Q. Tell us about your company? How did it come about?
A. In 1998 I started an e-commerce website as a complement to my father’s tool business; I was in high school at the time. Nearly ten years later, after college, I decided to focus the majority of my time on the website, separate it from my family’s business, and run it independently. Around the same time, I noticed a trend – metal stamps were hot and they were being purchased by an unexpected customer. Women were purchasing these industrial stamps to create personalised hand stamped jewellery. When I realised there weren’t any companies catering to this market, I decided to make it my main focus, and ImpressArt was born.
Q. What products do you specialise in?
A. We specialise in everything needed to create personalised hand stamped jewellery. This includes stamps, tools, blanks, and a variety of other products that help make it easy for the novice and enthusiast to create beautiful, on trend jewellery.
Q. How is your company developing and growing?
A. Since incorporating in 2009 we continue to have tremendous year over year growth. We are constantly investing in talented new staff, equipment, and other technologies. We continue to expand distribution worldwide with successful re-sellers in about 30 countries, some of which solely focus on ImpressArt products.
Q. Have there been any recent developments that have changed your company’s profile?
A. Though product development has always been one of our strengths, we are placing even more of a focus on it going forward in an effort to keep up with our maturing audience and to appeal to new audiences.
Q. What inspires you to create new products and bring them to market?
A. Our customers inspire us. We listen to them and try to provide products that they want as well as innovative products they didn’t know they wanted. Our focus is on innovation, and that is what makes us truly unique.
Q. What can we expect from your company in the next 12 months?
A. The next 12 months will be extremely busy for us! You can expect a ton of new product releases, major growth into Europe, and a line expansion that will aim to include non-jewellery crafters.
Q. How has the market changed since you first started out?
A. In 2010, our clients were the early adopters, the people who helped to start the hand stamping trend. As the craft grew in popularity, we have attracted a broader audience. From experienced metal smiths and jewellers, to novices and craft enthusiasts who are looking for something new, we have continued to paint with broad strokes to ensure that we are not leaving anyone out.
Q. What do you feel your greatest success has been since you started your business?
A. Despite all odds, we developed something out of nothing. ImpressArt started during a recession, yet we managed to persevere and bring our product to the masses.
Q. To what do you attribute your success?
A. Much of our success is attributed to identifying and being able to fulfil the needs of this niche market. We do that by always thinking outside the box. While we’ve certainly experienced a lot of success I think it’s important to note that we aspire for a lot more and still feel we have a long way to go to be truly successful.
Q. What advice would you offer to retailers?
A. We encourage our retailers to find creative ways to set themselves apart. The days of competing solely on price are long gone. The internet has created some tough competition for brick and mortars as well as online retailers, and it is important to make sure your business is unique, and to ensure that you are providing the best experience possible for your customers. When we focused more of our time on our retail website we would always ask ourselves “How are we different from Amazon.com”. I think all retailers should regularly conduct that audit on themselves.
Q. What services and support do you offer retailers who stock your product?
A. Our customer service and collaborative spirit sets us apart from other suppliers. We offer our retailers an immense amount of support including expert sales advice and guidance, as well as strong educational, marketing, and communications tools. We make an effort to go above and beyond when it comes to servicing our retailers and arming them with whatever they need to be successful with our line. We are confident in our product and know that if it is properly marketed, it will sell itself.
Q. What trends do you predict will be popular in the coming year?
A. In a world where just about everything is mass produced in Asia, personalisation is going to continue to grow. From luxury to mass market consumers, people are looking for something unique. Hand made products offer consumers something custom and personal to them that nobody else has.
Q. What are you currently working on? New launches, etc?
A. We are always working on new stamp designs. In addition to that we have some exciting new tools coming; a revamp of our entire line of blanks, and a whole new line of on-trend project kits for non-jewellery crafters. Be sure to sign up for our email so that you stay in the loop on our latest releases!
Q. How can a new customer open an account?
A. ImpressArt makes it extremely easy for new customers to open an account. Interested retailers and distributors can fill out a dealer application at ImpressArt.com, and one of our account executives will follow up within the week.