Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Whidden's Woodshop, Artisan Crowdfunding at its Best


Whidden's Woodshop is launching a Kickstarter campaign for crowdfunding and presales of its reclaimed whiskey barrel pens.

May 20, 2015

Brookhaven, PA — Whidden's Woodshop understands the appeal, not only of alternative sales, but of its pens.  As Etsy entrepreneurs, their reclaimed wood projects have had elastic appeal, with a nod to both artisan crafts and recycling.  The use of a crowdfunding tool like Kickstarter is both a way to measure public interest through pre-sales and to generate funds for supplies and tools that might otherwise go without purchase.  Whidden's “woodman”, John Shatney is hoping that the campaign will enable his small, family business to take flight.  The transition from a part-time hobby business on Etsy to a mortar and brick store is never an easy one.  A company or product must have appeal and products that are one-of-a-kind.  Whidden's Woodshop believes they have such a product with their Whiskey Barrel Pens.

Whiskey Barrel Pens are unique handmade items, reborn from salvaged whiskey barrels that were once used by the Jack Daniel's Distillery and turned into wood turned pens.  Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey is the top selling American whiskey in the world, distilled in Lynchburg, Tennessee and aged in oak barrels. Every year, millions of barrels of this refined whiskey are produced for consumption, while the empty barrels are then sold off for other use.  Whidden's Woodshop uses the staves from these barrels for handcrafted pens, key rings, and other hardwood projects.

Shatney is a proponent of using salvaged, reclaimed, and other sustainable sources for his woodworking, handpicking from local salvage companies or collecting items along the way that he believes still has some soul left in them for re-purpose.  Shatney finds a connectivity with woodworking that helps him to suspend time and embrace qualities of care and refinement so often lost in modern life.  To Shatney woodworking and reclamation go hand in hand.

“My grandfather was a woodworker and I think it's in the soul,” Shatney says. “I look at a piece of wood and I see possibility.  Wood is like people, it has a story to tell.  I'm as much a storyteller as I am a woodworker.  When I find a piece of wood that has been used before it comes with a story.  What I am doing is taking that story and passing it along like a folk tale; putting my spin on it.”

This is the second Whiskey Barrel Pen campaign, the first being a huge success for the Shatney family.  With this latest Kickstarter campaign their goals are to raise enough funds to be able to fulfill the “rewards” for contributions, purchase a new lathe, a drill press for their shop, and to provide monthly expenses for their family as they transition from part-time to full time crafting.  Rewards with this campaign include: tote bags, key chains, ballpoint, roller ball, bolt action, and fountain pens, as well as, any combination thereof depending upon the contribution.

“Kickstarter allows us to do more than supply ourselves,” he explains.  “It allows us to reach out and connect with people.  We build relationships and create interest.   There is a community spirit in Kickstarter that you just cannot explain until you participate.  Our family owes a lot to it.”

The newest campaign starts on May 18th. For more information on the Kickstarter campaign visit:

John Shatney


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