This 25-year old is making business out of pencils
Noida | Red Newswire | April 28 11:49 PM IST.
In this month of February, a man ordered $4,000 worth of pencils which look just like ‘Blackwing 24’ – John Steinbeck’s favorite.
Caroline Weaver, owner of C.W. Pencil Enterprise says, “It's probably the most iconic pencil ever made in America.” The shop received an order of 1,920. C.W. makes 200 kinds of pencils including Walt Disney’s Blackwing along with zero mechanicals, sharpeners and erasers.
Weaver, 25 year-old says, “Mechanical pencils, they don't smell like anything. The lead is so small you can get no line variation out of it. Though it is a little bit of work to use a wood-cased pencil, most people appreciate that. There's a physical connection you can draw between how often you have to sharpen your pencil and how much work you've done."
The shop sells to tourists, students and designers. Weaver’s passion for her business reflects in her forearm’s tattoo which shows a black Ticonderoga which was created by her mother back in 2000. Weaver says, “I had her sharpen it three times because a pencil sharpened and used three times is the perfect length."
A number of traditional products are being brought back, thanks to the hipster movement. For example, the 20th century trunks are being refashioned into bookshelves, tin ceilings are now being made in plastic and so on.
C.W. makes an average sale of $50 online and in-store sales of $25. Weaver’s enterprise is the only store that caters to the pencil collectors. However, she also has some rivals from Amazon and Pencils.com. but, she says that her in-store experience is something that is unique to C.W.
Weaver went on to travel the world after completing her arts degree. On the way she picked up many kinds of pencils. She started the online store risking her personal funds worth $80,000. She finally opened her brick and mortar shop in march 2015.
Weaver says, “I didn’t want it to be in a shopping neighborhood. I didn’t want anything too polished. I like the idea that this shop kind of has to be discovered, that people seeking it out would be brought to a neighborhood that they might not usually come to."
“We always try to pick pencils people don’t really know about, which is quite a task. It’s one of my favorite things, but all that packing and all that prep work takes us the entire month to do,” says Weaver.
Weaver’s instagram page attracted 700 subscribers within 5 months. She said she had to stop accepting subscriptions. She says, “I never want it to be where I can’t be here, or have too many locations to worry about. I didn’t start this because I want to be a business lady. I started it because I really wanted to sell people pencils.”
This article was originally published here.