Hi, I am Jimmy Finley, owner and operator of WoodPenPro.com.
WoodPenPro.com was created to fill a void for affordable kits for pen turners. WoodPenPro started out as a hobby while I was on active duty in the Navy as a means to unwind after a hectic day in the office. Of course, the term office is used loosely as a prior enlisted EOD Diver (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) … a.k.a., the bottom of the ocean.
In those days, I was stationed in Japan and began my woodworking by making Japanese style furniture; an enjoyable, but very time consuming endeavor. In an effort to find more therapeutic and time sensitive means of expressing myself, a friend introduced me to pen turning. I quickly fell in love with pen turning and was soon cranking out pens like a fiend for family and friends. The only disturbing part came when ordering supplies, they were very pricey!
While still in the Navy, I was able to complete a Master in Economics at the University of Oklahoma and armed with that newfound knowledge, I realized that there was significant excess economic profit being generated by certain overpriced outlets and that made room for entry into the market. Since WoodPenPro’s beginnings in 2001, the prices have continued to tumble and I would like to think I played a key part in that change.
I am still on active duty and plan to retire in 2011, after 30 years of service. I will then be able to conduct business during normal hours and regain recreational control over my evenings and weekends… hopefully.
I thank you for your patronage, your kind feedback and your continual support.
Jimmy D. Finley
Q: How did you get started and how long have you been in business?
A: I have been woodworking since middle school and turning pens since 1997. Turning my passion into a business seemed to be the natural progression. It wasn’t until 2001 that my ever-expanding hobby became registered as a tax paying enterprise.
Q: Do you create any of your own products?
A: I have designed the artwork for several pen designs as well as commissioned some art for others.
Q: Will you eventually open a brick and mortar store?
A: Who knows what the future will bring, but if you are in Hawaii, you can visit me in my shop. Just call 808-398-0172 and stop by.
Q: What have you learned about running an online business? Is it harder or easier than you expected?
A: The effort involved in developing a business is great, I am frequently up until midnight answering emails or filling orders. I live in paradise, but don’t get to the beach much. Yet, I don’t mind, because it is motivating to develop new products, watch my business grow, and interact with fellow turners from all over the world.