Humans of AMHS: Zachary Schmitzer

Humans of AMHS aims to showcase the individual stories within the Mitty community. Featured here is Zachary Schmitzer, a member of the class of 2022.


It didn’t really start as a pen business; it just began as a simple hobby that my uncle and I shared. In April, when I was nearing the end of eighth grade, my uncle sent my family a case of pens that he handcrafted himself. Of course, this only fueled my mounting curiosity about this woodworking hobby that he had, and it all culminated into a passion of my own as I looked forward to visiting his house in LA to work hands-on with him. Since then, he has taught me everything there is to know about woodworking, developing into this special hobby between us. My uncle loved spoiling his nieces and nephews, so I think he was just really glad that one of his relatives picked up something he loved to do. Funnily enough, though, it was my mom who noticed the fun I was having and suggested that I start a pen business to pay for school supplies and the components for my computer.

To customize the pen based on the requests I receive, I order chemicals which form the acrylic of the pen. Mixing them in the proper ratio creates this beautiful blend of colors, which usually corresponds to the favorite colors of the customer who ordered the pen. I carefully pour the mixture into a silicone mold and let it cure for about one to two hours before I take it out and do all the necessary furnishing: gluing in the tube serving as the core and attaching the different components of the pen such as a stylus tip or various twist mechanisms. All the basics of woodworking my uncle passed down to me are incorporated in every pen order I receive. Techniques like cutting the mold to be the perfect length for the barrel of the pen and finishing the pen off by carving away at the finished material and smoothing it out are all skills I’ve grasped from my uncle.

Zachary handcrafts a variety of one-of-a-kind pens. Displayed here is a sample of the intricate pieces he designs and makes.

My most requested orders come from family members, classmates who’ve gotten word of my business, and even my teachers. Despite the demand of orders I receive, pen crafting rarely feels like a job because of how therapeutic it is. It clears my head after a stressful day and serves as a source of joy that I often entertain myself with. Selling these pens is a way for me to share the craft that means so much to my uncle and me while exploring my own creative freedom, making this passion truly special.