Design of Wedding Stationary, Decor, and Jewelry

Inventables: Tell us about Wed Instead, what does the company do? 
Sarah Gaut: Wed Instead is a wedding "crafting" business. I make various personalized/custom wedding stationary, decor, jewelry, etc.

Inventables: Founding a company takes courage, what inspired you start Wed Instead?
SG: I started this business because while planning my own wedding, I found it was funner to DIY than buy - so I used my own creative abilities to make pretty much everything myself, including my invitations, programs, escort cards, table numbers, card box, candy buffet, and more! Now, with my newfound talents, I can take some stress off  of other brides' backs and help them create their perfect wedding. I'm just getting started, but hope to have quite a plethora of different types of crafts up eventually.

Inventables: From a quick look at your website and portfolio it looks like you have worked on some pretty cool projects mostly relating to weddings and jewlery. Please tell us the story about the project you're most proud of. 
SG: I really love my Cookies in a Jar favors. They're so adorable! They include all the dry ingredients you need to make a batch of cookies, layered and decorated to match your event! A lot of women buy them as baby shower prizes/favors (we do crafts for other events outside of weddings as well!). Last month, I shipped an order of over 100 to a woman in New York (I'm in California) for a baby shower!
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Inventables: Tell us about some of the more interesting clients of Wed Instead.
SG: I love the uniqueness of each one of my clients - it's what makes my job fun! I customize all my items to each person, so it's each person's "interestingness" that helps me give them exactly what they need! Some of them know exactly what they want, down to the tiny details, while others trust me and want me to run with the broadest idea. I love it either way! I've got a client right now that pretty much wants to order every type of craft I make. I'm going to be her one-stop wedding depot. She's even come up with ideas I don't even sell yet that she'd like me to make for her!

Inventables: What kind of machines do you have at Wed Instead and what kind of materials do you use in them?
SG: We recently purchased a 40W CO2 laser cutter, which is our current favorite machine. It's allowed me to come up with quite a few new ideas of projects to create and sell. I have plans for a variety of new projects which include materials such as acrylic, wood, cardstock, and even fabric! I also frequently use the computer (and Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator) to create digital designs for wedding stationary, such as invitations, maps, programs, etc.
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Inventables: These new low cost digital fabrication tools are pretty exciting. How do you see this changing the wedding industry in the next 5-10 years?
SG: I think it will help start a lot of smaller businesses, which will allow the wedding world to see much more diverse and low-cost alternatives to the traditional cookie-cutter wedding. It's allowing me to create many unique items for brides who would normally have to pay a fortune to a large company to fabricate something of that scale. I can't wait to see what kind of ideas people come up with to use in their weddings!

Interview with Daniel Markovich Laser Engraver and Fabricator

Today Inventables interviewed the founder of Etchd Unlimited Daniel Markovich.

Inventables: Tell us about Etchd Unlimited, what does the company do?

DM: Etchd Unlimited works with designers and artists from all industries to create custom
limited edition products and art pieces. Using conventional laser engraving and fabrication
techniques merged with today’s high quality graphics our goal is to innovate upon these
technologies to produce something unique and tangible. We definitely like experimenting in
our studio and are always bouncing around fresh ideas and testing out new materials.

Inventables: Founding a company takes courage, what inspired you start Etchd Unlimited?

DM: I’d definitely consider myself a creative entrepreneur and have always been fascinated
with the processes of how things are made. My background as a graphic designer and passion
for art and technology is what initially attracted me to this industry and really started me on
this path of creating and customizing the world around me.

Inventables: From a quick look at your website and portfolio it looks like you have worked
on some pretty cool projects. Please tell us the story about the project you're most proud

DM: If I had to choose one it would definitely be the Machete Rulers by Pale Horse; working
with him is always a pleasure. The rulers started out as a limited run promotion for clients of
Pale Horse Design but were so popular that they were later made available for purchase. Last
November they were featured in Computer Arts, Create & Sell issue that gained a lot of positive
recognition both here in the U.S. and internationally. This has really opened doors for Etchd
Unlimited and connected us with so many talented people from all around the world.

Inventables: Tell us about some of the more interesting clients of Etchd Unlimited.

DM: Most of our clients are pretty interesting in their own way; I don’t think I would be doing
this job if they weren’t. Recently Etchd Unlimited has been exploring applications to the
letterpress and print making community by creating new and lost moveable type and other
imagery used in traditional printing techniques. Another great group of our clients come from
the fashion industry. To be released later this summer we’ve been working with a few different
designers to create their own line of laser etched denim, custom sneakers, and jewelry.

What kind of machines do you have at Etchd Unlimited and what kind of materials do you use
in them?

DM: Here at Etchd Unlimited we are constantly evolving and upgrading with the advancement
of technology. Later this year we will be fully outfitted with letterpress, vacuum press, and 3D production capabilities. We currently have in-house, an Epilog Legend EXT laser engraver that
we use to create most of our projects. There really is no material that we aren’t willing to try
unless it contains PVC or vinyl. We do extensive research on a materials’ chemical make-up
before experimenting with it to be sure of this. A big favorite of ours is working with different
types of paper, cardstock, and cardboard to create product packaging and structural graphics.

Inventables: These new low cost digital fabrication tools are pretty exciting. Where do you
see the industry going in the next 5-10 years?

DM: It’s really hard to say since technology never sleeps. The creative industry is booming
and I think we will be seeing a ton of new indie designers and products that veer away from
corporate America. As this technology progresses, we as designers are given more control over
a product which enables us to stay involved in every aspect of the design process. At Etchd
Unlimited we hope to play an integral role in the advancement of this technology while helping
others bring their vision to life.

GE Garages Launches at SXSW with Inventables

When you think of GE, you might think of light bulbs,  jet engines, or dishwashers.  GE has a long history of invention, R&D, and encouraging imagination.  On Friday March 9th, they launched GE Garages to keep this inventive spirit alive. GE is partnering with Skillshare, Tech Shop, Make, Quirky, and ( you guessed it)  Inventables to open new building spaces that serve as a manufacturing lab for technologists, entrepreneurs and everyday Americans.

The Garages project is kicking-off with a mobile pop-up location at SXSW in Austin at the corner of 4th and Guadalupe.  It’s free to the public – no SXSW registration required!  Anyone that signs the waiver to come in and use the machines is getting a free $20 gift certificate to Inventables. After SXSW,  the mobile Garage will be continuing on to Houston and then San Francisco.
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Long-term locations are being planned in Houston and Cincinnati.  At these locations, GE Garages will offer a one-of-a-kind opportunity for visitors to learn about the invention prototyping and manufacturing processes, receive support in product building, collaborate in hands-on maker workshops, participate in trainings on high-tech prototyping equipment and learn from guest speakers. The entire effort is helping GE bring its manufacturing expertise and industrial know-how to deliver manufacturing education and innovation that support each community and inspire people to think about careers in science, technology, and engineering.

At the kickoff in Austin, Inventables provided ABS plastic, PP, and a soft touch TPE. Terry from TechShop was making injection molded iPhone cases to hold the Square on the back.

Inventables is excited to be partnering with GE Garages because of our shared mission to inspire makers and inventors, and to make these processes and materials accessible to anyone with an idea, a passion, and some creative energy. Thanks to GE and Subrosa for including us in this incredible adventure.