If you’ve read my article about fountain pens, you know that I have a love for using writing tools many others overlook. Don’t get me wrong, technology has advanced our lives in ways I would never trade away, but it has also allowed us more time to enjoy what we used to see as a chore. Writing emails affords me the luxury of slowing down and relish in the act of writing, and I’m not alone.
“Analog tools are definitely making a comeback. Apart from the fact that there are still things that are better done by hand, I feel like the more dependent we become to technology the more people crave the physicality and nostalgia of something like a pen or a pencil. People want to feel connected to the work that they’re doing and the tools that they’re using. That’s what I’m here for—not just to supply high-quality tools from every corner of the world but also the stories that go with them and a heightened sense of nostalgia.”
Caroline Weaver grew up in Marietta, the daughter of an interior designer and an engineer. “They were both really into good art and office supplies, so a lot of time was spent at that really great office supply store that used to be on Second street. I loved going there and seeing all of the stacks of pencil boxes.” Her love grew into a dream of opening a shop that would follow her to New York, and then to London for art school.
But it was upon her return to New York that she decided to quit her job and start her business. “This is something I’d thought about for quite a few years–it was my idea of a perfect job, one that I knew didn’t already exist.” Trusting her instincts, she happened upon a location space on Forsynth St. and CW Pencil Enterprise was born.
I want everyone to feel like the things they’re using were made just for them.
Caroline knows that the world is filled with people like me who love the tactile feel of writing and are searching for a tool that fits them. “[…]Everyone who works here has the knowledge to make very personalized recommendations. I want everyone to feel like the things they’re using were made just for them.”
For those of you ready to leap into taking back your writing, CW pencil Enterprise sells a few sets, including the favorite things sampler, made to let you try some of the best-sellers and feel out what you like. When you decide to venture outside of the sets, you’ll find that Caroline has a plenty of quality pencils to choose from. “The Palomino Blackwing 602 is a pencil that we consider the ‘gateway’ pencil but another good place to start is with General Pencil Company–they’re the oldest pencil company left in the US (est. 1889 and still family-owned). They make the best available version of a yellow, American #2. I import tons of things from Japan too, those are always popular because the quality is exceptional.”
Standing in her store or looking at her website it’s hard not to imagine yourself in her childhood shoes, staring at the stacks of pencil boxes. As someone with no experience with pencils, but who has spent many hours finding what fountain pens I love, I just had to ask Caroline what her favorite pencil is: “I don’t have a favorite—it’s too hard to choose! I like everything for different reasons. We did just launch a pencil of our own called the Editor. I designed it with Caran d’Ache in Switzerland—one half is a really high quality red pencil and the other is an HB graphite with excellent point retention. It’s made for the organized, minimalist pencil user who needs more than just a graphite pencil. It’s my dream pencil and I’m thrilled that I finally convinced someone to make it with me.”
Though she lives in New York, the Mid-Ohio Valley still has a special place in Caroline’s heart, and she tries to visit at least once a year. So if you’re feeling the nostalgia, or simply want to experience a 21st century pencil store, visit CW Pencil Enterprise the next time you are in the big apple and indulge in Caroline’s plethora of pencils.