Interview with Sumita & Anuj Patel, founders of Home Bound Custom Decor
We create personalized home goods and gifts that can be used for all of life's major milestones! We strive to offer products that are easily giftable and personable, so that the recipient will be able to use them for a lifetime. We love offering items that customers want to proudly display in their home. We offer cutting boards, coasters, recipe boards, handwritten keepsakes, gift tags, keychains, and religious inspired items that highlight our South Asian culture.
In July 2019, I showed my husband a set of stamped books that I liked and asked if he could make me a set. These were old books that are repurposed into decor by taking the cover off of the book and using an ink pad to stamp the words of your choice on the spine of the book. He made a set for our home and I posted it on Facebook Marketplace to see if anyone else would be interested in a set. We received 25 orders the same day and by the end of the week, we were up to 100! We knew we were on to something. In about a year, we stamped and sold over 10,000 books! In August 2020, we decided we wanted to diversify our product line up and purchased our first laser (Glowforge Pro). We started by offering cutting boards and by the end of that year, we sold close to 500 boards (in just 3 months). We paid off our laser in less than a month and sprung for a second Glowforge to get through the holiday season. However, we knew that we needed something stronger and faster so right after the 2020 holiday season, we put our deposit down for a Mira 9. We received it in May 2021 and had paid it off within 30 days - we recently ordered a second Mira machine that we plan to use solely for rotary purposes (tumblers and cups).
We both work full time jobs both prior to owning a laser and even now. Sumita is an attorney and Anuj is in marketing. We are also expecting our first child this May!
We wanted to offer a more diverse product line to our established customer base and we found that most people are looking for something that can be personalized for a special occasion. We felt that a laser machine would allow us to offer a variety of items that can be both generic or personalized.
Our business has changed significantly! We went from stamping books to engraving and cutting various types of wood and acrylic. We have since launched our own website using Shopify, have grown our Instagram to over 32,000 followers, and ship orders to all fifty states, Canada, the UK, and Australia. We have generated six figure sales each year since launching our laser engraved items and continue to grow by offering new products each month. We just recently signed a lease on a warehouse space that will allow us to streamline our production even more (to this date, we have been operating out of our basement!). We were also able to hire an assistant to run the laser machine. We now also offer a marketing course for other laser owners to help them get their business up and running!
The laser has introduced a new revenue stream for our family that provides stability and ability to continue growing our assets and net worth. We have been able to pay off our mortgage quicker and save more money for our growing family.
Set yourself up for success by doing as much research and homework on the front end as possible! While nothing can replicate the hands-on approach once your machine arrives, it's a great idea to become familiar with the terminology, software, and materials you will use with the laser. Don't be afraid of investing in a laser - we had no prior experience with crafting, laser machines or even operating a business and we have learned everything along the way. The laser community is amazing and most folks are so open and willing to help - especially the Aeon team!
Our business really turned around when we launched our own website using the Shopify platform - before then (for the first 6 months of our business), we were having to take orders by hand or via social media and keep track of orders on an Excel spreadsheet. This was extremely time consuming and it wasn't sustainable as we grew. In January 2020, we sat down to create our own website using the templates that Shopify offers. Without any prior web design or graphic design experience, we were able to launch our own website that allowed us the flexibility of taking orders and adding products at any time! While it wasn't easy, it was necessary and really helped solidify our business and helped us stand out from the rest of the competition.
Being able to introduce a new product and immediately market it to obtain sales - by using creative social media techniques, powerful photography, and unique designs - we have never had a product fail!
🏚 Atlanta, Georgia
Machine: MIRA 7 & MIRA 9Commissioned by: Aeon Laser USA
Aeon Partner ✅