Sunday, January 5, 2014

So, What Is It You Actually DO?

Yesterday, we went to a holiday party.  Yes, the last one of the season, as far as I know.  One of the first people I ran into was Aunt Jo-Ann, who is one of the many supporters of our business.  But Aunt Jo-Ann had a very important question.  She has been following our Facebook posts and blogs (I'm sure she's reading this one right now, actually), but there is one question that stood out in her mind.  She asked me, "So, what it is you sell?  What is it you actually DO?"  She wanted to see our actual product on, not just a "coming soon" page.  Between all of the blog entries and pictures of one-time projects, maybe we haven't been very clear to you what it is we're actually going to be doing here.  Maybe we should address that!

Once you decide to start your own business, one of the most difficult decisions is often what type of business to actually start.  Andee and I had tossed around quite a few different ideas, but when the personalization and engraving ideas came around, we knew this was for us.  If you know us at all, you know we’re both sentimental and love to give that perfect, unique gift.  What do you give to the person that has everything?  Something that is personally made just for them, of course!  Something no one else has!  So, we found our market, the type of business we want to run, did an analysis of the equipment we’d need, reviewed financials, built a shop, and now we have a fully functional laser workshop.  Really.  It used to be our garage.  Now it's 230 square feet of laser space.  Well, it's also holding some of our Christmas decoration boxes right now, but that'll be cleaned up shortly!  So, what’s next?  The next hardest decision on our plate…  What exactly do we sell?

Signs for the Levoy Theatre
One of the wonderful aspects of this business is that it can really go anywhere we want.  Andrea read recently in a trade magazine that owning a laser engraver is second only to owning your own gold mine.  Well, it may have been a trade mag, but let’s hope there’s some truth to that!  The packaging on our new laser hadn’t even made it to the curb yet when Andrea’s brother Ben said, “send me two cases of mugs!”  Our response?  Laser-engraved mugs?  Coming right up!  A coworker wanted a 10th anniversary present for his wife.   He ordered it from us before we had any idea what our product line was going to be.  But we took care of that one, too.  And when Jessica Doheny from the Levoy Theatre in Millville wanted 30+ signs for the facility, we gladly jumped on that as well.  When you stop by the Levoy to see their production of Grease in a few weeks, be sure to notice the Maximum Occupancy signs.  Yeah, we did that.  And you’ll also see our ad in their playbook!

And now that we’ve made quite a few different engraved Christmas presents for people, learned the ins and outs of engraving acrylic signage, mastered multiple models of mugs, and sold a few wooden signs (thanks, Brian!), we’re still faced with deciding where to focus our initial product line.  Will we be more successful in wholesale or retail?  Do we dig in and make our fortune focusing primarily on unique, one-of-a-kind designs, or do we also need some bread-and-butter accounts for corporate signage, sports team trophies and retail stores?  We are working that out right now, and we expect a balance.  If you have a business that needs signs, or if you want to see if you can save your team/group/band/school money on awards or trophies, send us a message on Facebook, or email us.  If you want to be alerted when our shopping cart website goes live and see new products we offer, we’d love it if you followed us on Twitter, liked our Facebook page or subscribe to this blog at the bottom of this page.  Know someone getting married?  Yeah, we’ll gladly engrave their engagement picture and wedding date on a beautiful piece of black marble for them (pictures coming soon)!  Or provide some etched champagne flutes for their toast.  There are many different options, and we have made some decisions in the past week or two.  Product pictures will be appearing in the next few weeks, and our retail website will be online soon, too!
Red Maple Name Sign - These are becoming popular!

And don’t be surprised if you see something on our site that you haven’t seen out there yet.  We’ve been doing a lot of brainstorming on products, and we spent a few hours yesterday at The Philadelphia Gift Show.  This industry show is where businesses from all over the East Coast go to stock their shelves for the next six months.  We spoke to quite a few potential suppliers, trying to decide which products would look good with a little personalization on them.  A little touch of Amore, if you will.  And maybe at the next Gift Show, we’ll be selling our products as well.  

So, Aunt Jo-Ann, I hope this public response to your question isn't too vague, but the real answer is, "Hang tight, it's on the way."  And be sure to keep checking back and follow us, because in this line of work, our product offerings will be constantly growing.

We’re very excited about what this year will bring.  We thank all of you who have been there cheering us on and putting faith in our start up business. 
Mike's Custom Anniversary Gift
Seriously, if we had screwed up Mike’s 10th anniversary gift to his wife, do you think she’d ever have forgiven him?  Yeah, I doubt it, too!  But I think we did pretty well.  See for yourself.  We’ve got great family, great friends, creative ideas, and a lot of desire to get out there and make it happen! 

Happy New Year from Engraving Amore.  We wish you all of the happiness you could possibly want this year.

Thanks as always for reading. Please feel free to comment below.
Twitter: @EngravingAmore

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