Tell us about yourself! Where is your company located? How long have you been in business?
Sweetums Signatures was launched in January of 2007 by me, Danette Martin, in Attica, Ohio. Driven by my love of family and entrepreneurial spirit, I purchased equipment and started designing and producing decals for family and friends. Unhappy with the hours and travel required for my corporate job, I took a leap of faith, left my job and poured my time, energy and passion into my new business. Along the way, large format printing was added, allowing Sweetums to offer printed vinyl banners, signs and custom canvas wall art. As orders grew, my growing team outgrew the basement workspace and in 2015 we moved into a new shop. With more space and a desire to meet customer requests, a DTG (Direct to Garment) printer was purchased in 2016, allowing Sweetums Signatures to add a new product offering – apparel! The business expanded once again in 2017 when the tent and event rental business my father started became part of Sweetums Signatures.
What does it mean to you being a woman owned business?
Sweetums is not only a woman-owned business, but we have all female employees! It’s good to take a beat and recognize the women who came before us, who allowed us to be here today doing what we love. Because of their sacrifices, we are here! It’s a big deal.
Why is that important for your company, products, and its success?
I would say it has something to do with women being our key demographic. So many of the products we design, we have women in mind. That’s not to say we don’t have a lot of great products for men. But we are women and we think we’re best at making products for other women.
Tell us about the space where you do your work. Your facility. Size? Machines? Employees?
As orders grew, my growing team outgrew the basement workspace and in 2015 moved into a new shop which is 3,000 square feet. Sweetums Signatures also currently employs five women.
What is your background in making made-to-order products? What got you started creating?
I started making decals for my husband’s race car when I first purchased my equipment. I felt like we were just paying too much for these and I thought I could do it! I found a problem and created a solution. I quickly realized it was such a great creative outlet and I could design for more than just the boring decals for a race car. Made-to-order was just organic in the business, with so many color options and the ability to quickly create designs in many sizes.
How often do you launch new products? How long does it take to product develop and create a new product offering?
We introduce new products to our website every month. Some designs take a long time, but some just come so quickly for us!
What has been the great challenge in making and selling made-to-order products?
Returns and exchanges can be kind of a downside to made-to-order because then we just have a very specific color and size of a decal sitting around just waiting for a home! But, returns and exchanges are something we absolutely want to offer to our customers. We believe so strongly in great customer service, and just treating our customers how we would want to be treated as a customer.
What has been the greatest reward/victory in making and selling made-to-order products?
The greatest reward is often simply receiving a kind customer review, or a photo of their decal applied with their review. Seeing what we’ve created to help a customer make their space a little happier is really rewarding!
What are a couple of your favorite products in your Zazzle store?
Oooo, tough question! So very many to choose from. Some of our best sellers include:
Do you have any advice for new Zazzle Makers?
Work hard and be honest, be yourself and have fun! We have additional unfinished space in our shop that we plan to expand again this year by adding more services – stay tuned!