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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Unique business

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mary and Raymond Staub, Brazil, created a custom design, which was laser etched onto a wine bottle for a friend. With their laser etching machine, they have placed designs on shotgun handles, flashlights, along with other creations like angel and butterfly cutouts. [Order this photo]
Area couple turns passion into business opportunity

A Brazil couple is utilizing their creative traits to create some unique items.

Mary Staub had always wanted to start her own business, but was never quite sure in what direction she wanted to go.

Brazil resident Raymond Staub makes the final adjustments on the laser etching machine before placing the logo of his sister's company, Thriftstore Cowboy Vintage, Terre Haute, on a coat hanger. [Order this photo]
That changed when she and her husband, Raymond, attended The Woodworking Shows at the Indiana State Fairgrounds earlier this year.

"We had a couple friends from Kansas City visit us and we all went to the show together," Mary said.

"While we were there, I came across a booth showcasing a laser etching machine, everything clicked and I knew that's what I wanted my business to be."

In April, the couple purchased their own laser etching machine, a Legend 36 EXT model, and began learning the different aspects and testing out the possibilities.

"Raymond has become pretty proficient with the intricacies of the machine, while I am still trying to figure out some of the aspects," Mary told The Brazil Times.

Raymond added, "I have always been into woodworking, and I grew up around it."

After initially planning to create products as a hobby for their friends and family, the couple discovered the machine had more capabilities than just etching designs on wood.

"We have a rotary tool that can be hooked up, which allows us to place deigns on various items, like wine bottles and insulated cups, so it is not just a woodworking machine," Raymond said.

The Staubs have etched designs on out-of-the-ordinary items, such as a Maglite flashlight and the handle of a shotgun, but have also utilized their technology to create something for the City of Brazil, of which they are both employees.

"We have made a couple of signs to be put up at Craig Park," Raymond, the city's deputy clerk-treasurer, said.

"It's just something nice we felt we could do for the city to recognize the areas that have been named after a couple of residents."

He added just about any item can be etched, but there are a few exceptions.

"We can't do any etching on PVC pipe or any treated wood because of the risk of the heat releasing hazardous chemicals," Raymond said.

Mary, who works in the city's human resources department, added, "Other than the bottles, we usually stick with untreated wood like Balsa wood and Alder wood, in part, because they are easier to make cutouts with."

Purchasing their wood products from local lumber mills and hobby shops, the Staubs said one major downside to their particular machine is that they are not able to place designs on baseball bats.

"Our machine is a little too short to fit a bat into," Raymond said. "But we are still able to try out different things, and I have even etched designs on the doors of our kitchen cabinets."

In recent months, the couple has created their own business, which is registered with a Tax Identification Number, and are looking to purchase a building to start selling their products.

"We named our business Laser Art Studio, and we have received some offers to rent, but we would prefer to own a building," Mary said. "Right now, we sell a few items here and there, but are waiting until we have our own building before we really start selling on a large level."

Raymond added that pretty much any design could be brought to them, which would be scanned into a computer that sends the information to the etching machine.

"Everything has to be very precise," he said. "Glass items can be a little more difficult because the hardness can vary within a single bottle, which affects how well a design can be placed, but we have gotten better and have been able to make things work very well."

For more information about Laser Art Studio, or to inquire about possible orders, call 442-7313.

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