Good Made Better was founded in 2017 with the simple goal of making and selling a useful, attractive, and well built product, the Penwell. While the product itself is a recent development, nothing is created in a vacuum, or more precisely said in this instance, no one can escape the shaping effects of their childhood.
65 years prior to the start of Good Made Better, my grandparents bought a small town hardware store in a small town in a small state. They worked hard to build a successful business in an era when nails were bought by the pound, crockery wasn't purchased online, and a broken window didn't require an advanced degree to repair. Fortunately for me, the modern big box hardware store model held off just long enough for my childhood to be spent amongst aisles of seemingly infinite variety—stove bolts, fuses, spray paint, oil lamps, toy cowboy sets, power tools, and perhaps best of all, gummy worms.
Surroundings like that were a dream come true for a simple minded, yet creative boy like myself, and I found myself spending many hours after school and during my summers there, often with my cousin of like mind. Whether we’d look to build something for fun (failed squirrel trap), something of genuine use (successful blow darts and gun), or something in between (mediocre toy high strikers), we always found a way to satisfy the creative bug in us. After all those years, it seems little has changed. Great satisfaction is still to be found in simple, clever solutions to problems.
The Penwell came about in much the same way. The problem I was bothered with was that I wanted to be able to use my capped pen with one hand. Seeing no good solutions to the problem, I channeled my inner hardware store kid and got to building one of my own. Just as I did years ago, I hacked away at a rough prototype to prove the concept, but with the advent of age, experience, and resources I was in this case able to refine it to the point it is today. I can truly say it is a product driven both by the satisfaction of problem solving and the joy of creating something new.
We're a small company on the same ground in the same small town and same small state as my grandparent's hardware store. We're content with the present but ambitious for the future. Our hope is that you’ll find satisfaction in both the form and function of the Penwell, and that it will prove to be a tool that will serve you well for many years to come. As a company, we want to create and sell good products at a good value, and to treat our customers well, as we would like to be treated ourselves. While the world has changed much over the last 65 years, honest products and honest conduct are as timeless now as they were then, and we don’t desire to improve upon that model.
Dan Keller, Good Made Better