Spotlight On Business
Engravex Creativity Gets Queen’s Nod, Customer Kudos
Never one to run with the pack, artist and Engravex owner Lisa Hiemstra loves to be a trailblazer in business and in her engraving techniques.
Her biggest feather in her cap was when she received the nod from the Queen of England for a specialized wooden plaque unveiled by Prince William and Kate Middleton for the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy conservation initiative at the Great Bear Rainforest in Bella Bella, B.C.
“When I was commissioned to do it, I had very little to go on in terms of the plaque’s style and size. It was left up to me to create it and they loved it,” said Lisa, adding her goal is to produce engraved gifts and products better than her customers ever imagined.
Her artistry goes back to her childhood when her grandmother saved the cardboard from nylons’ packages so she could have surfaces on which to create. While Lisa’s four children were at home, she ran a home-based graphic design business called Skinny Punk Graphics and her motto then was “if I can’t create it or design it, then you don’t need it.”
Later she enrolled in a Corel graphics program and her skills blossomed, bringing many new designs to life.
After enjoying “the best job in the world” as an engraver for another company, in 2012 Lisa was laid off but she did not want her artistic abilities crushed. She decided to launch her own business so her creativity could “really go wild.”
Connecting with Community Futures South Fraser, Lisa had her Abbotsford business open before completing all the programming. “They even came to me at the business and taught me so much, the workshops and coaching were invaluable.” she said. It was a matter of ready, fire, aim.
“I love what I do. It’s my name, my business, my place. I happily work long hours, sometimes until 1 a.m. and then up by 5 a.m. to commute from Chilliwack. When my first grandchild was born in 2015, I stopped working weekends. But I still go that extra mile for my customers,” she said. “I personally deliver jobs or meet after hours on an exit to meet up with them. Whatever it takes.”
Lisa’s energy appears to have no bounds. She is a goalkeeper for a soccer team competing at the World Master Games in Italy, Australia and New Zealand with Japan WMG taking place in spring of 2022. Her husband works part-time at Imagination Corporation in Yarrow.
“I gotta be me,” she said, always attempting new things on the laser machine with products ranging from jackets and awards to name badges and signs.
Her work is described as unique, inspiring and never boring. With Engravex growing each year, Lisa is delighted to design to her heart’s content.