MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – He started his career as a Certified Public Accountant, or CPA, but ended up helping ailing businesses turn around.
That led to wanting to start his own business – a beverage company.READ MORE: Allina WestHealth's ER, Urgent Care Set To Close Temporarily As Nurses Go On Strike Over Fair Pay
And in the end, he re-wrote his history.
Barry Rubin just had to go back to his first love – pens.
What he’s drafting for the future makes Rubin this week’s Minnesotan to Meet.
Inside the Rand Tower in Minneapolis you’ll find Rubin on the 17th floor.
“When I was a young kid, I loved pens,” Rubin said.
He discovered his fascination with the fountain pen while working at a drugstore in St. Paul during high school.
“Everything got better. My writing got better, my homework [got better], I got better grades, so I had such a positive experience from fountain pens,” Rubin said.
He opened INK in the IDS Center back in 2006.
Two years later the recession hit.
“I had a fantastic corporate business and that went away completely,” Rubin said.
So, in 2011, Rubin downsized to 500 square feet and took a lot of his business online to EBay.READ MORE: 2 Crashes On I-35W Leave 1 Dead
“You’re not the most organized guy I’ve ever seen,” Jamie Yuccas said.
“I know where everything is,” he said.
We tested him asking to pull a western inspired pen. Then we wanted something with sparkle.
He came through on each request. Showing us sports pens, retro pens and even childhood favorites.
Pens range from less than $30 to this one that’s $6,000!
“It’s wrapped in linen, it’s Asian and there are only 10 in the world,” Rubin said. “It’s hand painted porcelain.”
While this is for a collector, Rubin focuses most of his business on those working 9 to 5.
“If you’re an investment banker and you’re signing up a client to invest a million dollars, you don’t want to hand them a Bic pen,” Rubin said.
Now, he’s sketching out a new business venture, a limited edition Ink Artists Series.
One called the creator is made by former Mattel executive Mike Willmott.
“It’s almost a piece of art that comes with a pen,” he said. “My byline is ‘Art 5 inches tall.'”
That’s right, he’s targeting Millennials interested in art but only able to spend a couple hundred dollars.MORE NEWS: 2 Pedestrians Shot And Injured In South Minneapolis
Whether it comes in a box or from your heart, Rubin is counting on the emotional connection to the written word in order for customers to sign off.