Kevin Wildt and Hannah Scott started Stamp Yo Face thinking they might make enough money for a European vacation.
With a backlog of orders and national attention coming their way, their custom hand-drawn rubber stamp business is looking more like a full-time undertaking.
“It’s been way above and beyond what we expected,” Scott said.
Wildt got the idea for the stamps after seeing some similar stamps that a graphic artist had produced. He immediately thought of Scott’s talent for sketching people.
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Scott will graduate from Wichita State University with a degree in fine arts next fall, while Wildt’s background is in photography and videography.
Scott does the drawing for each stamp from photographs that customers provide. The sketch is sent back to the customer for approval, then a laser etcher is used to cut the image into a rubber stamp, as well as a block of maple that the stamp is attached to.
“The thing we’re proud of is we’re doing it all ourselves,” Wildt said.
The pair do credit a friend with bringing their work to the attention of a blogger from New York who’s well known in the design world. From there, other bloggers started writing about Stamp Yo Face. That, in turn, led to a blurb in O magazine’s June issue.
People use the stamps for a variety of purposes, from letters, business cards and invoices to invitations, save-the-date cards and thank-you notes. Wildt said the stamps appeal to “people who like to extend their brand. They’re kind of quirky.”
They’re also turning out to be popular gifts.
“Some people don’t know what to use them for, but they’re like, ‘I don’t care, they’re awesome anyway,’ ” Scott said.
Each stamp comes with an ink pad, the original sketch made by Scott, a digital copy of the sketch and a surprise. The stamps are 1 inch by 1 inch in size for individual portraits, twice that size for couples. The stamps cost $65 for an individual and $100 for a couple. Cheaper stamps are also available with quote marks, dog bones and other objects. Quite a few customers have stamps made with their pets on them.
Currently, most of the orders are coming from outside the city and state. The turnaround time has grown from two weeks to 12 as orders have flooded in. The pair are thinking about expanding their product line to include more colors or ink as well as paper products.
Scott said the demand for their product, launched just three months ago, has caused them to get familiar with shipping and other aspects of running an Internet business in a hurry. For instance, they think their stamps may be worth a little more than what they’re currently charging.
“We’re learning everything we’re doing, every step of the way.”