In one short year, a local craftswoman has established herself as the authority on all things decorative sign-making in the area.
“I never thought it would take off like this,” said Sara Stauffer. “The community has supported me so well.”
Stauffer is the founder of Revinylized Creations & Decor, which she runs out of a digital storefront at facebook.com/RevinylizedCreationsDecor/. Through her business, Stauffer not only creates custom decor and signs, but also teaches others to do the same.
“My Facebook page is what I have — I work everything else out of my home,” Stauffer explained. “I also have my classes. For those I go to people’s home or business, and then they get to pick their own design, stain and paint it in the class.”
Stauffer hosts classes locally, but often travels to towns like Raymore, Harrisonville, and even Wichita.
“I go all over the place,” she said.
While Stauffer has wholeheartedly embraced her newfound entrepreneurial pursuit, Revinylized owes its origins to a time of need in her life.
“At the time, my husband and I worked opposite shifts out at American Eagle — he worked days and I worked weekends so we didn’t have to have day care,” Stauffer said. “When I wasn’t at work I would do signs and post them for sale as sort of a side hobby. And then, when my daughter was born, she refused to take the bottle. We tried like 18 different kinds of bottles, and when anyone who would try and feed her, she would just cry and cry for hours at a time.”
Stauffer and her husband, Matt, decided she would resign to care for the child. It was then that Stauffer began to seriously consider starting her own business, she said.
“A month or two after I resigned, my husband was talking about getting another job, and I said, ‘Let me see if I can get this to take off,’” she said. “That was at the end of July 2017.”
Stauffer opened her digital storefront and soon after booked her first sign making class.
“It took off like a wildfire, and I never thought I’d be this blessed,” Stauffer said. “What I thought would be a part time gig, some side income, has turned into a full time business.
“I’m currently booking February and March 2019, with my classes. I never thought I’d be booking that far ahead. November and December have been very crazy for us; it’s been a very busy season. Christmas orders have been in very high demand.”
Stauffer continues to host sign-making classes for a wide range of occasions.
“Typical classes are a group of ladies getting together with wine and snacks, and they paint their sign,” she said. “But I’ve also done bachelorette parties, bridal showers, retirement parties, surprise birthday parties, kid’s birthday parties, team-building exercises, and even fundraisers.”
She also hosts “Make-and-Take” events that offer small, pre-stained signs and three holiday designs to choose from.
“My last one of those was the car show weekend, and I had a pumpkin, a turkey and similar designs,” she said. “I try to keep them cheaper, so that people who have kids can afford to bring their family to do it.”
Stauffer finds her style of event is accessible to all ages.
“The youngest I’ve had was 14 months old, and they had her paint a little pumpkin,” she said. “I also take that size to nursing homes, and residents paint — I’ve had a 101 year old paint them.
“When I do signs with the residents, they are so excited that they have something that they have created and can display and show their family. It’s not anything big, but it’s theirs.”
CHALLENGE AND REWARD
As a new business owner, Stauffer has learned to create boundaries between her personal and business lives.
“The hardest thing has been learning to say no,” she said. “You don’t want to overschedule yourself, because I still have a family and young kids. In the beginning, I would constantly say yes, but I learned as I went that family is priority and you have to set time that is family time.
“It’s difficult, because in saying no you don’t want people to think you can’t do something. I try to say yes most of the time, but family is definitely the number one priority.”
For all the stress that her job brings, Stauffer finds her reward in the special moments created for her clients.
“The most rewarding thing is seeing and bringing the creative side out of people,” she said. “A lot of times I will go into a class and people will be like, ‘I can’t do this, I’m not crafty at all.’ And then they finish and they are so pleased with their sign, and they can say that they are the ones that created it and picked everything out. That’s my favorite part.”