Well, it’s been an interesting few months here! If you remember my original post when the Ohio Stay at Home order came into effect, running this business has mostly been just my wife and I for a good while now. Our employees were helping remotely where they could, and they had occasional staggered hours. We were able to keep up pretty well actually, but it did mean longer hours.
As of about two weeks ago, manufacturers in Ohio have been cleared to bring employees back with certain caveats. We waited a little after this announcement, but have brought back our crew to normal hours and we are taking all precautions.
We are fortunate in that the building that we occupy has lots of space that we don’t normally use. So we have our workstations spread across our entire building, and each employee is in a totally separate room with a closed door between them and anyone else. When an employee leaves their work station, masks are on.
Additionally, anytime that a parts rack is being passed from one station to another, all parts get a spray with denatured alcohol. All incoming mail and packages are getting sprayed before handling, as well. Side note – in case you are wondering about sanitizing an Edison Pen, denatured alcohol is perfectly safe for the acrylics that we use. I wouldn’t spray the nib, or get the alcohol somehow incorporated into the ink, but it’s totally safe on our acrylics.
So we are mostly back to business as usual! We have procedures in place that will ensure our safety, but I wanted to give everyone this update.
Everyone please use all precautions and stay healthy!
As many of you are aware, the state of Ohio has just issued a Stay at Home Order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I wanted to outline how this will effect Edison.
I am asking all of our employees to stay home until further notice. Beyond this, the state has made it clear that businesses should utilize a “Minimum Basic Operation” as needed.
There is a large portion of my job that can be done remotely. My employees will have their computers to also help with remote work from home. My plan is to continue working, but my wife and I will be the only ones here at Edison doing so on location.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, my wife and I will work remotely from home. Then on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, my wife and I will work on location to ship current inventory orders, as well as manufacture and fulfill our Signature Line orders.
So this means we will be mostly business-as-usual here at Edison. But since it will be a limited staff, things will be running a bit slower. So please have patience regarding timing of communications and order fulfillment.
During work, and especially outside of work, my wife and I will be practicing all precautions.
If anyone has any questions, please reach out, but for now if a fountain pen is a good way of breaking up the boredom, we’re still here to help! We recently updated out Current Inventorywith lots of new pens including some amazing materials by Jonathon Brooks, Tim McKenzie, and Mike Allen, as well as our newest model, the Brockton. And of course, custom orders are always welcome!
I will post updates as they are required.
Everyone please exercise all the necessary precautions, and please stay healthy!
Andrea and I recently returned from a sorely needed vacation. We are well rested and settled back in. It’s nice to get away, but after a while I look forward to getting back to work! I’ve been buried in emails this week, but my head is just about above water now.
While we were gone, our crew was able to get a lot of pens made for Current Inventory. If you are interested in a pen without waiting for through backlog, we have well over 300 pens that are ready to ship with no waiting! You can click the link above, or view the slideshow below (if you can’t see the slideshow, please click here). Email me if you have interest in one of these pens.
Part of the reason for making these pens while we were gone was to replenish our stock that is ready to ship, but also to get pens ready for the San Francisco Pen Show, which is not that far away in August.
And speaking of the San Francisco Pen Show – stay tuned! We have plans coming together for a Limited Edition Pen that will be exclusive to San Francisco! We’ve never attended the San Francisco show before, so we’re going to do so with a splash! Stay tuned as the show gets closer for details regarding this pen and other pens that we’ll be bringing.
Lastly, expect more updates and details to follow in the near future. Now that we are back from vacation, we’re back to work on lots of new items to follow this year. Stay tuned!
Later this week I’ll be heading out with my family for a sorely needed two-week vacation. We’ve been super busy this year. I haven’t taken a day off since the Holidays, so I’m overdue!
My crew will be here during this time to handle emails and orders. But with my wife and I gone, they will be busier than normal. So email responses could be delayed a little. If you need my direct attention, I’ll be back the 3rd week of July.
We are wrapping up for the year. If you need my attention I will be working on emails after the New Year. I’d truly like to thank all of our fans and customers for supporting us so that we can continue doing what we love!
2018 saw a lot of new things happen here at Edison, mostly being a lot of new machinery. During the Holiday break, I will get some work done on a nice video blog showing our new facility and machines and will publish as soon as I can. So stay tuned!
My family and I are taking a much needed 2 week vacation.
Perhaps a lot of you know, but we had a lot of new machinery arrive that has dominated my time, and there’s been little light at the end of the tunnel. Coding every program for every part for every pen then proving them on the new machinery is a huge job (on top of my normal routine), and I’m just getting started! So a break from work is in order!
I will be staying away from emails during this time. If you need my direct attention, it could be July 16th or 17th when you hear from me.
We are wrapping up for the year and I wanted to put out a thank you to all of our customers and wish everyone Happy Holidays!
This year was pretty unique for us in that we moved our business to a new and much larger location, celebrated our 10 year business anniversary, hired more employees, and experienced some pretty significant growth overall which will certainly continue into 2018.
