A craftsman specialising in bespoke wooden pens has a bright New Year ahead thanks to an order from BCR.
A story in the local newspaper, The Sentinel, brought Sam Banks to the attention of our managing director Phil Wood who immediately placed an order for 100 limited edition pens made from Bethlehem olive wood.
Now Sam, 48, has bought a new lathe with the proceeds and is looking to move from his home workshop in Stoke-on-Trent to new premises and pass on his skills to an apprentice.
He said: “I have sold a few pens at local craft fairs but this order gives me the boost I need to take the business to new places in 2016.
“I can’t thank Phil and the Sentinel enough for giving me the leg up everyone needs when just starting out with a new venture.”
It was a freak accident which saw Sam, a former green energy adviser, turn his hobby of shaping wood into his business, Pen Trend.
He added: “My back went reaching for ladders to clean the windows at home. It was a severe injury which led to depression and loss of my job.
“Rather than sink deeper into it, I decided to have a go at turning wood. After reading lots of books and watching U-tube videos, I discovered a talent for making pens and the business was born.”
Until now he has worked on a hobby lathe but the new machine will allow him to step up production and concentrate on big corporate orders such as the one for BCR.
Phil said: “We saw Sam’s story and thought what a good idea. A quirky but quality product which make great gifts for friends of the firm.
“We’re known for creativity in Stoke-on-Trent and Sam’s story demonstrates local innovation and determination of spirit.
“As insolvency specialists we see businesses in trouble and facing an uncertain future. Here with just one order we have been able to make a difference and give a local business a healthy start to 2016.”