Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Rubber Stamp Business?

I will share something I was thinking about a few weeks ago.

I was thinking about all the great antique books that I own and how I have purchased some books just because I loved the illustrations. I was thinking about doing various kinds of transfers and how I could use these books as the source image for transfers.

I was on a rubber stamp company’s website and realized I recognized the illustrations from a children’s picture book. I then realized that anyone could use illustrations from old books to make and sell rubber stamps so long as the images were in the public domain and copyright free.

I got to thinking about how with rubber stamping the image can come out much clearer than with transfers. Well packing tape transfers are similar but you can’t work with the image as much and the ink color cannot be changed from the original color. There is also the problem of the packing tape transfer having a high gloss finish.

I then went to Google and searched about how one makes rubber stamps. I found a kit for $299 which is a soup to nuts kit. They said the cost ends up being 20 cents per square inch, if you average in the cost of all the various chemicals and supplies. Once the consumable parts of the starter kit are all used up, you can buy more chemicals and the consumable products from the same company. The process was basically two steps: take the image and make an etching and then make the rubber part of the stamp. The way they described the process seemed very easy and manageable for a person like me to be able to do.

I also saw some ads in a rubber stamping magazine advertising that if you send your etching to them they will do the rubber stamp making part. I believe the ad said the cost was $5.85 per 8x11 inch sheet of unmounted rubber stamps. This is MUCH less than 20 cents per square inch cost.

I saw another ad for a rubber stamp making vendor, who makes stamps from a person’s own designs. This ad was saying they are confidential and will keep your images secret. I then began wondering if there was some kind of underground problem whereby people send in their images to a company to have rubber stamps made then the company turns around and makes more and sells them. I would never have thought of that but it would not surprise me if that was the case. All kinds of unethical things like that go on in America.

I was then thinking that since I am so desperate for money perhaps I should go into the unmounted rubber stamp business from my home and run a web catalog. I could use images from antique books that I own and I’d have to verify the copyrights have expired.

I talked with my husband about this but he was leery. Frankly I don’t know if there is money to be made in this or “if I build it, they will come”.

If the start up costs were low and I use my free time to do this, maybe it would work.

I also wondered if I’d have to go on the rubber stamp convention circuit to promote my products.

Who knows, maybe someday I’d be on the Carol Duvall show?

Back to reality.

The reason I was thinking about this in the first place was to have rubber stamps to use for my own artwork that were designs that appealed to me.

After my husband gets a job and we can afford a $299 purchase on a hobby thing, I’ll buy that kit and check it out.

Another thing I could do is join a chat list for rubber stampers and see if anyone else has tried this kit or tried designing their own rubber stamps.

No comments: