Today we’d like to introduce you to Liz Ann Hewett.
Hi Liz Ann, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Arrival in the here and now is interesting. My degree was actually in criminal justice with a focus on counter-terrorism. But my life outside school had always been grounded in the arts and creative endeavors. I was a dancer and choreographer and would direct theatrical dance performances. I still do. I’m incredibly visual, which lead to my obsession with graphic design early on. Eventually, this passion for design and my experience promoting my performances led to my marketing and design career. My analytical side from the counter-terrorism research lent itself to deep marketing analysis. Still, I credit my creative experiences and storytelling as the pillar that drives my belief that good marketing always has a human element.
I’ve been able to hold marketing or design positions in a wide variety of industries in Arizona, from real estate to restaurants. But when I met my husband, this new, incredible opportunity presented itself. He had opened his custom engraving business, Everything Etched, 6 years before our meeting, and while he loved leading the business, he saw himself as more of the operational brain. He needed someone to come in to serve as the creative element and focus on the growth of the business. After we were engaged, we realized that my experience fit this role. Working alongside my husband was not something I had ever considered before. There are enough horror stories and warnings of “don’t work with family” that made me trepidatious. But I asked myself, had anyone else in the world offered this position, would you have said yes? I would. It was just the right fit for my skill set, and the opportunity to invest my creative energy into our own family business was just an added perk.
So now I am the Chief Commercial Officer for Everything Etched. While running a business certainly comes with challenges, sacrifice, and long hours I have to admit this business feeds my soul. I get to design one-of-a-kind custom art and housewares, strategize on how to reach potential markets and customers, and stay atop the ever-changing landscape of e-commerce, all of which I love. But most importantly, I get to see our customers’ faces when they see their custom engraved item for the first time. I get to hear the shock and awe and listen to the beautiful stories of how they’re gifting it to their daughter for her wedding day, their husband for his retirement, or any other milestone events. It’s incredibly moving.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Ha! Well, as mentioned, we were engaged when I started. For context, let me say that I jumped at the company in February 2020. I had come in with optimism and excitement about growing the business but was immediately faced with needing to save the business. So within a month, Covid hit, and we were forced to halt production because we couldn’t have employees in during lockdown, sales for custom engraved gifts crashed because no one was attending social events, and topping it off, we had to handle canceling our wedding that was set to happen in March 2020.
Morale was low, but it opened up the opportunity for creative problem-solving. We decided to create a line of wedding glassware and keepsakes for other couples that had to cancel their weddings. They featured classic wedding monograms on champagne glasses with the wedding date scratched out and expletives engraved on them. A little humor goes a long way in a pandemic. The glasses were a hit and allowed us to continue until we could get production back up to full force. Since then, we’ve faced the same problems many other small businesses have experienced since Covid – supply chain issues, inflation, and the ever-shrinking workforce. But our bold creativity allows us to thrive despite these issues.
Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Everything Etched?
Everything Etched is an omnichannel custom engraving business that specializes in personalized gifts. We sell customized glassware and housewares online and have a store in Scottsdale near the Airpark that allows customers to shop with us in person or even bring in their items to be engraved.
What sets us apart is our firm belief that the personalized gift should be just that – personal. Too often, engraving companies feel impersonal. You pick one of their items and are limited to just a few initials, a tiny message, and a handful of fonts to pick from. Those limitations don’t let personality shine through. With Everything Etched we allow you to have an experience that is as personal as you want it to be. Do you want to be quick and efficient? We have dozens of high-quality pre-made designs you can plug your information into. Are you looking for something completely one of a kind? We have talented designers that can put something together for you based on your likes and aesthetics. Don’t love our product options? Shop your other favorite stores for something and bring it in for us to engrave. The brand experience isn’t about us, and it’s about YOU, the customer. I believe our company is so well-loved among our customers and partners.
We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
Success is so subjective. But for me, I weigh success on one easy metric – Impact. Have I made a positive impact on the company? Am I positively impacting my employees through mentorship and opportunities for growth? Have we made a lasting impact on our customers? Are my creative endeavors and artwork creating an emotional experience for my audience? Will my values affect my friends and family enough that they will continue to carry them on in the world after I am gone? If yes – that’s success to me.
- Website: everythingetched.com
- Instagram: @everythingetched
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/everythingetched
- Twitter: @EvrythngEtchd
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/everything-etched-scottsdale-2