Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in fine arts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tyler Cadwell, Founder of Everything Etched, located in Scottsdale, AZ, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Everything Etched is a custom engraving business that specializes in personalized gifts. We sell custom engraved glassware and housewares online. We also have a store in Scottsdale, Arizona, that allows customers to shop with us in person or even bring in their items to be engraved.

Tell us about yourself

My business began as nothing more than a personalized wine cork holder for my mother on Christmas. I decided to etch a shadow box by hand to create a personalized wine cork holder. The final product was so well received I decided to bring these keepsakes to Etsy. From that moment, EverythingEtchedAZ was born. What started as a one-man operation with only a couple of tools quickly turned into a fully loaded workshop with eight laser engravers and a growing omnichannel business that includes our website, Etsy, Amazon, and a brick-and-mortar storefront.

At my core, I'm a builder. I love to turn a vision into a reality, and I get to do that every day at Everything Etched. I get to be hands-on and build amazing products that are used in milestone events for so many people. Being in the business of celebrating weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, retirements, and life and death, it’s an emotionally rewarding business, and we look forward to providing memories for years to come.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

There is not one accomplishment that stands out among the rest. Instead, it's the whole picture. I've gone from working solo in my parent's garage to having a team working on creating one-of-a-kind products for clients like Verizon, the Las Vegas Knights, the San Francisco Giants, Amazon Music, and Apple.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

One of the hardest things about being a business owner is that you are always on. Days are always busy, and things always come up. As your business grows, it can be easy to get lost in the day-to-day, but as the leader, you need to see beyond that. After everyone goes home, that's when I'm doing the real work, planning out the future of the company.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Hope for the best. Plan for the worst. My story may sound successful, but the path was not linear. In 8 years, my business has literally had to survive a fire, a flood, and a pandemic! You never know what’s around the corner.
  2. Celebrate the win. Be proud of yourself. Recognizing accomplishments helps build excitement, and that excitement helps drive you and your business forward.
  3. Get a mentor or a coach. As an entrepreneur, you have to wear many hats, and there is no need to try to figure everything out on your own.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

We may be in the business of bespoke gifts, but as craftsmen, we shouldn’t be afraid of technology. By embracing technology, we’ve found out how efficient we can really be. Last year we introduced our proprietary ERP system, made to track every step of a product from order placement to design, engraving, QA, shipping, managing inventory, and customer communications.

This has decreased our order errors to less than 1%, increased production capacity by 300%, and we’ve narrowed average production time to 24 hours or less.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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