Today I wanted to share the story of why we started AusPen.
Let me introduce you to our founders - David and Kerrie Sharpley. Two entrepreneurs from Melbourne who started their first business selling luxury carpets, over 30 years ago. At the time their children were in school and they were in and out of classrooms often.
After a while David started noticing all the whiteboard markers laying around, in cupboards, beneath boards; cap-less, strewn about - and of course in the worst possible place - the bin.
What is the deal with whiteboard markers?, he thought. Why are they all so crap?
David began to call these generic whiteboard markers ‘single use’ markers. After all, that’s exactly what they are... they're bought at the beginning of term, used a handful of times, and then... lines start fading, nibs get crushed, caps are nowhere in sight. And so—toss, into landfill.
Anyway, David wanted to do something about it and so he invented AusPen: refillable, actually made well and from the best quality materials, and of course made with replacement parts so that you'd never find yourself at the board with a dried or fuzzy tipped marker again. Genius.
Can you imagine how many whiteboard markers are thrown into landfills around the world? All schools combined. Our educated guess is about 40 million makers. Every. Single. Year!
So really the best thing that could happen to classrooms is for all of their single use markers to be replaced with our infinitely replenish-able, refillable AusPens. And that’s our goal.
It didn’t happen overnight. It was years of research trial and error and product development, before David and Kerrie ended up with the whiteboard marker we know and love today.
The making of AusPen was of course before my time in the company, but product development is always something we have in the works, even today. Currently the dream is to make the full range plastic-free—stay tuned for that!
For now we are very happy being the creators of the original, most eco-friendly whiteboard marker there is out there. They truly are markers that you will have forever.