Business Spotlight: Greenwood Pencil Box

Business Spotlight: Greenwood Pencil Box
By mattc

From left: Bureau of Fearless Ideas Executive Director Erica Mullen and Development Director Chris Robinson. Photo courtesy of Greenwood Pencil Box.

By Karla Rava

Greenwood Pencil Box is a retail store that sells products geared towards sparking creativity. Opened in the fall of 2020, the shop stocks graphic tees, journals, pencils, games, books, and novelties—it’s a treasure trove for writers. They also have an eight-foot-tall Story Wall where visitors can add their written contributions. All sale proceeds, along with donations and grants, support two non-profits: the Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas and the Sanctuary Art Center, benefiting around 1,200 students.

The Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas (BFI) offers innovative tutoring and writing programs for youth ages 6-18 and was founded by Teri Hein in 2004. BFI is run by Executive Director Erica Mullen, who was with the YMCA of Greater Seattle for over 20 years, managing youth and education programming. The Sanctuary Art Center is a collection of art studios that connects homeless and under-served youth with employment internships and artistic programs and is run by its Executive Director Troy Carter.

Two masked children and a masked woman gesture towards a written project on a trifold board.Fearless Ideas students and mentors celebrate the community menu they helped create during a workshop, “Storied Snacks.” This was one of the many workshops offered in summer 2021 at their locations in Greenwood and Yesler Terrace. Photo by Bryan Wilson.

Formerly the Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co., the retail revamp and renaming was necessary to reflect the nonprofits’ evolution. As Erica explains, “Greenwood Pencil Box, Outfitters of Creative Adventure—we wanted a name that complemented the work that both our non-profits do, and inspire and engage both our students and the community. We have curated the design and the items we sell to encourage and prepare people for their own creative adventures.”

Erica herself was more of a technical writer, but since joining Fearless Ideas in 2018, she has explored her creative side and now writes poems. Erica encourages everyone to “Stop by Pencil Box and check out what we have to offer!” For more information on PNA Business Member Greenwood Pencil Box, check out their website at greenwoodpencilbox.com.