Before there was texting, tweeting or sliding in someone’s DMs, there was letter writing. In the early days, a person put pen to paper, signed and closed the envelope with a wax seal. Yet, somewhere in the age of technology, the practice of letter writing has gotten lost in the shuffle, but wax seal boutique Artisaire is determined to change this.
In 2009, parent-company, WaxSeals.com first began manufacturing in-house. Manufacturing on their own, instead of working with production partners, allowed them to provide on-trend products and, more importantly, to create a consistent and quick experience with custom products.
In January 2018, the family-run brand launched Artisaire. The mission was simple: to get people to connect in a way that wasn’t digital. The company’s motto is expression, color, ease of use and taking a modern approach on the traditional art of wax seals.
Today, the boutique offers wax seals, wax stamps and sealing wax. What once was a business based out of a family garage is now a 7,000 square feet company known nationwide for its quality wax seals, working with the likes of high profile international brands to entrepreneurs launching a new idea.
What is the value of wax seals in 2020? Do people still use handwritten correspondence? Darling got to chat with Artisaire CEO, Darsh Thomsen to answer all these questions and learn about this timeless art.
What has the process been like of starting off as a small family company, to creating seals for big brands, to launching Artisaire in 2018 and now making seals for everyday people?
The fundamentals behind our business have not changed since we were a team of five working from our family garage. Our focus has always been on the highest level of customer care. This does not change whether we are producing seals for our favorite global brand or helping a bride add a traditional impression to her wedding stationery.
That’s not to say that we haven’t had our growing pains. Literally, our office is currently under construction because we are running out of room! In any growing business, it really comes down to the company’s values and ensuring that they are recognized, respected and appreciated among team members.
It really comes down to the company’s values and ensuring that they are recognized, respected and appreciated among team members
One of our biggest values is community, both internally and externally. Every month at Artisaire, all the departments get together from production to marketing and sales, and we collaborate over cake or pizza. We talk about updates, processes, and changes and everyone has an opportunity to contribute to the conversation and voice their concerns or recommendations. Most of all though, we have a good time doing it. Not only is this extremely productive (and delicious), but it fosters our community internally and allows the entire Artisaire team to connect on a regular basis.
In 2009, your company began manufacturing on its own. How did this change the quality and process of making wax products?
The desire to bring manufacturing in-house came from wanting to better fulfill our customer’s needs. When working with production partners, we experienced issues with quality, consistency and delayed timelines. These were mountain-sized barriers.
Manufacturing in-house also allowed us to respond to customer requests quickly. Whether that means adding a completely new color to the palette or adjusting our engraving techniques, we have the capacity to address feedback and provide a solution quickly, which is very important to us.
We simply want to be the best at what we do. We have always had a passion to continually learn and adapt to the market. Our focus is to create an effortless client experience by working with our team throughout the order process.
We simply want to be the best at what we do.
Moreover, our obsession is to bring innovation to the industry through our strengths as well as a close community of partners and brand ambassadors. After 10 years, it is safe to say, bringing manufacturing under our roof has directly contributed to our success.
What was the most difficult hurdle you encountered after manufacturing was brought in-house?
The challenge was to find suppliers for the raw materials within North America (whereby we ensured that we did not recreate the issues experienced with an outsourced model). However, this was one of the most rewarding parts too because during this R&D phase we formed relationships with local businesses, which ultimately allowed us to source some of our materials from right here on Vancouver Island.
What is the value of wax seals in the digital age? Why are they relevant?
Wax seals create a memorable moment. Whether it’s your wedding day or you are looking to up your branding game, adding wax seals really shows that extra attention to detail and thoughtfulness, which in turn passes more value to the moments we cherish. It’s the extra care and those intentional embellishments that really tell your guests or clients that they are important and that you appreciate them.
Adding wax seals really shows that extra attention to detail and thoughtfulness.
Lastly, how are Artisaire’s wax seals unique from competitors?
On the surface level, it’s our color and our quality. We love color, and it’s something we take seriously. We really pride ourselves in the time and effort we take to create each color. Our current palette features 48 contemporary colors, but this is something that is constantly on our minds.
In addition to this, our wax formula is different from traditional waxes on the market. We’ve created our modern wax formula to be both flexible and durable so that it can handle the stresses of mailing.
On a higher level, at Artisaire, we are modernizing wax seals by using our business and industry knowledge while partnering and highlighting creatives in the industry to bring artistry and trend to our designs. Our designs are created in partnership with a large community of creatives, from stationers to calligraphers to brand stylists and design studios. We firmly believe it takes a community to build a sustainable brand. Our Creative Community is at the heart of our growth. By elevating their talents through our products, we create opportunity for both brands, and we get to create with some of the most wildly talented individuals in the industry!
We firmly believe it takes a community to build a sustainable brand.
Embedded within our trade program, Artisaire PRO, is our education and community campaigns where the goal is to connect creative-preneurs in the community and to start a conversation about being a business owner and what that means. This includes everything from the start-up struggles and the day-to-day challenges to the growing pains.
One of the ways that we foster community in PRO is with our Spotlight feature. The Artisaire PRO Spotlight features a different creative-preneur every two weeks who shares their journey as a business owner and showcases their vibe, style and brand. We take the philosophy “Rise by lifting others” to heart, and it is at the core of all we do.
Have you ever used a wax seal? Do you think the art of letter writing is relevant today?
Images via Tony Li