Tom O'Brien's Charlotte shop becomes more like Santa's workshop around the holidays.
He's busy tinkering away, making something that's worth taking note of -- it's called the wallet pen.
Reporter Gina Bullard: What makes this pen so special?
Tom O'Brien: You've always got a pen, if you remember it. You've got a pen in your pocket.
The inky dinky ball point pen fits perfectly in the fold of a wallet. "The simplicity of it is just wonderful because nothing can wear out or break," O'Brien said.
It's a simple item that takes 32 steps to build. O'Brien believes in his craftsmanship so much, each pen has a lifetime guarantee. "I buy tubing and wire -- bend, polish, womp those, move them around, buff them -- it's simple technology but there's a lot of moves to make the final pen happen," O'Brien said.
O'Brien bought the business 10 years ago from a Burlington-based artist. You probably won't be writing any novels with this pen, but it does come with a standard size refill. "The pen is just a great gift," O'Brien said.
The $75, sterling silver pen even caught the eye of Oprah Winfrey in 2005 and was featured as one of her favorite things. That lingering acclaim still brings in at least 100 orders each holiday season.
No matter how full your wallet or how big your hand is, the wallet pen works for everyone -- even Channel 3 Photographer Andy Goodrich, whose billfold is bursting at the seams.
And for the ladies out there, there are multiple options -- the pen can clip inside your wallet or your purse. "This is a beautiful, finished, shiny thing that they think comes from a machine in China somewhere and I'm proud of the fact that I can make them here," O'Brien said.
So take note of this Made in Vermont product that could be money this holiday season.
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