"Hey It's The Pen Guy"...A Tale of Life Change and Sawdust...


It's been a long time since a blog has been written. Unlike the last blog, this one is more happy and upbeat. It's a story of a life change, and discovering it was the right move after all!

When I started Norman Woodcrafts in 2012, it was in my basement. We launched the Etsy webstore with a grand total of eight pens. Nothing fancy, or unusual, just eight rather non-descript pens. On top of that, I was only doing it part-time. Which would not have been so bad, if the job wasn't so demanding. I was a printing press operator at a well-known publication in our area. I can't speak for my fellow pressmen, but the toll that (at the time) 26 years of wear and tear can get to a person.

In 2015, my wife and I moved back to our old hometown of Granby, CT In so doing, I designed and had built a new "ground-level" shop that was three times bigger than the old shop. As the years went by, we added to our basic stock of items, and continued to add more diverse items along the way.

We also have done, and continue to do, craft fairs in our neck of the woods. The first time was in October of 2012, where my pens were displayed alongside paintings, sculpture and pottery. We sold some pens, but it felt kind of funny, selling items that were meant to be used instead of displayed and admired. In hindsight, it was "dopey" to feel that way, but it was my first experience at doing a show.

It would not be my last...not by a longshot!!

From 2013 til this year we did 2 or 3 shows, mostly in the mid to late fall. Each show had its ups and downs, but were mostly a success. Still I never felt that we did the shows justice...it always felt like I could have done more in the shop. But Christmas of 2016, I got the best present ever!!!

I "retired"!!!

I finally decided that after all the wear and tear, if I'm going to be a "hurtin' unit" I should do what I love to do! My wife and partner Sue agreed with me. She had her reservations, but they were dispelled when she saw that I was a much happier camper. Suddenly, I had more time in the shop, and more items to create and sell. Which means...more shows. We did a show in the spring (a first for us) and we'll more than likely be back for some more. We are also booked solid for the upcoming fall gift season as we have shows booked right up to December 9th. We'd love to see you at any of these shows, just check our events page.

We're already two shows into the season, and if they are any indication...it's going to be a great season!! I used to wonder if we were making an impact, like were we recognized at certain shows.

We got our answer at AppleFest in Granby. As we were setting up, one of the volunteers walked past and said "Hey it's the Pen Guy". I smiled and said "Yep it's me!" and was tickled to realize that I was getting a good reputation. The remaining shows in our season are all new to us, our debuts if you will. We'd love to see you all there!

Back to the lathe!!

Mark... "The Pen Guy"

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