When I went to the Atlanta Pen Show a few weeks back, I was fortunate to be able to sit down with Dan Bishop of Karas Kustoms for a video interview. Dan is an absolute trip and I think you’re really going to enjoy our banter.
Dan and I have been in touch for the last several years. He first reached out to me when he wanted to link GouletPens.com as an ink source on the Kickstarter page for their first fountain pen project, the Karas Kustoms Ink. We talked about working together and, about 6 months ago, they finally reached the point where they were ready to distribute their pen through retailers. We’ve been carrying them since and it’s been a real delight representing their brand. Karas is a solid group of guys, manufacturing American-made machined pens that are distinctive and incredibly durable.
In this video, Dan and I sit down and discuss the following questions and more:
- How did Karas Kustoms start out?
- Who is “Kara”?
- Why pens?
- What led you to Kickstarter as a way to get funding?
- What is the inspiration behind the design of KK pens?
- There’s a big focus on “Made in America” and locally sourcing materials. Why does that matter?
- What is your biggest focus in terms of marketing your brand?
- What’s your view on selling direct vs. through retailers, what do you see as the advantages/disadvantages?
- What kind of warranty service do you provide for your pens?
- You started out with BP/RB, now you’re growing a lot in fountain pens. What’s the ratio of those you’re making?
- What are some projects you’re working on for the future?
- In 5 years, when we sit down together again, what’s going to be different about KK?