I had a few errands to run in the city this week, and had heard about a shop down in SoHo completely dedicated to pencils. There has definitely been a buzz around woodcase pencils recently, and I wanted to stop in and see what it was all about. This shop is called CW Pencil Enterprise, run by Caroline Weaver. I stopped in the shop, introduced myself, and took a few pictures. Upon entering the first thing I noticed was the Dudek Modern Goods displays that were in the window, looking great. The second thing I noticed was the overwhelming (but still great) smell of pencils. You may not notice the scent when you’re sharpening one or two, but if you’re standing in a store that exclusively deals in pencils, then you’re bound to notice.
Caroline was hugely helpful. I told her I was a pen guy through and through, but wanted to see what the pencil craze is all about. I asked her to set me up with a starter pack so I could easily narrow down what I liked. She knew everything about all of the brands she carried, and set me up with various pencils from around the world, all with different wood types, shapes, lead hardness grades, and even synthetic graphite.
I got some information on what makes a pencil sharpener cost $500, and I totally get it. I completely understand why pencil people would need a precision sharpener in the same way that I can justify an expensive fountain pen purchase.
She showed me her vintage hot stamping machine that customizes pencils and how it works. Although I didn’t get any this time, I will for sure in the future. Caroline packed up my “starter kit” of around 10 pencils in a neat yellow parcel, and closed it up with baker’s twine. I’m super excited to dig in and check out all of these pencils! I can tell that his sector of the analog writing hobby is slightly more accessible, as I left the store with a total bill of $15. I really felt as though I got a lot for my money. CW Pencil Enterprise is definitely a must-see destination for the writing enthusiast if you’re in New York City. Thanks again to Caroline for the help, knowledge, and for letting me take some pictures!
Here’s what I took home: