Fun With Fotos was created as a business in the summer of 2004. My wife and I were looking for a small business to invest in and we discovered the art of designing personalized products. As we researched the business we found that most companies offering imprinted products such as promotional items were using a process very similar to screen printing.
We quickly discovered that screen printing was a very competitive business but that it had its flaws. For one thing the images were rubbery to the touch, seemingly pressed on to the material and highly susceptible to peeling, fading, and cracking. We wanted our product to be much much better!
Soon we discovered a process called dye sublimation. Inks and materials were more expensive than screen printing but the process was as close to perfect as anything we had ever seen. The images in all dye sublimation products were smooth to the touch. It was obvious to me that the ink had somehow been dyed into the product, not simply placed on top of it. We proceeded to test the image by washing a shirt over and over. The image never peeled, cracked or faded. We were sold!
Right about the same time we were researching this business, an indoor swap meet opened for business very near to where we lived. We rented a space and proceeded to sell personalized products to our customers while they waited. If they didn't have a photo or graphic, we had camera equipment set up and would take their picture on the spot! Our customers loved the product and several of them returned again and again to have shirts, mouse pads, coffee cups, etc. made for them.
Unfortunately, the swap meet management company apparently mis-managed their business because it only lasted about a year before the place shut down. We were devastated. Not knowing what to do, and unable to afford the exorbitant rents being asked for store-front businesses, we decided to create a website business. This involved a long process of trial and error learning.
We finally rolled one out sometime around 2007, but I wasn't happy with the look and feel. We did get some orders from that website but very few so it was time to go back to the drawing board. We found a company that promised to help us make a wonderful website so we went with them, even though there was a very high cost involved. We started getting sales from all around the country, but it was still pretty slow. I determined to learn all I could learn about search engine optimization, online marketing, etc. I found I wasn't getting near as much help from the web hosting company as promised and was paying out more than I was getting in. We shut it down for a few months while we re-visited our marketing strategy.
Finally, after months of research studying website design and online marketing, I decided to try again. This time I would not depend on third party companies who were taking all my money and delivering no results. I determined to write the website myself, using only html code and notepad. The only third party would be PayPal, who has partnered with us to design a secure payment processing shopping cart. Using them, we are able to accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, and some credit/debit cards I never even heard of!
We decided to emphasize our most popular item so you'll find the title of our website shows as Fun Photo Dog Tags. Our military and school age friends seem to love putting pictures of sweethearts, spouses, and children on these two-sided dog tags and wear them proudly to show off the love of their lives.
In order to honor our military friends (I'm a US Navy veteran myself) and to emphasize the personalized photo dog tag aspect of our business, we decided to change the color scheme from a light brown background to a red, white and blue theme. While we don't make any overt claims to superior patriotism over others, we do wish to honor our country and those who serve it proudly.
Finally, it occurred to me that we weren't honoring the most important person in our lives, Jesus Christ. My wife and I are Christians and we couldn't in good conscience run a business without promoting our faith. However, neither of us are particularly artistic so we had a difficult time deciding how to offer Christian products without violating copy writes of other businesses. So, we decided, why not design our own Christian Art? Using a simple photo processing software, I started experimenting with shapes and forms to come up with some very simple Christian designs. The designs are not what anyone would consider fine art, but they do get the point across, and our Christian friends have indicated that they love it! Be on the lookout for more of the same.
Our mission is, and always has been, to provide the very best personalized photo quality products available. We guarantee our products. When on the rare occasion a customer has been dissatisfied we have resolved the issue promptly.
So, check us out. See you soon