Mr. Pen has now been around for 5 years! To celebrate this wonderful accomplishment, we interviewed one of the founders and strategic advisors of Mr. Pen, Kaelyn James, to learn more about why it was started in the first place.
We asked Kaelyn some questions to get to know more about her and the heart behind why Mr. Pen was started. Kaelyn has been a teacher in at-risk schools for over 9 years and has a passion for helping her students have access the best tools and supplies so that they can receive the best education possible. She saw a need, had a dream for a solution, and was able to make that dream come true!
- This month we are celebrating Mr. Pen’s 5th year anniversary. When you think about this, what thoughts and emotions come to mind?
Answer: I am proud to see all the things that we have accomplished in such a short time. I am also grateful that it was in God’s will for us to pursue and grow in this company but also reminded that He can give and take away all of it; reflecting on this truth keeps me humble and content in our achievements and failings.
- What inspired you to start Mr. Pen?
Answer: I have been a teacher mostly in at-risk schools for over 9 years so my students and daily tasks needed quality affordable products that would last more than one day in bulk because most of my students’ parents couldn’t afford to give them the supplies that their child needed. My first year of teaching, I spent a portion of my paycheck providing pencils, erasers, paper, binders, and much more for my students, only have to do it again next month because the pencils would finish and break, the binder rings couldn’t hold up to the demands of middle school boys, and each item eventually would wear out. I complained to my husband about these struggles and we decided to do something about it. My inspiration came from solving these struggles for teachers and students and they will continue to drive the spirit of our company.
- Over the past five years, what do you consider as Mr. Pen’s greatest accomplishment?
Answer: Last school year, we were able to give away 7,000 pen sets to 3 different at risk schools in our area. To see my students get so excited to have good quality pens of different colors gave me great joy and I can’t wait until we have an opportunity to do it again.
- What’s your favorite part of Mr. Pen?
Answer: My favorite part of Mr. Pen is reading all the great reviews from customers that don’t even know us! Last year, an influencer on TikTok shared how much she loved our bible gel highlighters to her viewers just because she enjoyed them so much. The funny thing is that we didn’t know her and wasn’t made aware of her until a friend showed us. It made me realize that we are, in some small way, helping others.
- What do you enjoy most about your job?
Answer: Coming up with new ideas for people to enjoy. I love brainstorming with others about new ways to bring products and improve products for all stages of life.
- What is one thing you wish you had known before you started Mr. Pen?
Answer: I wish I had known how big it would become. When we first started, it was our goal to hopefully impact classroom supplies in whatever way we could in our community but I couldn’t have imagined that it would turn into something that impacts classrooms and people across the globe.
- What are your hopes for Mr. Pen over the next five years?
Answer: I hope to grow more in our products and understanding how we can benefit the world in this pandemic and beyond.
As you can see, Mr. Pen was started with a sole purpose: to serve the schools in our community by providing them with high quality and affordable school supplies and tools to help them in their efforts. We are so thankful for our customers who have loved and supported us throughout these 5 years.
Thank you for 5 wonderful years! We learned a great deal, grew immensely, and had fun doing so. We hope to continue to serve you and your students for years to come!