We started making pens just about 10 years ago when my oldest daughter wanted to hire a limousine driver for her 6th grade graduation. She needed money so we came up with the idea to make pens as we love to work with wood. As a test, we made a batch of about 15 pens and took them to Pier 39 at Fisherman's Warf along with our Golden Retriever puppy. Of course the puppy attracted a lot of attention and many tourists asked if they could take a photo with the dog. We said yes and after the photo we showed them a tray of pens and most gladly purchased one. Within a few hours all pens were sold and we returned home.
My daughter had enough money for her limo but then we didn't stop. We soon started showing pens to co-works and classmates and then started attending art and craft shows in the Bay Area. We also figured out how to set up an inexpensive website. The first order was about $1,400 and we couldn't believe it. After attending arts and craft shows for about 3 years we soon found that we were too busy to maintain all the orders as I worked full time as a CFO. So, we stopped attending the shows, invested more money on the online business and we have been going strong ever since. We received one order for 325 pens from a local (San Mateo) insurance company which was great exposure for us. Then in 2012 we were contacted by President Bill Clinton's foundation and they placed a larger order. They wanted over 300 items but we didn't have the time and instead shipped 165 pen sets. Made in the USA by a small busy was very important to the Clinton group.