“Northern Initiatives helped us develop solid business and marketing plans, set future goals and take care of other details related to running and growing a business. They also helped us secure funding for inventory and ongoing equipment costs.” – Amanda Lee, co-owner of Bauman Engraving & Signs
When the late Orville Bauman owned a small sporting goods shop in Crystal Falls, he bought a rotary engraver to create name tags for customers’ tackle boxes. That purchase proved to be pivotal in launching a part-time venture producing quality nametags and signage for local businesses and industries. Growth fueled by word-of-mouth endorsements convinced Bauman to focus exclusively on engraving. His son, Dean, later joined him and assumed ownership of the business. Now the tradition has extended to the third generation. Dean’s daughter, Amanda Lee, is co-owner of Bauman Engraving & Signs Inc.
“I think it has benefitted us locally to be family-owned because people have become familiar with the business and the people behind it over the years and realize they can count on us,” Lee said. “We strive to provide optimum customer service and fast turnaround time. We meet with customers to determine their specific needs and educate them about which custom products we can create for them. We cater and ship to customers nationwide, but the bulk of our business is in this area. The growth of certain manufacturers here, coupled with our ability to provide for their specific needs, has allowed us to expand and become an integral part of the industrial community.”
Bauman Engraving and Signs Inc. have 11 employees. It specializes in industrial identification items and ADA custom signage products, but also creates graphics, plaques and awards. The business that initially revolved around a single rotary engraver now also offers laser engraving, large-format digital printing, direct-to-substrate UV printing and more. Many different materials are used—from vinyl and plastics to metals and wood.
Lee was a high school science teacher before getting involved in the family business. She purchased it in 2010 with her business partner, Tom Dudek. Their more recent decision to tack on a second addition to the original building spurred their interest in working with Northern Initiatives.
“As a business like ours grows, you get so busy with the day-to-day aspects of running it that there is little time to do long-term business planning, even though that’s important,” Lee said. “Northern Initiatives got us on track for making that a priority and setting aside the time. They helped us develop solid business and marketing plans, set future goals and take care of other details related to running and growing a business. They also helped us secure funding for inventory and ongoing equipment costs.”
Northern Initiatives is guiding the business through a website redesign to be mobile-friendly with SEO in the hope of expanding its reach and online sales revenue.