MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A Monongalia County former farmer has taken a small keychain idea and turned it into a global business.
Back in 2016, Michael Sickler started a business in his basement designing custom keycaps for people wanting to build their own mechanical keyboards. That business, NovelKeys, has expanded into its own storefront and held its official ribbon-cutting on Thursday morning in Morgantown.
Employees said the demand for custom keyboard parts has grown to nearly a million followers worldwide, and Novelkeys has already shipped its parts to every continent except Antarctica.
“It kind of just snowballed,” said NovelKeys owner, Michael Sickler. “I started selling little keycaps that actually had a little keycap and a switch and from there I just kept adding products from what I was selling, and it just kept growing and wouldn’t stop, and each year we’ve grown about 200%. One of the things people really like to do is change their keycaps, and you can have all different colors for them. And we’re pretty big fans of Breaking Bad, we are fans of Star Wars, so we reached out to Disney, and we were able to get a contract to make licensed sets. We were able to work with Sony to get Breaking Bad licensed sets.”
NovelKeys is an online business only that currently sells from NovelKeys.xyz, because NovelKeys.com was already taken. However, Sickler bought the domain for his desired website title and will launch a new site, NovelKeys.com, at the beginning of September.
All website orders are shipped within three business days of the order and are packaged by one of the ten currently NovelKeys employees.
The company also hopes to release a few of its own video games later this year.