I have a really neat neighbor who was doing a craft fair at her church the first weekend in November 2018. This was like September or so and she asked if I wanted to be in it and sell some pens to fund raise for my upcoming trip to Ghana (yes, I'll write about that trip at some point too!), so of course, I said I would love to be in it. (I had no idea what I had said yes to!) I started making pens in bulk--which was interesting since I'd only made like 5 pens ever in my life at that point. Some of those pictures are below--I used a lot of baggies in those days to not mix them up!
Things that were important at that time:
--I wanted to make pens out of African hardwoods to help tell the story of why these pens were being sold. (FYI, Ghana is on the western coast of Africa)
--I wanted each pen (a few had a matching pen, but pretty much they were one of a kind) to be beautiful, unique and special, just like the girls at the Pearl House Ghana where we would be working.
--I wanted my pens to have meaning and thought--not just another pen on your desk. This is an important part of my desire to continue to create unique items for friends, family, and friends and family of my friends and family.
--I wanted the buyer to feel a connection to the pen and to remember it later so nearly every pen I sell has an information paper telling the pen type, refill info, and when it was made. If it is for a special occasion, I am adding that detail as well because that moment is important in their life.
I also had a friend who worked at a school and had access to an engraving machine so I found out how to say Jesus in Twi (the local language) and had it engraved on 13 of those original pens. Those 'Jesu' pens were even more special because they are likely the only ones I will ever make like that.
Long story, but the craft fair was a lot of fun and I learned so much. I sold some pens and was able to the tell the story of the Pearl House Ghana to so many people. I ended up selling nearly all the Jesu pens and loved sharing this part of my life with people!