Unfortunately, I've been rather quiet lately on our progress with the Palomino Blackwing. Now that I've had a chance to catch up following my recent international travels I felt today would be a good time for a quick update on our progress for our fans.
We’ve had the new Palomino Blackwing pencil available to customers now at Pencils.com for just over 45 days now. I have been quite pleased with the positive response and we have certainly benefited from some helpful press exposure, including Alex Beam’s Boston Globe video post “Better than an iPad?” and others. October was a busy month as we needed to step up our back office operations to support packing and shipping pencils at a new higher rate that started of with a bang when we received 300 orders alone on the very first day of sales on October 1st and another 150 or so over the next 3 days or so. To date we have sold through approximately one-quarter of our initial production run (nearly our full volume of 2 air express shipments) to over 1000 different customers. I feel like we are making good intial progress with the challenges of initial fulfilment . I want to thank each of our customers for being so patient and appreciative. Our overseas shipment should be arriving within the next 2 weeks after allowing for customs clearance so we hope to be able to add our new Palomino orange end dip 4B and 6B pencils to our sales offerings early in December.
We have been making some slow progress towards finalizing the design and production details on the retail packaging schemes for Palomino Blackwing and the rest of the Palomino pencil range. Part of this has been tied to assessing what final design changes may be made if any to the future production of the pencils. Other aspects have been tied to vendor and materials evaluation. We continue to plan availability of retail packaging for early 2011.
I have just completed a recent trip to China and Japan and hope to offer some more interesting and detailed posts down the road on various aspects of that trip to supplement the initial post on our visit to Beijing FILA Dixon pencil operations. While in Japan we visited many of our pencil slat customers but also had several meetings with the companies involved in the production of the Palomino Blackwing. This included visits to each of the graphite lead production, wood working and finishing subcontractor operations. At these meetings we reviewed a number of technical issues related to product design changes now under consideration as well as to production planning concerns. We currently expect our next production run will occur sometime around February or March 2011 depending on sales trends and lead time issues. A few more details are still being worked out and then I’ll be covering more on that topic in a future post once we finalize all our decisions within the next month.
Finally, tomorrow we will launching sales of our Palomino Blackwing Special Edition Gift Set which will be fully described in a separate post, but will include 24 Palomino Blackwings and a Palomino-KUM long point sharpener in a beatiful natural wood grain and leather trimmed box with the Palomino Blackwing logo embossed in the leather. This is a limited run of just 200 boxes of which just 150 will be offered for sale. The video accompanying this post shows the presentation of one of these gift sets to our Palomino Blackwing finishing subcontractor. His wife came in right after this and liked it so much she said she may have to take it from him, remove the pencils and use it for her sewing supplies.