Here at Untapped Cities, we love stores that sell only one thing–it’s so New York to have enough density to support such specific, local businesses. CW Pencil Enterprise is the latest, opening in the Lower East Side on Forsyth Street, and recently explored by Gothamist. With a pristine white interior infused with pop colors from the pencils themselves and a retro yellow chair, it’s like a creative space you wished was in your own home.
While the impetus of a pencil-only shop comes owner Caroline Weaver’s mother’s obsession with pencils, it’s also about highlighting a craft that continues today. Weaver tells Gothamist, “”There aren’t very many pencil factories left, but most of them still maintain the quality and heritage of yesteryear.”
The collection of pencils at CW Pencil Enterprise include those dating from the 1920s and 1950s, and more obscure ones are collected through a variety of methods–by friends in other countries, auctions or other collectors. The collection of pencils is also available for purchase online, along with accessories like sharpeners, displayed in glass cases in the shop, erasers, stylish notebooks and a pencil case.
The aim of CW Pencil Enterprise, according to the about page of the website is as follows:
What we’re trying to do is dig up the stories and origins of these objects and make them accessible to those who appreciate them for their functionality, beauty and history as much as we do. As simple as it may be, the pencil is something which despite advances in technology will never become obsolete. Whatever you may use them for, we want to make sure that you can have any pencil your heart, hand, or collection desires.
To that end, Weaver tells Gothamist she’ll be launching a pencil club in May or June: “I’ll send a really special pencil (old or new) each month along with its story. Stories are really important with pencils—aside from its physical characteristics which often vary rather subtly, it’s what sets them apart from each other.”
Next, check out our archive of stores that sell only one thing in New York City.