When starting up the business, I had no idea how much stuff I would accumulate and how many apps, websites and different types of tech I would be needing. Here's a breakdown of the equipment I use on a daily basis.
The things I knew about.
Luckily I already had one of these at home. It's nothing special. Just a cheap HP that I picked up for a couple hundred dollars a few years ago. I have just recently upgraded to a Dell 2-in-1 which hopefully will be here at the end of the month.
If you read my previous blog, you'll know that I didn't come up with this business venture on my own. So my sister gave me a heads up that I needed a vinyl cutter. Between her experience with her Cricut and my sister-in-laws experience with a Silhouette, I ended up going with the Cricut Explore Air 2. I have the Cricut app downloaded onto my laptop and on my phone so I can work on the go. I do prefer working on the laptop though, as it 1, has a bigger screen and 2, it also has more features and fonts than the app.
Having a Cricut was going to do me no good without the vinyl. I have tried out different vinyl companies but my go-to is the Cricut brand.
I also had one of these already at home, but it's nothing special. I paid $20 for it at Walmart about the same time I bought the laptop. I use my printer for shipping labels and also to make waterslides and my logo stickers for all the cups.
I very well couldn't start a company selling custom tumblers if I didn't have the cups. I spent weeks researching different wholesale sites and emailing those companies for their prices. I started out with just 25 of the 20oz skinny tumblers and decided I would go from there. What I didn't expect was to run low so quickly.
I spent quite a bit of time researching glitter. (I know, what could there be to research.) What I didn't expect was how many different types of glitter there was. I even looked into an environmental friendly glitter, but since that's a relatively new thing, the prices are outrageous. I am keeping an eye out for when it becomes more affordable to make the switch.
I spent a fair amount of time researching what brand of epoxy I wanted to use with my cups. I needed to make sure it was FDA approved since it was going on drinkware. I also wanted to find one that didn't emit toxic fumes. I knew I would be running the company out of my home, and with kids and pets running around, I needed the air to stay safe.
With the epoxy being self-leveling, the tumblers have to spin for approximately 6 hours before they can sit and cure. I initially only bought 1 turner and only after a few days bought 4 more. I didn't have to do much research on this luckily, as my sister already had and recommended the one she used.
Now, you're probably thinking, "that's got to be it." Yeah, that's what I thought too. Well, I hate to break it to you, but it's not. Here's a list of things I've picked up along the way that I have needed.
A Postage Meter
Now, I could have probably gone with-out this and just taken everything to the post office. However, having this here has enabled me to partner with a company to help save with shipping costs. Before I had the meter, shipping was over $10 for 1 cup at the USPS. Now with my shipping partner, I can pass some savings on to the customer and make it a bit more affordable.
I have a large variety of spray paints and acrylic paints on hand for different styles of cups. I don't know why I didn't think of this before hand, but not everybody loves glitter.
I think that's all the big stuff. There was also a lot of little things that I've picked up that have made my life a bit easier.
- Isopropyl Alcohol
- Exacto Knife
- Electrical Tape
- Paper Towels
- Popsicle Sticks
- Heat Gun (one of those things I knew I needed off the get go, but kept forgetting to buy)
- Paint Brushes
- Fabric Ruler
- Shipping Boxes
This has been quite the adventure and there are still things I'm learning everyday. I'm sure there's even more items I use daily and I'm forgetting about.
Keep an eye out for my next post, and I'll go over all the different companies I use to keep up on the online side of things.