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Marvin Secrest - Owner
Our company had its beginning’s in 1988, however it was only to be a retirement project and what a project it has evolved into! I had spent twenty or so years in the job market as a buyer, senior buyer and then Director of Purchasing. During that time I encountered items that seemed terribly overpriced. After researching on the engraving processes, I found it to be quite involved, but yet, it had possibilities. The panel builders and OEMs I had been involved with over the years constantly complained of the overpricing, art and setup charges.
Investigating the process, I found that an entry-level hand pantograph was not a terrible expense, tooling was not even that bad. But then you start looking at inventory, advertising, machine amortization, tax liability, accounting software, and liability insurance, just to name a few. All the above should be theoretically built into your cost, but then no one could afford me either. Now I had to subtract out those items that could be used as write-offs and the balance was used to figure an accurate cost I could live with.
But even with all this figured out ahead, I had to draw on the experience I received from old friends (salesman). I soon learned that sales was an art on itself, leaving nothing said, to a courteous salesperson with good product knowledge and the ability to present themselves well.
Armed with all this, the project ensued. Working evenings and weekends, laying the groundwork for a great retirement project. All went well the first three years, pacing myself, learning the business and controlling the growth. Then I took a deep breath, stepped back to let it grow where it would. And I am happy to say, it developed rather well and I have found a true enjoyment from the challeneges from each new customer!
The last hurdle was the toughest, walking out from under the umbrella, the security of an employer, good benefits and pension. My decision erased all the above, but the potential in sight was quite full of promise. Having said that, here I am twelve years later, with the last five years of full-time self-employment. It was quite a challenge to take a part-time project and develop it into a full time self-supporting business. Today, we are fully computerized and have taken on a line of full color products as well. And I am proud to say this has been quite a ride, just wishing we had done it twenty years ago.