The Blog for GW Pens

A peek at what we make

Burn It!


Burn the wood- not something you expect to hear coming from a woodworker. But as the picture shows, of course I’m talking about my branding iron.

When I had just started my company, I was trying to figure out how I could attach my name to the toys I make. Well not only how, but I debated whether or not I even should. I started asking friends and family ‘hypothetical’ questions, like “If you got a toy and it had the toy manufacturer’s name on it, would you be upset it ruined the toy, or glad they were willing to put their name on it?”

The reply I most often got back was “You mean the way every big brand manufacturer puts their name on toys?” It made sense, but I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the idea. I mean, burning wood that doesn’t serve a decorative purpose just didn’t seem right to me. So I thought about it some more.

If I brand my toys, it could also prevent somebody from claiming my work as their own. Also, it might help with word of mouth advertising. But most importantly, I decided, was that it shows a level of pride in my work. I am proud of the toys I make and I put my name on each and every one that I make to prove it.

That was the plan, anyway. For whatever reason, I just haven’t gotten branding the toy as a mental step in my production process yet. Yesterday I sent out a toy order- minus the branding. Whoops! I suppose it was better than minus something more important, like wheels.

I’ve been considering hanging a white board in the shop, to help me keep mental track of what stage I’m currently on in my multiple projects (at the moment there are 4 things I’m working on). I think yesterday’s faux pas has convinced me there will definitely be a white board. And at the bottom it will say “Don’t forget to brand, dummy!”


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This entry was posted on January 13, 2009 by and tagged , , .
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