MINSTER — Connie Seger, of Fort Loramie, will open a laser engraving business on Main Street in Minster this month, a retirement business she hopes will keep her busy, and, if nothing else, support itself in the next few years.
Seger took up engraving after she learned woodworking seven years ago from her husband and father-in-law, who spent most of their free time in the activity.
“I thought, If I want to spend time with my husband, I have to do this,” she said, adding that she spent a lot of time cutting deers with a band saw.
As she got proficient with the machine, however, she discovered there was a lot more she could do besides wood; she could engrave glass, marble, corian, wine bottles and all sorts of memorabilia for weddings, funeral births and anniversaries.
“Or something special for no special occasion,” she said.
She and her husband bought the laser engraving machine with the aim to turn it into a business within five years. “We took it in 10 different directions,” she said of the variety of projects they completed.
Seven years later she knew it was finally time when she was tired of cleaning up her house, pulling out all her products, then putting them away again.
“When this came up for sale, I said it would make the ideal location,” said Seger.
She said the business is the kind of thing people have to see to appreciate, so describing her products, like a colored photograph on crystal, for example, wasn’t really an option.
What she likes to do, she said, is listen to what the person needs, then try to design something that fits them on the computer. From the computer, the engraving is done in a machine that works very much like a printer.
“It’s endless. There’s always something else out there to learn,” she said.
Seger has worked for a real estate office, at U.S. Bank, where she still works. She said committing to a storefront is a big risk.
“It is so scary,” she said. “But I think it will be good...There are so many people who call and I really need to show people what I can do. Not in a million years did I think I would be doing this.”
She said when she told her family and friends what she would be doing, however, they weren’t surprised at all.
“They’re like, ‘It’s about time,’” she said. “My daughter said ‘Mom, you should have done this five years ago.’”
She said she likes people when people come to her and say they need something special.
“It make me think. That’s what I like. Giving people the finished product is also an awesome feeling,” she said.
But wild success isn’t really what Seger is shooting for.
“I want to do this as a retirement. But I don’t want to be so busy I don’t have time for anything else. Is that too much like wanting to have your cake and eat it too?”
Seger said she never thought she’d take her skills to this level, but she’s satisfied as she plans her storefront at 31 Main St., Minster.
She will open for business from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. July 15, and plans to have a grand opening sometime in August.