"How do you make these?" Is the most frequently asked question I receive at parties.
The vinyl cutter we use is a 24 inch Roland machine. All designs are created in our graphic design program (Corel Draw) and then sent to the cut program which then communicates with the cutter and cuts the design. But, we aren't done yet...each one of those stencils has to be "weeded" by hand. That is usually done by me or my lovely husband while we enjoy our favorite late night tv shows and a glass of Moscato! Over the years, our biggest conversations on life, family, and business have taken place while "weeding" hundreds and hundreds of vinyl stencils...I actually find this task enjoyable and time spent with the hubby is always time well spent!
Now, you may be wondering how in the world we ended up with a Roland Vinyl Cutter???!!!! Good question! We stumbled upon it actually. About, 10 years ago we had a 1 year old and twin babies on the way. We knew that I was not going to be able to return to work as a teacher with 3 babies in diapers! My husband owns a property management business so we thought and prayed for a long time on what the right direction was for our family. We needed to make choices that allowed me to stay home with our babies yet still bring in some income. We attended a seminar on how to make money printing apparel using the screen printing process. We invested a little bit of money and started a home based business in our basement. Talk about tough...I will NEVER forget that winter!! My hubby was snowplowing a TON of hours, we brought the twins home, had 3 in diapers, and I was working pretty much all night on t-shirts! LOL! Tired was an understatement. We did that for about 2 years!
Anyways, back to the vinyl cutter...while printing t-shirts, we came to the realization that we needed to somehow figure out how to print the occasional one-off shirt. We also needed to be able to customize the names and numbers of t-shirts for sport teams. With a little help from Google, we learned that our next investment was going to be a vinyl cutter! Boy oh boy, little did we know how important that decision was going to be.
Not only did we use the vinyl cutter to help us print more t-shirts, but that little machine led us into our next venture....NOPE, not pallet painting! For a few years, people were pretty much obsessed with vinyl wall quote stickers and we had the machine for that! Our apparel business took a back seat as I started to really become comfortable with the vinyl cutter. I started learning about all the different types of vinyl that were available and what they all were used for. We sold TONS of wall decals online! It was fun.
At that point, we had to make a tough decision. I had a pretty great offer from the public school system near me. I took a job teaching art part time. This newest venture did not leave us with much time for t-shirts or vinyl cutting. The equipment sat unused (but never forgotten about) for a few years. I always had this feeling that we would use all of the valuable information that we learned from those t-shirt years. We have always been self taught, motivated individuals who are not afraid to try new things...God sure did give me a wonderful partner.
About 3 years ago, that vinyl cutter got dusted off!!!! We began planning our newest and BIGGEST business venture! AND, wow how much fun this one has been...
Want to check out a Roland Vinyl Cutter for yourself?? Here's the link:
Want to check out our graphic design software?? Here's the link: