This is a series of posts spotlighting Arizona businesses that share their products with Sibley's West, as part of the "Small Business Boost" award efforts of 3TV/CBS 5, BNC National Bank, the Arizona Small Business Association and Cox Business.
Sheri Moran and Steve Roubinchtein at Sandstone Creations.
It was 2010 and Sheri Moran was feeling the itch of entrepreneurism.
The American Express executive in Phoenix, with knowledge from her degrees from Arizona State and Thunderbird, wanted to stem the migration of employment from manufacturing to service industries.
"I was looking for a company where people manufactured something," she said. "At the end of the day, you would have something tangible for your work."
She found it with Sandstone Creations, a company started in 1963 by Rick Brown that produced mugs, coasters, hand-painted bells and ceramic ornaments.
Sheri and Steve Roubinchtein then proceeded on a plan to build up the company, which was renowned for identifying up-and-coming (now well-known) artists like Ted DeGrazia and RC Gorman.
They began ways to make the operation more efficient in the changing gift and souvenir segment.
They are known for their quality full-color sublimation, wrapping colorful images on mugs and other products. Among their clients is the Madaras Gallery in Tucson.
They also do flatbed printing, hand sand-carving, and laser etching.
The latter was enhanced with the acquisition of Nostalgic Glass of California.
Now their products can be found all over the country, combining gallery-level art with souvenir products like mugs, coasters and vases. They also produce custom items for stores, galleries and resorts, plus national parks.
They employ nine in their Peoria facility.
"The concept was to give people real jobs, where they could be proud of what they produce," Sheri said. "We look to technology for higher-level jobs."
They also try to fulfill requests from individuals who write to say that a favorite keepsake has been broken and wonder if they can get a replacement.
"They cherish art for art's sake," she said. "It's very rewarding, from that perspective."