Friday, November 06, 2009

I think that I shall never see anything so lovely as .. natural wood!!

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At we have come to find that wood is our favorite product to work with... whether it's shiny toy trucks, dollhouse furniture, frames made from recycled pine boards, or wall art engraved on the laser. Some of our pieces come from a supplier who uses reclaimed wood from the floor of Colorado forests, which they then process and dry, and some of the pieces come from wood recovered from my own back yard after Hurricane Ike destroyed the fence. We find ourselves happily scavenging wherever wood has been tossed aside carelessly; it can always be turned into art!

Although our website offers everything from full-color sublimated products to rhinestones to bling yourself up with, our true love is wood and anything we can make from it. At Canton next month we will even be offering wood dog tags. Now, have you ever heard of that? We haven't either, but that won't stop us from making it available.

October Canton was a strange experience. Thousands and thousands of people on Hallowe'en walked the grounds, but one thing was quite different. This time people were empty-handed. It was the strangest, scariest thing to see. This, the largest flea market in the country, had very few people actually spending money.. hanging onto that wallet until next market, and waiting to see what happens in the world. Today's economic news is not good, more unemployment, although that's not so much the case here in Texas. But everybody seemed to be cautious. Sunday was a better day, when people who had come to buy finally did so.

One more market before Christmas, December 4, 5, 6 will tell us how we're doing. At Engrave Today we have many gifts that are inexpensive, but our niche is slowly becoming quality wood art pieces, and custom-engraved memorials and boxes. And that's good because that's what we love to do! Somehow it doesn't feel right to stock a ton of stuff from Hong Kong, since there are plenty of other vendors for that.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Cooking in Canton

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We loved our last weekend in Canton, even at 102 degrees. "They" tell us that it gets better in September but in July it was an oven. The traffic was made up of very red-faced sunburned people, who were on their way to some other Fourth of July celebration, but I have to admire their fortitude. We found ourselves hiding out in our air-conditioned shop most of the time. I was happy to hear, however, that Animal Control was raiding the Dog Town section. It was entirely too hot to have puppies and other animals out there without arrangements for keeping them cool.

But the circus atmosphere at Canton is exciting to those of us who love festivals, with their kettle corn and smoothies and turkey legs -- if you haven't been there, you're missing a treat. It takes at least three days to see everything and I certainly have not yet. Next Canton Trade Days starts July 30 and although it does not promise to be any cooler, it will still be fun.

Of course the best-selling items were anything Michael Jackson. I just don't think that fast.
Our top products are the beautiful heirloom boxes with laser engraving that makes them all one of a kind. Come see us!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Well, I did it

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I have opened a business. Rather than buy a franchise, after thinking long and hard, I decided to go at it backwards: I bought equipment and am learning to use it. Instead of a brick-and-mortar store, I have online presence. I have marketed to businesses locally to provide promotional items and corporate gifts; to coaches to provide trophies and awards; and to friends and relatives to market clever little photo gifts.

I have spent a small fortune on the website and on website optimization, so sometime between now and midsummer, I may be busy at this project. Then I can beg off and turn it over to my children to run, if they happen to be unemployed, or hire people and get a tax credit if they are not unemployed.

Losing money in the stock market and in savings accounts just stopped appealing to me. Surely putting money into solid assets makes more sense. At least I can barter for food until the criminals get out of the government and stop stealing all our money.

How long will it take to recover from the past decade? Long live Mike Malloy.