As you have probably heard, I opened a physical incarnation of CW Pencil Enterprise in New York City last week. It's been a very busy few days as I've been trying to solve internet problems, figure out my 1960s Kingsley hot foil machine and constantly refilling pencil displays. There's been a lot to sort out, to say the least. I'm not quite used to the 'shop-keeper' job title but I like it. I like it a lot. Best of all, I get to meet all of you and talk about this stuff in person.
Once I get a routine established I'll blog more--there are so many things I want to talk about. For now, here are the things I've learned by running a pencil shop for a week:
1. EVERYONE loves pencils, they just might not know it yet.
2. 'Made in America' is something people often take for granted--most are surprised when I tell them that there are only 3 running pencil factories left in the US.
3. Kids love to play with sharpeners, especially the red Classroom Friendly on my pencil testing station.
4. I don't know as much about erasers as I should.
5. Having a bowl of Lemonheads on my desk makes people really happy.
6. Customers love to talk, they want to hear stories and know about why this little place exists--and I'm thrilled because this is my job and I love talking about it.
7. This shop not only exists to show off all of the wonderful graphite things in the world but also as a form of personal expression--as my second home. There are things that might not make sense, but they're here because I love them.
8. Everyone is a kid again when they're under the influence of a pencil scented room. No one has used the antique advertising pencil vending machine without expressing complete joy.
9. Nostalgia is an enormously powerful thing.
10. I am really happy to be the crazy pencil lady of this crazy city.