then I read the comments and it finally… Read more »

RUTH FEIERTAG
1 month ago

I do love the yearly “re-branding” and all the commentary it engenders. When do you all start the planning? However long it takes, I appreciate the fun and humour.

Thank you, Shelley-Shallot-Pen-People!

Allen Greer
1 month ago

Well played, Pen Chalet. Well played.