Hello! My name is Michael Benham and recent member to FPN. Since high school, through college and all these years past, I’ve always liked and carried nice pencils and pens. Now almost exclusively I prefer to carry and have fountain pens. In these latter few years, I’ve ramped up my collection of pens, mostly mid to low-end caliber pens, my most expensive being a Cross Century II gun metal/gold. In this time I came across a couple handmade pens on Etsy that I liked because of the nice wood and acrylic barrels. I then discovered that these were kit pens, Vertex pen kits from Penn State to be exact. I thought, because of my creative juices associated with being a graphic designer/photographer who is the son of an engineer, that I could make my own pens. To be quite honest, I didn’t, and still don’t, have the finances to commit to buying my own lathe, and even more so, don’t have the time and patience to commit to turning my own barrels and caps for these kits. I was not deterred though, and thought that there’s got to be some ready-made or easily customized materials out there that I could fashion my own pen barrels for these kits. So I bought a few of the kits that required only a barrel (Vertex, Presimo, and Raw) and went down to the local Ace hardware store and basically walked around looking for anything that I thought would work and look cool as a pen. I’ve now broaden my search to Amazon and various tubes, pipes, straws, etc. I believe I now have around 30+ unique pens made and have managed to even expand into pens that need cap material. Although, I’m not entirely sold on them yet.
So basically, in a quite long-winded way, my post is in search of feedback of whether these pens would be of interest to buyers, general consumer to even fountain pen connoisseurs? If so, what would a fair price would possibly be? And furthermore, any advice, experience into how best to sell and get these out to potential consumers? Bearing in mind that this is completely something that would be on the side, and not a main source of income, on top of being a new father to twins!
Thank you in advance for any help, thoughts, you may offer.
- Minneapolis, MN