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March 2023 is the 10-year anniversary of business ownership for Self-Inking Stamps Limited. Trent and Antoinette bought from John and Dianne who retired in 2013. Back in 2006 John and Dianne started Self-Inking Stamps Limited. John a printer by trade had seen what laser engraving machines could do and added this technique into their printing business.
Their first engraving machine while adequate to do what they were doing just wasn’t quite what John was looking for. During this time, they were asked if they could produce custom made rubber stamps. They developed techniques and found they could do this type of work as well. Before they knew it, the rubber stamp business income grew fast after the first 12 months.
In 2011 they sold their Kiwiana work and their first laser engraving machine and invested in the latest technology for a very capable Trotec laser engraving machine. Plus, something extra. The icing on the cake was they were the first in New Zealand to own and operate a multi-colour Jet laser machine. This high tech laser machine with its highly specialised computer programming could make multi-colour stamps in tandem with the laser engraving machine.
This unique ability in Auckland and New Zealand was their point of difference. Plus, laser engraving rubber stamps has benefits over the old established photopolymer methods. Including it is a lot cleaner on the environment with less waste and chemicals used in the process. The waste now reduced to some fine rubber dust. No contaminated water, chemical residues or waste moulds. For a much better carbon footprint.
By the end of 2012 and some hard initial graft in marketing by Dianne they had developed the work sufficiently that it could be described as a medium sized custom stamp making business. However, it was time to retire. They had some fun over the years developing their businesses and it was time to choose the retirement pathway.
Initially it was a part time business. However, with a new website and online marketing plus some system changes growth meant further changes. The volume had grown outside of being a part time or one-man band sized enterprise. It was insufficient to bring Antoinette into the business. This is when Claire joined the business in a part time role. As our kids had grown up together and we all used the walking school bus together Claire was a great fit. Plus, she could just walk to work being close by.
As time went by a lot of experience was gained, and systems improved the business growth was able to be better managed. Antoinette spent more of her ‘spare time’ keeping the accounts side of the business ticking along. The collection of people on the monthly newsletter grew. It is so exciting to see thousands of people receiving those little updates each month. Who won stamp of the month? We still have one customer commenting every time he buys a new stamp ‘this one better win stamp of the month!”. Must be a coveted prize. Retail stationery stores joined our clientele taking advantage from the quick turnaround and direct to customer shipping while keeping their valuable customers.
Luckily as Trent and Antoinette could operate Self-Inking Stamps together and from home, we could still assist our essential services clients. Many small food industry enterprises, a lot of medical people and hospitals could remain able to get these important little custom-made stamps for stamp marking their products and important documentation. While one of the team was not able to help due to isolation requirements Antoinette was able to increase her hands on time.
Because of the lockdown Antoinette’s management role was made redundant in her ‘day job’ full time employment. What a blow! However, the silver lining was the increased workflow during this time. Another lockdown just cemented another change to the business. With Antoinette having more time in the team, we could now expand the business. It was decided to invest in a bigger, better faster, stronger laser engraving machine and expand our laser engraving side of the business.
When people saw the laser engraving machine questions like ‘so what else can you do with that?” Custom laser engraving had started to grow. Little business cards, Stencils, cutting board engraving, personalised items and brand identification products became popular. However, the original laser machine size and power was a limitation.
This really expanded what sort of work could be achieved. With over four times the laser bed area much larger items like laser cut stencils could be achieved. The height was also much taller. The base of wine glasses can now be engraved standing up. With four times the power laser cut MDF, and laser cut acrylic up to 12mm thick were achievable in a single pass of the laser with precision.
Laser engraving items up to 800 x 500mm are possible. Wood and acrylic to 12mm thick are now being cut. Acrylic is a wonderful product and can have many products cut and engraved from it including acrylic trophies, wedding name place settings, shop signage, business cards, menu boards, keyrings, coasters and the list goes on. There is a terrific range of solid colours available in 3mm, 6mm and 10mm being laser cut and laser engraved. Two- and three-layer acrylic like Trolase with surface engravable colour changes are ideal for signs, name plates, badges, coasters and trophy plates.
A special rotary turning part was a new ability for Self-Inking Stamps. Now engraving of round items could be done. This is especially suited to engraving glasses and bottles. Even glasses with a handle like laser engraved beer handles can be done. Customization of this sort of glassware is just so cool. Permanent high quality laser engraving of glass of all sorts is possible. Glasses, beer handles, bottles and coasters are all able to be custom laser engraved.
This can be used to accurately laser engrave, and laser cut printed material. This might be paper, cardstock, wood or acrylic which has been printed or UV printed on the surface of the material. At that time specific registration marks in the waste area are also applied. The camera system finds these registration marks and then using those locations can accurately cut out the printed areas. A very fast and exact process for high quality specialist print and cut applications.
The team changed again in 2021. Claire had finally sold her house and moved away. Unfortunately, we lost a great member of the team, and we were sad to see her go. However, it meant that Antoinette was able to fully embrace the role. Finally, a goal was reached for the husband-and-wife team, yippee.
March 2023 sees the 10-year anniversary for this husband-and-wife team. We can help you buy a custom-made stamp. Or order custom laser engraving and custom laser cutting.
They were so helpful, gave clear easy instruction which made ordering very quick & easy. All done with with such speedy service. Highly recommended. Thank you.
Thanks to Antoinette for her wonderful, helpful and friendly assistance, and the designers for quickly producing and editing proof’s as requested. Great service and pricing. Delivery was superfast! 10/10 – thanks team!
Thank you Antionette and Trent for going above and beyond on a last-minute project for me. Great people and great work!