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Hello everyone from Philly

ashawashaw subscriber Posts: 2
edited October 2007 in New Member Welcome
My name is Alan and I started a business about 1 1/2 years ago.  I make fine writing instruments.  I have a number of dealers that sell my product including the National Constitution Center which sells my Founding Fathers Limited Edition Pen.  My main background has been in the computer industry in which my job was outsourced 6 years ago.  Since then working as a cabinet designer.  Decided last year to go into business myself taking what was a hobby and make it into a full time career.  My web site is www.shawpens.com</A>  it is very simple buts gets the job done.  I am in the processes of putting up a new web-site in 2008.


  • ChristinaChristina subscriber Posts: 6
    Hello and welcome! There are some really beautiful pieces on your website.
  • ashawashaw subscriber Posts: 2
    Thanks everyone.  I guess my dreams are to see the business running profitability instead of been a cash cow.  Also I would like to see my products on the same playing field as to big pen manufacturers.  Note fine writing instruments not bic or the likes.   My first dream was full filled 2 years ago with the marriage to my wife.  My second dream was also full filled when I started this business.  I knew where I wanted to go took a while to get to where I am today.  Made a few mistakes along the way but I would not have been able to grow with out making them. 
  • GrillCharmerGrillCharmer subscriber Posts: 7
    Wow!  They are beautiful!  Hello and welcome to the board!
  • stonesledgestonesledge subscriber Posts: 608 Silver Level Member
    Hi Alan,
    Your pens are beautiful. I love the emperor one and the wine stopper is hot! Love it! Glad to have you here!
  • ashawashaw subscriber Posts: 2
    As far as the business running profitably I am hoping to see that happen the end of next year 2008.  By then I will have a good mix of retail outlets.  I just need to get the Founding Fathers pen moving that is my next challenge.
    As far a being on the same line as the big guys is see that within 5 years.  I still need to make some changes to the business.  I am still working out the details on that.  Right now this time of the year is my busy time right after the holidays I`ll be able go back and see what I did right and wrong. 
  • ashawashaw subscriber Posts: 2
    First is to cut costs the right way.  Instead of buying bits and pieces buy volume to get better discounts.  Advertising -  Need to come up with a ad campaign.  I working on some of that right now.  Get some up front funding right now my wife and I have been funding the business ourselfs which was ok in the beginning but as the business grows so do the expenses.  We are working on that as we speak now.  I have a dealer that just came onboard  that will focus on a segment of business that I have not been able to until now.  That will represent 40% growth.  I still have to think over the rest.  Yiu brought up some great points that I have to dig into futher. 
    This is a great site.
  • ashawashaw subscriber Posts: 2
    They my be arkward but they are the question that need to be asked and answered. 
  • JimSprouseJimSprouse subscriber Posts: 3
    Hi Alan,
    Love the pens.  Very nice handiwork.  How did you get started in a hobby like making fine writing instruments?
  • ashawashaw subscriber Posts: 2
    In my former live I was a pen collector when my programming job went oversea all the other jobs would not pay to keep my collection.  I have been a woodworker for about 30 years so I tried my hand at making pen 5 years ago.  The last 1 1/2 I decided to make this my career.  So far so go. 
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