Simplicity Rules: Tyler Cadwell is just scratching the surface with Everything Etched

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Christina Fuoco-Karasinski   College Times

Four years ago, Tyler Cadwell made a hand-engraved wine cork holder for his mother that read “Keep Calm and Drink Wine.” 

The ASU graduate’s family was so impressed that his aunt suggested he sell those items on Etsy. The job was about an hour and a half, but he plugged along.

A year later, he discovered laser engravers, which made his tasks more efficient. He started Everything Etched and moved to the Airpark in 2015. He’s found tremendous success.

“We started in one unit and six months later we were busy enough to take over the unit next to us,” he says, “Six months after that, we kept growing and we needed more space. So we knocked a hole in the wall and we have three units.”

The Scottsdale resident has three reasons for his success.

“We provide great customer service,” he says. “We treat everyone as an individual and we’re very personable with everybody. We understand. This is a gift someone’s giving. When you want something personalized, it’s because the gift means something to you.”

He also offers unique, contemporary products, unlike his competitors, that are functional. Everything Etched doesn’t charge by the character, either.

“We make it very, very simple and we create beautiful designs that people can personalize,” says Cadwell, who graduated from Cactus Shadows High School in Cave Creek. “We have templates so they can have something a little bit more unique than just one letter or initial.

“It’s all built into the price. I’ll say one of the key differentiators for us is our speed. We can get something out within four hours from the order being placed online—and that’s completely custom, made to order. We do same-day engravings.”

Filling a niche

Cadwell says his business was a logical choice for him. He initially just wanted to make extra money, but when he saw the potential, “the switch just flipped on.”

“I thought I had something here and I put all my energy and time into it,” he says. “It allows me to be creative and create different designs and create different products.

“I think that’s what has propelled the company forward.”

He was a bit artistic growing up in the North Valley. Cadwell drew somewhat, but he channeled his creativity into film. Armed with an IMDB page, Cadwell was a director of photography for videos and films.

“I enjoyed creating with light and different camera angles to make a different sort of visual,” he says.

The most well-known movie he worked on was “Jolene,” with Jessica Chastain, Frances Fisher, Dermot Mulroney and Michael Vartan.

After a while, Cadwell wanted to do something he could create and sell online so he could continue his hobby of traveling the world. He has visited 30 countries.

“Thailand’s great,” says Cadwell, who has also hiked Machu Picchu. “Iceland is beautiful, and you can drive around the whole country and see glaciers and volcanic areas. My fiancée and I just did six weeks in South America. The Galapagos was just beautiful and amazing. You can walk right up to animals and they’re not scared because it’s so protected.”

Cadwell attended Scottsdale Community College, from which he earned an associate degree. He then went to ASU and earned a four-year degree in business finance.

A refresh

When Cadwell and his fiancée, Liz Ann Hewett, returned from South America, he decided he wanted to take Everything Etched to the next level. He invited in new equipment—including new laser engravers, a UV printer, a sandblaster and a CNC machine. UV printing is a form of digital printing that uses ultra-violet lights to dry or cure ink as it is printed.

“I just love doing custom things,” he says. “It’s fun to figure it out and use the tools I need to make the pieces that are requested.

“Those machines are amazing. I like to try to put together the different mediums and the tools to make something more unique. You never know what someone is going to bring. It’s a fun challenge. We really don’t say no to anybody. We’ve actually started to be known for that.”

Everything Etched is hosting a public open house from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, December 21. The day will feature discounts, tours, giveaways, food and music. 

Cadwell is grateful for his success, as is the community. He was selected to be a part of an emerging leaders program through the SBDC. He was also nominated for a local innovation contest, and a finalist for a Cox Communications entrepreneur contest.

“I haven’t won anything yet, but I’m about ready to win,” he says with a smile. CT

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