Happy New Year, friends! We're all relieved to have survived a busy holiday season and sad to take all the paper snowflakes down, but I've been spending some time reflecting on all the things we did/the things that happened in 2018, so I thought I'd compile a little recap of highlights (in no particular order).
1. We made a LOT of new products! In case you missed them: Pencils of the World Map Kit, CWPE #2 Bridge Pencil, Ferrule-less Ferrule Pencil Set, CWPE x CdA Scots Pine Pencil, Iron Curtain Press x CWPE Yellow Notebook, CWPE Baseball Scoring Pencil.
2. I caved and finally decided to stock mechanical pencils, which is something we've all learned a lot from. Turns out you guys really like the models we're now selling! We can hardly keep them in stock.
3. A pencil collaboration happened with Baron Fig, the Elements pencil, which is beautiful and truly a delight to write with.
4. We made wrote/photographed a new book! I can't share much about it yet, but it's coming out in spring 2020! Stay tuned for details.
5. I got to do a TED video, which to be honest, I still can't believe actually happened. Does this mean that I'm officially an expert now?
6. We started a book club! It's called Orchard Street Reading Society and it's been an awesome opportunity for us to make new friends and share our second passion. (email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to be added to our mailing list!).
7. Warby Parker opened a shop in Ann Arbor, Michigan with a pencil room, full of pencils that we made for then! All of the proceeds go to 826michigan, you can also find a similar one in their shop in Cambridge, MA.
8. We sold over a million dollars in pencils, which is an insane amount of pencils for our tiny shop. New York Magazine published an article in May about the state of the retail scene in NYC and called us The Million Dollar Pencil Shop on the cover, so I'm glad that we actually met our projected goal!
9. Now that we're in a bigger shop, we've had the opportunity to host really fun events and workshops with our friends, like Samantha Dion Baker, Mordechai Lightstone and the Sill.
10. We sold a small selection of non-pencil pencil things this holiday season for the first time (Thanks for buying them all! It was a great success!) including a collaboration with knitwear brand Demylee, as seen in our holiday card image (above, thank you to our neighbor Tommy for taking it!). Full disclosure--my best friend Jackie is their designer, so this was especially fun for me.
Thank you, everyone, for your support, loyalty and kindness this in 2018. It was our best year yet! We've got some fun stuff planned for this year already, and we can't wait to share it with you.