2020 will mark our 7th year of business and while it may not be a full decade, we are proud to have been one of the first companies of this century to bring wax seals to the modern market. So with that, here's a quick reminder of our backstory and the reason for being.
‘Stamptitude was born out of frustration. We searched high and low to find half-decent Wax Seals online but were constantly met with dreary, uninspiring websites. This was back in 2013 when the Wax Seal industry was a barren wasteland. All the companies at that time were terribly old fashioned and out of touch with the modern market.
When we started Stamptitude our goal was to revitalise a stale industry and help inspire change. Fast forward 5 years and the industry is now a thriving ecosystem rife with innovation and creativity.’
The above introduction (taken from our about page) was written a couple of years ago but is still relevant today. In the space of a decade the Wax Seal industry has changed dramatically. To give you an example of where the industry was at, here is a screenshot of a wax seal company from 2013:
waxseals.com before it became artisaire.com
As you can see there was an abundance of clichéd, Shakespearean interpretations of what people perceived the wax seal to be. It is important to remember that this is only one example. Pretty much every company at that time was doing more or less the same thing.
"Move over Shakespeare!"
Armed with zero business experience and a fresh degree in Graphic Design, we set about on our quest to disrupt a lacklustre market by contemporizing its outlook from the ground up.
We'll be the first to admit that our initial attempt at a website wasn't spectacular. The execution left a little to be desired, but the concept was a step forward in terms of presentation and usability. We felt strongly about the wax seal as being not just a tool of the past, but something which could be brought back into the fold of modern culture alongside calligraphy. Here is a screenshot from stamptitude.com during the same year for comparison:
Within just a couple of years we had matured into what you see below, which is a slightly less-developed version of what we are today but still with the same ambitions and intentions as when we first started:
It wasn't until about late 2016 that people in the industry started to take notice of what we were doing. The industry leaders at the time (and still to this day) were comprised mostly of business-oriented people with a secondary focus on creativity. All those who had been comfortably dressed in their 18th century attire had soon found themselves wearing sneakers in a desperate attempt to keep up with the 'trendy youngsters'.
Business in general often sees creativity take a backseat role and as a designer I find that to be quite frustrating. It hasn't been until quite recently that the internet has seen a universal shift towards more design-led companies who are disrupting the traditional business model. This is due in part mostly to the advancement of technology and the resulting freedom of information / knowledge, which is something I am a strong advocate of.
We are a design company first and foremost and so admittedly it was difficult for us in the beginning to adapt to the business side of things. We are a small team, we don't have an accounting department and neither of us have ever been particularly good with numbers. But what we do have is knowledge of design and how to create beautiful products that invoke a sense of joy and wonder.
What we have learned from our short time in business is that you don't need to take a traditional cut-throat approach in order to find your footing in this competitive, money-making world. It's taken us time to acknowledge this and admittedly there are easier ways of going about it, but all you really need is passion and the conviction to treat others as you would want to be treated yourself. This applies to everything from how you manage your employees, to how you treat your customers, your suppliers and even how you respond to those who intentionally seek to harm your reputation.
Despite constantly having our ideas stolen and our designs copied, we are still here in 2020 doing what we love. We may not have the best SEO experts and be the top performers in terms of sales, but our honesty and integrity is what keeps us moving forward.
Today's consumers are savvy and intelligent and are able to determine the value of honest, quality goods versus ones that are heavily marketed and cost-driven.
Looking to the future, if we are fortunate enough to still be here in years to come then we will gladly welcome the opportunity to continue to serve our customers. But if by some stroke of misfortune we end up on the bottom shelf, you can bet your bottom dollar that we'll apply our skills and passion to whatever future venture we find ourselves in next.
Thank you all for your continued support, and we look forward to creating more impressions with you in 2020.