We like to start with a crawl. Usually we go to walking next, but this went full-speed to a product collab.
KEN TOMITA (Grovemade Co-Founder): We bonded over product design, but also…basketball.
ALEX POIRIER (Blackwing Vice President): Sabonis. It’s all about Sabonis.
We also really wanted the Blackwing sharpener in the caddy. Alex and team had spent three years getting that sharpener just right—crunching numbers, refiguring the math, using a 1920s Janus pencil sharpener to inform the design.
ALEX POIRIER (Blackwing Vice President): Our customer is the everyman who cares about design and quality.
KEN TOMITA (Grovemade Co-Founder): What he said. That’s it.
The sharpener also pops above the surface just enough for fingers to grip it and pull it out as needed. (Though Alex likes to note that the best way to ensure that you’re sharpening at the right angle is to keep it in the caddy!)
We loved geeking out on the details of the ferrule.
We felt deeply about highlighting this ferrule, which is just what the caddy does. In turn the ferrule balances out the dimensions of the caddy. Put a standard pencil in there and it looks a little strange!
The solution? Basketball. More specifically point guards. The court-inspired naming of Blackwing’s point guard product is no accident—it turns out a lot of us are fans. But we needed our own small solution to save the tips. So we included concealed ridges inside the caddy. They close the gap enough to keep the shaft of the pencil from sliding down, while also allowing the tip to pass through, unscathed and floating just above the bottom surface.
Blackwing is about slowing down and savoring the process. We could mass produce a caddy, but we choose to work with Grovemade to create something that's unique, beautiful, and made right.
So good, in fact, that you should stay tuned. There are more storage options to design, and this team is just getting started.