Our employees have much deserved vacation saved up, and Andrea and I need a break as well. We will be shut down from today until the New Year. I will not be fielding emails until 2018.
I’d like to thank each of our customers for your support! We truly enjoy what we do, and couldn’t do this without you!
With Thanksgiving approaching, last night my wife and I were speaking about where our business anniversary officially falls (honestly not being sure). Some of you might remember that when this little business of ours started, it was actually called “Pencraft”. Back then, I was making what were basically kit pens, but they didn’t really look like kit pens. I was using just a few components from kits to make our pens which gave me a bit more creative freedom. While these were pretty nice pens, I always wanted to manufacture all of my components and strived for this. When I accomplished this, it was with the Pearl model. At that point, I decided that “Pencraft”, wasn’t the best name for this business, and so I switched the name to The Edison Pen Company.
It was around that time that I went through my third layoff in only three years from a pharmaceuticals job that I had unfortunately learned to hate with a passion. Pens had always been part time. With this third layoff, I had no intention of making a living at pens, thinking of it as a silly dream. I just kept making pens on a very small lathe in our garage to bring in a little income and stay off of unemployment. I intended to scrape by until I found another crappy job in pharmaceuticals.
Well, good things started happening. I’m proud to say that I never collected even one unemployment check. With a little income and (albeit slow) growth, I realized that making pens full time showed the possibility of paying the bills. So over about 6 months, I stopped interviewing. But it was not easy. The first year of doing this, our net income was $17k, which did not get us by without dipping into accounts that we did not want to dip into in order to cover our basic living expenses. It was a bit risky and stressful at first, but working hard and working smart led us to where we are today. Over the years we have acquired more advanced machinery (with more on the way) and a large space with more room to grow into. Our Signature Line is in demand, and we have retailers for our Production Line across the globe. There are five of us full time and we are considering hiring more. We couldn’t ask for better employees as they truly care about the quality of our work as well as our customer service. All of use here at Edison are very happy doing what we do and have fun making your pens!
This leads me to our official anniversary. I’m not sure that I count our days operating as Pencraft as anything official since I was part time and not offering the same products that we do today. So out of curiosity, last night I dug through my old paperwork as the official anniversary date has always been kind of ambiguous. The very first invoice that I wrote as Pencraft was November 12, 2006 and the first invoice written as The Edison Pen Company was on October 18th, 2007. So officially, Andrea and I consider this to be our anniversary, and we didn’t realize that 10 years had already passed!
So from all of use here at Edison, we’d like to say thanks to our customers! We are all able to work jobs that we truly enjoy and we consider ourselves very lucky in these regards. All of us have fun making the products that we do, and we thank you for supporting us! As we sit down this weekend with our families to give thanks, we will also give thanks to all of you!
We truly appreciate your support over the last 10 years!
Three topics to cover with this blog post. My apologies if this is a bit long, but I need to cover a lot of recent topics. It’s best to simply combine!
We are finally caught up with our Signature Line queue! I’m sure that most of you heard that one of our most critical machines went down in the late summer which backed us up a whole lot. The machine was not running for 2 weeks. Then another week to the fix it, and the DC Pen Show added a 4th week of delays. So at the beginning of August, we were 4 weeks behind! The nature of custom-made pens truly does not lend itself to rushing or trying to work too much faster than we already do (which is a good pace to begin with). Working faster than our comfort zone mostly leads to silly mistakes. So rather than rush, our entire team was working longer hours and some weekends from the beginning of August until now. We were able to increase our productivity without silly rushing and as of today we are caught up completely! After being a bit stressed through this process, it feels good to be finally caught up! So we are caught up with our Signature Line, but we do still have a good amount of repairs that have been backlogged. I have been in touch with each of these customers, and we will be full force on those repairs next week. So if you have a pen in for a repair with us, you will be hearing from us most likely before the end of October. For all people involved with our delays, I have done my best to be sure that you have received some kind of update every 1-2 weeks. I hope those involved feel that these updates have been adequate and timely to explain the delays.
So in the end – Lesson Learned and more machinery is on the way! I’ve done all of my research, and I’m about to sign papers on some new machinery so that this kind of situation can be handled in the future without problems, as well as increase our overall productivity.
2. Today (Wednesday), I was able to send out photos and tracking information on the very last pens that have been delayed! It felt so so very good, and I feel that a huge weight is off my shoulders considering more than 2 months of being behind! Due to it being very sorely needed, I am taking Thursday and Friday as vacation this week, and will return on Monday or Tuesday of next week. If I am slow with emails, you’ll know why.
3. We have understandably received a lot of emails lately about the 2017 LE Group Buy Pen. This pen is an annual tradition with our company, and is the only time that you’ll see an Edison Pen discounted in any way. Considering our machine issues outlined above, I’m sure that no one is surprised that there will not be a 2017 LE Group Buy pen. Instead, we will do our best to do a 2018 LE Group Buy pen in early 2018, and then we will try to do another in 2018 late in the year. So barring something unforeseen, we will do two LE Group Buy Pens in 2018.
I think that I’ve covered it all! If anyone has questions, please reach out!