STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 17
OF THE PENCIL
By JANET GROEBER
aroline Weaver founded CW Pencil Enterprise online in November 2014 and opened a tiny store on
New York's Lower East Side five months later. These days Weaver is back to pureplay ecommerce -
thanks to safety issues with the building housing her storefront - offering pencil cases, notebooks,
notepads, erasers and dozens of new and antique pencils from around the globe.
Variations on the humble No. 2 include
Mitsubishi-brand super hard and dark graphite
pencils made in Japan and a range of colored
pencils from Switzerland's Caran d'Ache. Weaver,
whose historic knowledge of pencil making was
featured in a 2015 New Yorker article, also stocks
the sought-after original Blackwing 602, a vintage
1950s model from Eberhard Faber and John
Steinbeck's go-to writing tool.
Earlier this year CW Pencil introduced The Pencil
Box, a quarterly subscription delivering a choice of
pencils along with related ephemera or accessories.
What was the inspiration to become an online
I've had a special relationship with pencils since
I was a small child. My mother is an interior
designer and always kept really nice quality art
supplies around, so from an early age I developed
an appreciation for quality pencils. As an adult,
I've traveled a lot and discovered that you can find
really great pencils around the world in regular
office supply stores, where in the United States
you can generally only find a couple of brands. I
wanted to have a place to share my appreciation
of pencils and introduce pencils from around the
globe to everyone.
What can you tell us about your customers?
Our customers are generally just people who have
an interest in stationery and have an appreciation for
functional yet beautiful products. We have customers
from all around the world just because they're curious
about pencils and want to learn more about what
makes one pencil different from another.
You don't stock mechanical pencils. Is there
anything else you don't sell in the pencil realm?
The shop philosophy has always been to do one
thing and to do it really, really well. That's the
main reason why we don't branch into mechanical
pencils or other implements - we stay as focused
as possible on wooden pencils and learn as much
as we can about them. That's helped us keep our
always been to do
one thing and to
do it really, really
well. ... That's
helped us keep
back for advice
again and again.
CW PENCIL ENTERPRISE
NEW YORK CITY
STORES September 2017 17