19 May 2016

CW Pencil Enterprise

It was a year ago today that Tazz forwarded me a New York Times feature regarding a quirky little pencil shop in Lower Manhattan, and all indecision about our prospective holiday faded in an instant. Upon first impression, CW Pencil Enterprise seemed like the kind of shop you might find on a stroll around East London, however Tazz and I were oddly captivated by the shop's dedication to such a simple an item of stationery, one often overlooked in our digital age. Thus we earmarked the store as a priority on our long list of places to explore.

CW Pencil Enterprise

Fast forward to February of this year, Tazz and I cross Chinatown and spot a giant pencil printed above a glass shopfront, through which we see pencils of every colour surrounding a checkerboard floor. On closer inspection, CW Pencil Enterprise is nothing less than a pencil paradise, with pencils of all grades and sizes - from countries around the globe - neatly bunched in transparent pencil pots. Scented pencils from Portugal, bi-colour pencils made in Switzerland, and pencils from Japan crafted to resemble cigarettes are just some of the wonders on the store's shelves, alongside an array of HB and No.2 pencils.

Displayed among this handsome collection are all the accompanying stationery a pencil enthusiast would desire, including erasers, sharpeners, and notebooks. And to one side of the shop is a testing station with samples of every pencil on sale. As I chatted with two of the store's "Pencil Ladies", Caitlin and founder Caroline Weaver, Tazz settled down at the desk to scribble vigorously.

In a world in which computers have become the standard tool for many creative works, CW Pencil Enterprise is certainly a curiosity, but its triumph as an independent business goes to show the resilience of the faithful pencil. If you ever find yourself on the Lower East Side, do pop into this stationery heaven and pick up a pencil or two.

CW Pencil Enterprise is located at: 100a Forsyth Street, New York.

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© Joseph Kent / www.unlimitedbyjk.com

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