Posted by: ugleepen | February 15, 2011

From My Family Room to Overseas Manufacturing – The True Story of UGLee Pen

UGLee Pen - Ergonomic Pen

UGLee Pen - Ergonomic Pen

Long ago when I heard stories of how businesses were started in garages or in the back of a car, I was skeptical. But the beginnings of the UGLee Pen weren’t too far off from those stories! The first 15,000 pens were all assembled by me and my immediate family members. And most of the work was done not in our garage, but in our family room. My four year-old son liked to work with the blue pens. If you own a blue UGLee Pen purchased before August of 2009, chances are that my son screwed the click mechanism on!

As more and more people found out about, and loved, the UGLee Pen, demand for UGLee Pens quickly outgrew my family’s ability to produce them.

I began looking for manufacturing companies to take UGLee Pen to the next level. I soon realized that producing in America was not going to work. To make parts and have pens imprinted and assembled here would have meant that the pen would cost more to make than we were selling them for. I didn’t have the luxury of free labor anymore!

I found a company in Taiwan that specialized in pens and could handle the complex shapes that the UGLee Pen utilized. This process was not easy. Just conveying my ideas overseas was a challenge. Yes, email made this possible, but time and language differences resulted in many miscommunications!

Also, these companies were used to working with large companies dealing with million unit orders being made as cheaply as possible. I wanted smaller, 10,000-50,000 quantities, while stressing quality. I still remember arguing about the grip material. It was a lot cheaper to use a silicone than the thermoplastic elastomer that I wanted. “That is what all other pen companies use. It’s much cheaper to make that way.” I didn’t care. I wanted the best, not the same.

Anyway, I finally got my way, we finally got the order in from Taiwan (clear across the vast Pacific Ocean on a container ship) and now the whole world can get their UGLee Pens!

Now that the manufacturing process is in place, quality assurance is functioning, and UGLee Pen has, indeed, gone to the next level, we’re ready to send out UGLee Pens and help each one of you have the best writing experience this planet offers! Thanks to all for their patience during our backorder period as UGLee Pen as grown.



  1. Great story Dr. Lee! It always takes a lot of energy and work to make a great product. Thank you from all of us who love the UGLee Pen for your perseverance, dedication, and patience to make the most ergonomic writing instrument ever invented.

    Mitch Miles

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