SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - What started out as an old hobby became a thriving business in Scottsdale. We’re talking about handcrafted pens — and it all started with a passion for woodworking.
"Wood is my calling. It's what I was meant to do."
Justin Derossett has been a woodworker and a machinist his whole life, working on projects from Beverly Hills, California, to right here in the Valley.
And then, about two months ago, "My wife and I started working together. She found out I was making pens a long time ago.. had this one laying in the drawer. She pulled it out and was like, 'what is this?'"
A pen -- but these are works of art -- nowhere near average and each one is unique.
"This one is acrylic. It is 22 karat gold with rhodium. Rhodium is a very precious metal. Very durable. It's a twist pen."
Justin calls them "Justified Pens."
"We have wood, we have stone, which is actual crushed stone, pulverized.. and they mix it with different acrylics, if you will. We have choices of burls, wood burls. There's a prickly pear cactus. There's even a tumbleweed.. so it's pretty unique what can be done."
It's a hobby he started about 20 years ago. In Tennessee at the time, Justin says a tornado came through, tore up a lot of trees, devastating some of his farmer friends.
So his wife convinced him to pick up the hobby again, this time to sell.
"I wish I would have thought of this first, but she brought it out and said 'you're making these for the store.' I split the blanks right here on the band saw."
During the pandemic, designing and building pens has been relaxing for Justin.
"This will end up going on here. My blank goes in here. The drill bit goes in there. That's the way I drill them out."
He says more and more people are coming in to RegencyMod in Old Town Scottsdale to check them out.
"Journaling has become really big since Covid hit. People are writing everything down. I have a pen with a stylus on it. So if you're a techie, and you can't write with a pen, then you can write it on your phone or however you want to do it."
Making pens may have started as a hobby, but it's become so much more. For people who stop by, it's something they won't find anywhere else: a striking piece of art -- and for Justin, it's his passion.
"Everything I know goes into that one pen. It's using my finishing techniques, my machinist techniques, my woodworking techniques, my artist techniques all the way down to when we go out and get the materials. We just have a blast doing it. There's not one pen that doesn't have nothing but love in it. Every one is made with a smile. Everyone is cherished, and to be honest, every one I have, I have a hard time parting with because each one is so close to me."
7050 East 5th Avenue
Scottsdale, AZ 85251