Welcome to the “How It All Began…” story.
I’m Anita Orr,
owner and designer behind WallCutz stencil shop!
Before WallCutz, I had owned a sign shop in Canada for 10 years; offering vinyl Lettering and decals. I was a busy mom of 5 kids but was able to work from home: making and shipping vinyl sign products. Every free moment was spent working and designing. I'm not sure how I managed to do it all....(the house wasn't as clean as it could be....meals were not gourmet...) but we made time for the important things and somehow found balance.
In college I had majored in Interior Design; and I've also always loved typography and the art of ‘word design’. So, starting a sign business was just a perfect fit with my love of sign making and home décor.
In 2017- our family decided to move to the U.S.; so, I sold the business and we headed off on our new adventure to Utah, USA. (where we now reside).
Later that fall (2017) I opened a new Etsy shop called WallCutz; and began selling vinyl decals again. I was working out of the spare bedroom in our home, and I really enjoyed being able to use my creativity again and contribute to the family budget. With only two kids at home at this time; work/life balance was a little easier (and house a little cleaner). I quickly noticed a trend with customers frequently asking for stencils instead of decals...so I began offering the adhesive/one-time use kind of vinyl stencil. That eventually evolved into figuring out how to make reusable stencils out of a really thin, plastic material (5mil mylar). This was a huge step forward in that we could now offer reusable stencils as well as vinyl; and helped the Etsy shop tO continue to grow. This is where Bruce (aka hubby) comes in…
co-owner of WallCutz! Bruce has worn many hats in his career life; from teacher to working in the oil fields. Upon moving to Utah, Bruce started an irrigation repair company and was kept super busy from spring to fall. Come wintertime; he would help me with the vinyl business and looked for ways to help it grow. During the winter of 2018; he experimented with some Facebook advertising and set up an official WallCutz website. At the time I didn’t have a lot of hope or foresight that this would be beneficial; but Bruce proved me wrong. Before I knew it, I was asking him to please stop advertising so much! I couldn’t keep up with the demand. But this was a good problem to have. We both started looking for better ways to manage production and find a more effective way to make stencils. With a little research we decided we would need a laser cutter; and by the summer of 2019; we bought our first laser!
I’ll always remember the day when the first laser machine was dropped off on our driveway. It came all the way from China in a great big wooden crate, and I definitely felt a little panicky at first! My brain was thinking “what did we just do??!!....how much did we just spend??!”. With the help of Bruce; WallCutz stencil shop was growing in ways that I couldn’t have done on my own. And he gave me the confidence that we could make this work; together!
Over the next year we bought a second laser and somehow managed to fit both in our garage. The garage was the main manufacturing room, and our family room became the packaging and shipping station. This worked for a while but soon became obvious that we needed more room to expand. In the first half of 2020; when everyone was stuck at home during Covid and needing some crafting therapy; we saw a big spike in business. Shopping online and crafting became a popular CoVid past time. In June of that year we moved into a warehouse space and were able to have some much needed space (and get our garage home back to just being a ‘home’!)
We are now enjoying a full warehouse; 4 laser machines and 7 employees! We enjoy going to work each day and helping our customers succeed in being crafty. So many of you run your own sign business and it’s our goal to help make that easier.
I am grateful for Bruce and his part in helping the business to grow. He is definitely more of a risk taker / numbers guy which I really needed. He manages the advertising and finance side of things and I am happy being the designer/ production manager. It’s not always advisable for husbands and wives to work together; but we complement each other really well and have enjoyed having something to work on together.
What does the future hold for WallCutz? Well right now we’re exploring some new wood products/ kits that we can make with our laser machines. Hopefully we can stay in tune with what 'crafters' need and what ‘makers’ want. I’ve been involved in the crafting world for over 15 years and I love seeing how the industry evolves. Trends come and go but the need for crafting therapy will always survive.
A big thank you to all our customers for supporting our small, family business! We work hard to offer you the best products and customEr service possible!