November '22

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7 0 G R A P H I C S P R O • N O V E M B E R 2 0 2 2 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M LASER ENGRAVING REPORT customers as well," Gates explains. "Most are nature lovers I would say. A lot of my work is nature-focused, especially for jour- nals, they are made of sustainably sourced wood and those that are environmentally conscious love that aspect of it." Her customers range from bookstores to boutiques. Gates still makes wood- engraved earrings but she is starting to move more toward the stationery side of things. "I have started to play around with actual coloring. I have done (the) paint backfilling technique because it looks like an inlay into the wood," she says. "I haven't perfected it yet, so I don't have too many product categories on that, but that is something I'm really interested in expanding into." e journals are her favorite item to date because she loves the accent page beneath the cover. Her most popular journal fea- tures an engraving of mountains and a for- est on the cover, but a cutout in the wood shows a picture of the night sky, giving the journal a 3 D look. "It was the first one I made, and I'm very glad I made it. It has done wonder- ful things," she says. e journals are made completely in- house using heavy-duty paper cutters and binding machines that will punch holes and wire bind the journals together. Gates added that never in her wildest dreams would she have thought she could do this job full-time. "It was intended to be a cre- ative outlet for me but then I saw that potential and got that entrepreneurial bug I guess and just went for it," she says. Her scientific background has set her up for success in business. "A lot of times in my business I will seek out opportunities to test things out. I will do the gen- eral hypothesis testing they teach you in school. I treat it as a scientific test to be honest. It has worked out wonderfully and it is fun for me," she says. When she purchased her Thunder Laser in December 2021, she had to get a commercial space for the first time to accommodate it because it was four times the bed size of her Glowforge at 5' X 4'. A lot of my work is nature-focused, especially for journals, they are made of sustainably sourced wood.

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