About Us

Welcome to Pens by Chris!
 
 
 

 

About Me

Chris Carrubba

I wish I could tell you that wood working has been a life long passion of mine, but that would not be the truth.  The first time I did anything on a wood lathe was mid February, 2012. How did I get here?  Please let me tell you.

I was born and raised in Long Beach, MS and have spent my entire life in this Mississippi Gulf Coast town.  Living on the water, I grew to love and respect it.  I have had a boat most of my life so when the opportunity arises, and the weather co-operates, I go fishing.  Sometimes I fish in Mississippi waters at Cat Island, a barrier island eight miles south of Long Beach in the Mississippi Sound or I go just a little farther south to fish in Louisiana waters.  If you look at a map you can see that the most southern point of Louisiana comes below Mississippi.  Also the way the state line was drawn in the water gave Louisiana a big advantage.  It seems that whomever, back in the late 1800's I suppose, put a barrel in the Pearl River, a river on the South Mississippi/South Louisiana border, and followed it as it floated out.  The way the current runs, which is south/east, the barrel floated out of the river, into the Gulf and then headed east to cut Mississippi out of most of the water.  I think that the Louisiana person must have known this but the Mississippi guy did not.  So anyway, most of my fishing is in Louisiana waters.  To fish in Louisiana waters and being a Mississippi resident, I have to get a Louisiana non-resident fishing license.  In this is another story, Louisiana has good fishing waters while Mississippi has good hunting grounds.  Mississippi charges Louisiana residents a crazy fee for a non-resident hunting license.  In turn, Louisiana charges Mississippi residents a crazy fee for a non-resident fishing license.  All in all I think everyone is happy.

I went off on a tangent there, so let me get back to me.  As I stated above, I have lived my entire life in Long Beach, MS.  However I have worked every where from Mobile, Alabama to New Orleans, LA.  Except for about two years when I worked for a company doing what is called "Cathodic Protection."  It is protecting underground gas pipe lines from corroding.

I worked 30+ years in Automobile Dealerships starting in the Parts Department stocking shelves. After several years at this I became Parts Manager. I trained on body repair and was a Body Shop Manager, this led to Service Manager and then Parts and Service Director. In my quest to lean more about Automobile Dealerships I left the "Back End" and went to the "Front". What a great time I had selling cars. However, the fun had to stop when I went to work as a Sales Manager. To dig even further into the Automobile Dealership business I trained and learned about Finance and Insurance, So now I am a F & I Manager. As we got more politically correct I was a Business Manager. It was now time to become the General Sales Manager. Managing salesman was not a problem. I might have to get on to someone who consistently came to work late, or let a customer walk before letting me know, and of course, hold a lot of training sessions, and lets not forget the "lot parties". But Managing Managers is another story. I learned the secret to keep them in line. Treat them like I did the sales people. You see, a salesperson, or a manager for that fact, loves to hear how good they are. My managing strategies with anyone I managed was to build them up, talk about what they do right, and usually any bad practices in them would disappear. Finally I was at the top, outside of owning a dealership, I became an Executive Manager. An Executive Manager is a General Manger that, on paper with the automobile manufacturer, is the Dealer.

In 2006 I went into business for myself. This venture lasted for about 3 years. After 2008 when the economy hit the bottom, so did my business.

This brings me back to were I started. In a parts department, however, as the General Manager at a national retail parts store chain. I was there for only two years until I hurt my back.  I was getting quite bored just sitting around the house.  A guy I used to work with made wood pens so I thought that would be something I could do.(Thanks Joe)  I ordered a lathe and pen making supplies and while I was waiting for it all to come in I watched videos and read books on the subject.  When the lathe and supplies finally came in I put the lathe together, practiced for a while on a scrap piece of wood, then started on my first pen. I was surprised at myself in what I had done.  I was so excited at the work I had turned out. 

My goal is to make the best wood pens available.  I take pride in my work and hope  that it is reflected in the pens that I make. I have done extensive research and have priced my pens to be very competitive with the market. However, how can one put a price on something that you put you heart into?

Of course I make more than pens.  I also make Key Chains, Bottle Stoppers, Perfume Applicators, Bud Vases and I even made myself a cane to help me get around a little better.  It does take me longer than a person without back problems because I have stop from time to time to give my back a rest.

At the start of this I said that wood working had not been a life long passion of mine, however, I have now become very passionate about my pen making and hope that it reflects in everything I do.