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Offbeat: Photo

By Christine Pemberton

There are some ideas that are so amazing that they almost take your breath away. Like opening a shop dedicated to pencils, in this day and age.
Seriously, you ask yourself, in a world where we snapchat each other, who still uses pencils?
Lots and lots of us, it turns out. And lots of us not only still use pencils, we actively love them.
Which is why a perfect little gem of a shop on Manhattan’s Lower East Side has caught the imagination and the devotion of all the pencil lovers out there.
Date Published: 19th October 2016

CW Pencil Enterprise image

The driving force behind the CW Pencil Enterprise is a young lady called Caroline Weaver, who describes herself as “an amateur pencil collector but a lifelong pencil lover.” In March 2015, she decided to transform this long love affair with pencils into reality, and opened a tiny boutique which sells pencils.

CW Pencil Enterprise image

So, CW Pencil Enterprise sells pencils. They sell lots and lots of pencils, that come from all over the world. It’s only once you start thinking about pencils, that you realise just how beloved this oh-so-simple object is. “As simple as it may be, the pencil is something which despite advances in technology will never become obsolete.”

CW Pencil Enterprise image

There probably isn’t a person on the planet who didn't learn to write using a pencil, and even if we have all moved on from our childhood pencils to pens and – increasingly - a computer keyboard, everyone has a pencil or two or three in their desk drawers. (We’ll wait while you check…)

CW Pencil Enterprise image

“Pencil. Paper. Forget the world” said the author Shaun Hick, and it’s possibly this desire to switch off, to create, to recreate one’s childhood, that has captured the imagination of the pencil fans who beat a path to this little shop on Forsyth Street. As Caroline says “What we're trying to do is dig up the stories and origins of these objects and make them accessible to those who appreciate them for their functionality, beauty and history as much as we do.”

CW Pencil Enterprise image

There are some non-pencil things on sale in the shop.
But no propelling pencils, and no pens.
But quirky books about pencils? Yes. Absolutely.

CW Pencil Enterprise image

Such is the range of pencils on offer with CW Pencil Enterprise that they even have a pencil of the month, an idea that is so delightful that now you absolutely have to have one, right? Their most recent Pencil of the Month has a water solible capsule with a seed inside - “When the pencil gets too short to write with just fill a pot with soil, stick the pencil in upside down and water once every 1-2 days.” Now how divine is that?

CW Pencil Enterprise image

Caroline Weaver interviews her mother, whom she counts as a big influence in her life for, as she puts it, exposing her to nice pencils at a dangerously young age - and askes her what she loves about using a pencil.
“I love that the possibilities are endless. The pencil line can be thick or thin, dark or grey, I can change the way my writing looks based on which one I use and what mood I'm in. Plus who doesn't love that you can erase it and start over?” Great philosophy.

CW Pencil Enterprise image

Who knew erasers could be so gorgeous? These beauties from the Czech Republic, almost make you want to make a mistake in that masterpiece you are now writing by hand, of course, just so you can use them…

CW Pencil Enterprise image

Pencils need sharpening, and it doesn't get much classier than this El Casco pencil sharpener. “El Casco is a family-run desktop accessories company that's been operating in Spain since 1920. We love these sharpeners because they've been made the same way for nearly a century and are just quite simply works of art.”

CW Pencil Enterprise image

Let the last words come from Caroline. “When people ask my why I opened a pencil shop, I still struggle trying to come up with an eloquent answer because the real answer is simple: it's what I wanted to do, and it's what I love.”





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