Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Monsoon Reviewers Chosen


Just wow.

We never expected this level of interest and participation when we hatched the idea to ask the community to participate in this exercise. With over 60(!) essays, several artwork and photo submissions, we quickly realized we underestimated the talent and enthusiasm of those who have supported us in our endeavors. Dozens and dozens of stories, some several pages long, kept pouring into our inbox over the short time we allowed for entries. We read every single one. Poems, memories, and philosophy on the merit of work were among the focus of the essays. It was a very difficult decision to choose such a small group of people to send pens to for review. In fact, we added two extra spots in the essay category because of the sheer number of entries. We wish we could choose everyone, but had to pick a select few. As stated in the rules, this wasn't a contest of skill, or of who was the "best", but to see what resonated with us the most when we reviewed the entries. If we can figure out a way to share more of the entries in the future, we will do so, but until then, here are the entries that we chose:


Eric Schunk (@schunky_monkey on Instagram)
"What 'Made in America' means to me. I sketched the idea out in pencil and inked it with my copper Fountain K."

Phillip Barlow (@pensandgaming on Instagram)
Phillip submitted this original design for a custom desk for consideration. Not all artwork hangs on walls.

Jeff Butler (JB2)
"So here is my "Made In America" "artwork". Not all art has to be on canvas. Everything you see here is Made in America! Everything used to build this was Made in America. I had a request to build a holster and saddle bag so that a cowboy could carry his Bond Arms Derringer "Snake Slayer" (made in Granbury, Texas) with him out on the range to combat his rattler problems. I designed and hand made this to fit his needs and I only use materials made to last and Made HERE! I ask you What's more American than a old west style derringer custom leather holster and saddlebag, fit for a cowboy to use?"


See the essays after the jump...

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Project Monsoon- A New Way To Interact With Our Customers


We hope everyone is having a great summer so far. Here in Arizona we are on the cusp of the monsoon season where we have hot, sunny temperatures mixed with dark clouds, and lightning filled thunderstorms. You can be getting sunburned one minute, and drenched in rain the next. It makes for some beautiful scenery and once you experience it, you will never forget it.

This yearly seasonal weather pattern has inspired our latest experiment in pen-making. We have been experimenting for a while with different materials and finishes and have come up with some pretty cool results. This new pen represents the Arizona monsoon season, but in pen form. The orange body represents the heat/sun, the grey cap represent the storm clouds and silver grip sections represent the lightning that so often comes during our monsoon season. So, to celebrate some of the success we have had with some of the new finishes, we are going to try something new. Instead of our usual method of product testing, we are going to include more community members to give us feedback on our latest endeavors. 

Here is how it works. We are going to, through different means, give (yes, give) away a small number of this pen to gain feedback on materials and finishes. We want to hear it all. The good, and even the bad. The point of this is to be more in touch with our customer base and their wants and needs. So, if you are interested in getting your hands on one of these “Monsoon” pens to review, here is how to do it:

Choose from the following options:

  • Write us a short original essay on the topic “Made in America” and email it to us with the subject line “Monsoon Essay”. You don’t have to be a great writer, just tell us a story.
  •  Create original artwork inspired by “Made in America” and share it with us via email (subject line “Monsoon Artwork”) or Instagram (#monsoonreview). Please create something new, nobody says it has to be fancy, but don’t reuse old artwork. Artwork from all ages, including children, is encouraged.
  • Take an original photo or video depicting what “Made in America” means to you and post it on Instagram with the hashtag #monsoonreview and tag @karaskustoms and @karaspenco. We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

We will be choosing 3 people per category in a completely biased method based on our tastes and preferences. This is not a contest, we will pick our favorites in each category and that is who will win. Each category will be judged by a different employee, so you can enter each category to increase your chances of winning. Enter as many times as you want, but each entry must be unique. We will post the winners and their entries on this blog (http://blog.karaskustoms.com/). We will announce the winners on August 12th, 2016 Tuesday, August 16th . You will have 48 hours to respond before we choose another winner. 

We are asking all winners of this giveaway to provide us with a review of the Monsoon pen. This can be as simple or as complicated as you wish, we just want to hear your thoughts. Good and bad, it doesn’t matter, but we want to hear from you. We obviously can’t make you review this pen if you are chosen, but it would be awesome if you did.

Once again, we will choose the winners on Friday, August 12th Monday, August 15th. Good luck!