These days, personalizing items is a booming trend, particularly in the wedding industry, and Manchester–based Mariposa is forging the way with their brand-new in-house engraving services. Beloved for their high-end, handcrafted collection of glassware, serveware, frames, and home décor pieces, the 30-plus-year-old local business now reaches all corners of the globe. But staying relevant requires panache. Luckily, Founder and Creative Director Livia Cowan has plenty of it.
Personalization, according to Cowan, is something that appeals to younger generations as a way to express the thought that went into a gift they’ve chosen. She emphasizes the importance of keeping a finger on the pulse of what young people respond to. “We are a new business every two or three years,” she says, noting they work hard to stay on the cutting edge of industry trends. With respect to their new engraving service, she says it has “opened up a new way of giving Mariposa.”
Cowan has noticed that monograms are making a comeback in a big way. “It’s a way to show people you respect and care about them,” she says, noting that with the online shopping trend at its height, personalized gifts are all the more meaningful.
“We have always offered the service, but going about it this way gives us full creative control,” notes Cowan about bringing the engraving in-house. It provides customers with options for how to be more creative on their own part, too. Now, Mariposa’s famous recycled sand-cast pieces can be monogrammed in ways limited only by one’s imagination. To get started, customers can now go to the company website to find design ideas, and they can virtually see their compositions superimposed on items. Ultimately, an engraver in the Gloucester distribution center and engraving studio will work from that proof, ensuring they get exactly what they chose.
During an in-house demo using a small Gravograph machine, Vice President of Sales and Marketing Adam Sigel begins by vectoring the chosen monogram on-screen, and then he sets the diamond cutter in motion. The nonrotating diamond-tipped tool scratches lettering or designs into the metal—a technique frequently referred to as “diamond engraving,” “scratch engraving,” or “diamond drag.” “It’s not just popping something into a machine; you have to play with it artistically to get it right,” notes Sigel. “That’s what the Gloucester engravers do.” The aluminum from which Mariposa pieces are made is very soft and lends itself nicely to flawless engravings. In fact, they use recycled diamond-tipped cutters from Tiffany’s because they are too sharp to use new.
In 2014, Mariposa launched an online wedding registry, which means people are now able to find those special one-of-a-kind pieces that separate their brand from big-box store registries. With the additional engraving options, gift givers further the Mariposa mission to preserve our most heartfelt and meaningful moments, so we can remember them and reflect upon them for decades to come.