I’m especially excited about this installment of Pencils in Community. Today I’m featuring Caroline Weaver, the owner and Chief Pencil Lady at CW Pencil Enterprise, the single greatest place to buy pencils.
I’m 26 years old, originally from Ohio. I live in NYC and opened the shop in 2015.
What pencil made you fall in love with pencils and why?
I feel in love with pencils at no particular point as a child. I grew up in a creative household with parents who are obsessed with art/office supplies. With age my interest in these things grew and pencils eventually and very organically became by ‘thing’.
What is your current favorite pencil and why?
I have a really hard time choosing a favorite, I use a different pencil most days. In my personal stash that I’m working through at home I have an Apsara Absolute, a very short Mono 100 in F and a Blackwing 530. I try to keep just three pencils in my pencil case at any time.
What is your go-to pencil and why?
If I could only live with one pencil it would be the Editor, the pencil we made with Caran d’Ache. I use a lot of red pencil, so it’s useful to have it all-in-one. Otherwise, I always fall back on the Craft Design Technology Pencil (both the Pentel and Camel versions).
What do you say to people who don’t know about this whole world of pencils that are curious about it?
I like to tell people about all of the different countries that are still producing pencils–I think that’s the thing that most people don’t realize, that there are so many amazing, old pencil brands in small corners of the world that stay relatively contained to their origin country. Considering that, the story the pencil tells as an object is much wider-spread that we think.
Strangest reaction you’ve had to you being a “pencil person”
I don’t really get a lot of strange reactions. These days, people have heard it all. When I mention that I own a pencil shop people generally seem confused but not really surprised. I live in New York City where nothing is “normal” so that probably helps.
Why open a pencil shop?
In the US we’re really limited as far as pencils go. Most retailers have started to deem them kind of obsolete. I wanted to expose people to the better pencils that exist elsewhere to remind them that pencils can be really wonderful. There are so many to try and so many stories to tell.
Favorite part about working for CW Pencil Enterprise
I get to talk about the thing I know best and the thing I’m most interested in all day, what’s better than that?
If you would like to have your story of how you discovered the pencil world featured here, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org