Industrial designer Jessica Chan created Wink Pens as a creative and sustainable writing implement alternative. While developing a concept for a sustainable printer, the 26-year-old Oregon native found that sustainable ink options on the market were not 100% biodegradable. She began researching alternative liquids with staining properties and experimented with wine, juice, tea, coffee, and other liquids. She was inspired by the alternative ink idea and ran with it—eventually leading her to the creation of the Wink Pen.
Chan said, “It started as a sustainable alternative to something people use in their daily lives. Like a paintbrush, it would allow you to explore different mediums. There’s so much throwaway product. To have something you could reuse and refill over and over again was a starting concept.” In May 2015 she launched a successful Kickstarter to test the market. The pens are constructed of materials sourced from all over the world and are one of a kind in that each glass tip is individually hand-crafted.
After two years, one of development and one of manufacturing, WINKPENS’ first production run will ship in June 2016. Chan believes the community that was created through her product's journey, the support of customers, and connections with likeminded individuals and local entrepreneurs have been essential. She says, “Going down this road, to be able to see your values, to be able to build a business of integrity and have a community built from that, it’s irreplaceable."
Industry: Consumer Goods & Services