The Full Story
This is how I turned a bad investment into a great investment
When I first started my business I was making home decorations and tumblers. I invested in a large quantity of tumblers. I bought one in each color and in two different sizes. This was a sizable order of tumblers, and when I got them I realized they were powder coated. And the only thing that can be done with powder coating is laser etching. Other options are resin coatings and decals. I didn't like either of those options and I couldn't afford a laser machine. So for over a year I was stuck with 30 powder coated tumblers sitting in my garage with no hope of turning them into products I could sell. I even listed them on Etsy in the hopes of getting some of my loss back.
"there has to be another way"
I began thinking there has to be another way to etch powder coated tumblers without a laser machine. I began testing tools and chemicals. I tried a rotary tool and that was a disaster. I tried scratching a design which would have taken me months and it would have looked unprofessional. I looked online for tools and began testing all the chemicals I had in my home, from an adhesive remover to paint stripper. I used one tumbler to test everything out.
a break through!
Finally a break through!! I figured out what to do with those 30 powder coated tumblers that didn't require me buying a laser, working with resin or making decals.
Using my best quality vinyl, I made a stencil and applied a thick coat of the Citristrip gel to the stenciled tumbler.
I have been using Citristrip to strip furniture for over 20 years, so I always have a bottle in my garage.
The results were amazing, and I was beyond giddy with my discovery. This was going to change the future of coated metal surfaces forever and the crafting industry forever. What use to cost the owning a laser cutter (thousands of dollars) now costs less than $20. Engraving without a laser is now a option with Etching with Citristrip.
So began my hunt for tumblers that I could etch. I went to Walmart, Target, Dollar Store, 99 cents Only, Yeti’s sold at my Lowe’s store, Marshalls, Sam’s Club. Everywhere I went, if I found anything with a powder coating, I was going to test out this process.
I shared my discovery on Social Media and it blew up. So many other artists and makers were excited to test this out and share their results.
Since then, I have evolved my methodology, developed best practices, and began teaching classes out of my garage. I am continuing to spread this game changer and excited to see where this takes me.
But this isn’t my first discovery, nor will it be my last. I am always testing, innovating and "trailblazing".
So make sure you stay close because this is only the beginning.