Started out as:
d e s productions
d/b/a Rubber Stamps R Us
a brief history
In May 1984 Dave Stoufer, then a radio disc jockey at KXIC, purchased rubber stamp making equipment from Leo Eastwood, a retired Iowa City policeman, of Solon. Dave quickly discovered that Leo’s representations that it constituted a going business with functioning equipment were exaggerated, but Dave enjoyed the manufacturing process, the challenge and the thought of owning his own business.
After some product research and with a bank loan of $8,500 Dave purchased a merigraph machine, a daisy-wheel electric typewriter and set up shop in his home in Iowa City. With an ancient box camera Dave created a negative of his typesetting. He then placed in the negative in the merigraph, which used ultraviolet light to harden a liquid resin wherever it reflected against black of the negative. The remaining resin was scrubbed away with soap and water; and individually type-set stamps were then mounted on stamp handles or self-inking boxes.
In its first month of sales “d e s productions” brought in $48.00 in sales. Two years later monthly sales averaged $2,500.00; by the end of 1988 yearly gross sales totaled over $64,000.00.
In 1986 Dave moved the business out of his residence and into Eastdale Plaza, a shopping mall on the east side of Iowa City. He also adopted a new name for the business: Rubber Stamps R Us.
By the time Rubber Stamps R Us moved to Washington, Iowa in August 1990, Dave’s business card showed he was offering not only rubber stamps and self-inking stamps, but also laser typesetting, marking supplies, buttons and over 100 different designs of art stamps. Dave designed the art stamps, which were popular with crafters, and he and his wife Rachel Nicola marketed them at craft shows.
Dave moved Rubber Stamps R Us to Washington in August 1990. His first location in Washington was adjoining the Leazenby Veterinary Clinic at 1414 East Washington Street. Dave later moved the business to 117 East Second Street, leasing space from Roberta Schiebel who managed a Breadeaux Pizza franchise in the rest of the building. During the 1990s Dave also hired several different salespeople who developed dealer sales locations all over southeast Iowa. He added engraved signs and trophies to his product line.
By 1995 d e s productions had become a video and audio studio, too. Dave marketed his services for voice-over and commercial announcing as well as video production, opening a second location for this portion of his business, at 219 Elm Grove Road, later named Sitler Drive. During this time he had a Sunday morning radio show on KCII Radio which he first called ‘Sunday Morning Mellow,’ and later, ‘Simply Sunday.’ This four-hour show of music and conversation ran for 12 years.
In February 1996 Dave sold Rubber Stamps R Us to Vickie Ricks, who moved the business a third time, to 122 West Main Street on the Square. She later sold the business to Marcus Fedler, who renamed the business Custom Impressions and added clothing imprinting.
Custom Impressions, Inc. was created in 2004 to more accurately reflect the products we make. We started out as Rubber Stamps R Us in 1985 in Iowa City, Iowa. The business was moved and added "Plus" at the end to cover trophies, awards, engraved signs and badges. In 2006 at the request of many clients, we started cutting vinyl for exterior signage, vehicle graphics, and window decals. We've expanded this area to include lighted signs, formed plastic signs, business signage, etc. You name it we've done it. In 2007 Peregrine Productions Ltd was purchased and Screen Printing was added to our list of services. In 2009 we delved into embroidery with our first single head machine. In 2012 CT Creative Stitchery was acquired to expand our buy local territory to SE Iowa. Custom Impressions, Inc. now has 2 manual and 1 automatic press. No job is too large or too small. We have 2 six head embroidery machines along with 3 single heads. We have a full service awards and corporate recognition department with cutting edge laser technology. We also print on paper for business cards, forms, letterhead, envelopes and post cards. We have the state of the art digital press. We perform wide format paper printing and laminate up to 25" wide.