♥ ♥ Our mission is to craft quality items with meaning. We believe in surrounding ourselves with the things we love and things that have a positive impact on our lives. We want each and every piece we create for you to bring about joy, for both special occasions and simple day to day life. Made with love and light. - Ara Designs Team ♥ ♥
Welcome to Ara Designs. We love providing meaningful items for special occasions and everyday use. I have recently started selling laser-engraved pieces full time and it has been a blast. It's quite different from my last line of work, doing nuclear chemistry research, but I love learning, and the challenge of a new career has been a great driving force.
I started off selling hand-stamped garden tags and jewelry on Etsy. I loved offering personalized items, making each product unique, but I'm a perfectionist, so I moved on to laser engraving, a method that still gives me the freedom to create unique products without sacrificing the precision I desire.
Our goal is to provide people with meaningful items that have been artfully designed and executed in a meticulous and precise manner, so you get best of both worlds ... professional quality items and the creative design and personalization that makes an item unique and truly yours. Each and every item is made with love.
Here's a secret ... I am fond of all things whimsical, cute, and fun. I sometimes feel I have to suppress this side of me to get across my dedication and competence; and I guess it doesn't particularly shine through as a Ph.D. Chemist. I'm also fond of minimal, high-quality design.
All of our items are laser-engraved in Zeeland, Michigan.
Ara Designs is rapidly growing in size thanks to our wonderful customers!
Aranh Pen firstname.lastname@example.org
We offer: Personalized Gifts | Personalized Jewelry | Personalized Wedding Gifts | Personalized Home Goods | Keepsakes | Pet ID Tags
Aranh Pen | Founder of Ara Designs
I'm a scientist. I'm an artist. I'm a business woman.
I love my family. I love learning. I love my job.
My very long story | I went to school for forever and eventually earned my Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2009 from the University of Chicago. I moved back to Holland to join my daughter and husband at the time, but I was having a very difficult time finding a geochemistry job (or any job, for that matter) in Western Michigan, and since I cannot sit still for long, I took up some more hobbies. I taught myself some graphic design and learned how to play with vector graphics. One day, I decided I needed an herb garden, couldn't find very cute ones for indoor use, so I fabricated some adorable ones out of pure copper and designed my spiral stake that kept the tag permanently in place and started selling them. I then began making and selling constellation jewelry because I am in awe of the universe beyond us, and star-gazing makes me feel one with it. Shortly after that, I was offered a nuclear chemistry position, and knowing nothing about nuclear chemistry (nuclear chemistry = unstable isotopes, while I was trained in stable isotopes), I accepted. I lead a team of nuclear chemists, physicists, engineers, and I taught myself electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, fluid dynamics, and dabbled in enough programming to get the job done. We built an automated water target system to collect radioactive beams because you don't want to be anywhere near the system during the experiment. My temporary two-year position turned into 6 years due to receiving additional funding since our experiments were successful.
Then ... the dreaded job search. I, again, applied all over the states, and during this time, was really soul-searching. Science makes my heart flutter, but unfortunately, I'm not doing science all the time. There's lots of grunt work involved. I also did not want to uproot my family. I am quite happy in Holland, MI, so I decided to get back to selling garden tags and jewelry again. This time, I wanted it to be more automated, so I bought a CNC mill and taught myself how to engrave and cut out copper, aluminum, and wood, but dang, this was so nerve-wracking, and after a few computer glitches that resulted in the loss of large copper sheets, I decided to go a different route. I took a short break to re-evalutate what it was I REALLY wanted to do.
I love offering personalized items and giving people products that they wanted. My garden tags were completely customizable (all 10 herbs/veggies were the ones in their garden). I did my research, looked into the positives and negatives of laser cutting and laser engraving machines and decided that I was going to laser engrave and get all of my items produced for me, as long as I got to design them to ensure great quality, so I could focus on doing the really fun work, which is coming up with awesome designs and having the time to expand my line so that I could offer my customers more options for personalized merchandise. I taught myself how to use and optimize a fiber laser to give the best engraving quality possible. I taught myself the basics of marketing, customer service, and running a business ... and oh man, I AM HOOKED.
This is the most fun I've ever had. I can't decide what's more fun, though, the business aspect OR burning/vaporizing stuff.
These days, I find myself completely engrossed in growing our company, working all the time, and absolutely loving it!
We've grown to a company of three in 1.5 years. Kaitlyn and Nicole are amazing, and I'll let them tell you about themselves.
Kaitlyn Spillane | Graphic Designer | Laser-Engraving Extraordinaire | Customer Service | and Everything Else
Nicole Coredero | Graphic Designer | Laser-Engraving Extraordinaire | Customer Service | and Everything Else