Lower East Side Pencil Shop Leading The Way For A Handwriting Comeback

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In the age of laptops and smartphones, writing things down has almost become obsolete.

As it turns out, the pencil just so happens to be making a comeback.

CBS2’s Alex Denis went behind the scenes at one of the oldest pencil manufacturers in the world — located right in New York City — that had its best year ever last year.

Caroline Weaver owns the Lower East Side shop CW Pencil Enterprise. Minutes after she opens up, customers from around the world are lined up, drawn to the old school writing utensil.

New Yorker Spencer Nelson tested a few before choosing the perfect pencil for his woodworking.

“You really get fine lines,” he said. “You can get a really, really sharp point which is a big difference.”

Judy Yen, visiting from Taiwan, says she appreciates the aesthetics of high end pencils that range from Japanese high tech, to those used for voting in Denmark, and vintage.

“The feeling is different,” she said. “It’s more trendy.”

The Heiberg family from Norway spotted the pencil exclusive store on Instagram. They spent more than $100 on supplies for their kids.

“They like to draw,” husband Bendik said. “It’s better to draw by hand with a pencil than an iPad.”

Weaver says she’ll never erase her love for pencils. In addition to her pencil tattoo, she points to nostalgia as one reason for the pencil’s reemergence.

“They’re craving the feeling of doing something by hand,” she said. “And though it may not be a necessity anymore, it’s a very welcome novelty.”

The majority of pencils in Weaver’s shops are imported. They US Census Bureau shows pencil imports into the states increased more than forty percent from 2015 to 2016.

Those in the industry say hobbies like adult coloring and journaling are fueling the uptick. It’s a trend Weaver doesn’t expect to fade any time soon.

“There’s a reason why pencils have existed for so many hundreds of years,” she said, “because there’s a need for them and there always will be in some capacity.”

If you don’t get the point, Weaver suggests putting down your electronic device and picking up a pencil.

More From CBS New York

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
Get Our Morning Briefs
Bloomberg WCBS Tri-State Business Index

Watch & Listen LIVE