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Finding the perfect accessory can be difficult, but thanks to Vicki Ingram, it can be easier. A year and a half ago, Vicki started making custom tumblers. “I watched some Youtube videos and thought it was interesting,” Ingram said. “I had some spare time and just started trying. I had a friend who asked if I could do it. I gave it a try and it worked.”
Though they look easy to make, Ingram said that there was a lot of trial and error. “It’s not something that you can just walk in and pick up and do it,” Vicki said. “There were a lot of cups that got stripped down and restarted.”
Depending on the style of the cup and how much detail goes into the design, to complete a tumbler can take up to ten days. “If it’s a simple basic cup, depending on the epoxy I use, if it had to be done in a pinch, it could be done in a day,” Ingram said.
Ingram begins the process of making a custom piece with a raw stainless steel tumbler. It will then be washed, sanded and painted with a base coat. If the cup requires glitter, the paint will be similar and is painted on with ModgePodge. Epoxy is then coated. Decals are printed and applied, then two more coats of epoxy.
“The glitter cups, especially the chunky glitter, it takes a couple of coats to get smooth,” Vicki said.
The products that are used are higher quality than what you would find at Walmart or Hobby Lobby. “There’s several glitter companies that I order from and get high quality products,” Ingram said. “There are differences in glitter.” Vinyl decals are printed from a Cricket, while the waterside decals are printed with a special kind of paper and ink from a computer.
Customers usually send Vicki a picture and ask for something similar. “I always tell them that I can’t recreate that particular look, these are all art,” Ingram said. “Everyone’s art is going to be different. Everyone has their own flair and their own twist to it.”
Others simply send an idea and ask if she can come up with something.
One design that Vicki has yet to try is called tangram. The design can be similar to chevron to a deceptively simple set of seven geometric shapes made up of five triangles (two small, one medium and two large), a square and a parallelogram.
“They take a lot of time, but it’s something that I intend to do for myself and give it a whirl,” Ingram said.
Ingram has made tumblers for fundraisers and will continue to support the community that has helped make her business grow.
“I try to give back to the community when I can,” Ingram said.
“If someone says they’re having a fundraiser and ask if I can help them out, if I have time, I will absolutely try to do that.”
As her tumbler orders began to grown, Ingram found herself helping others in Facebook communities and groups. “I’m to the point that I can answer questions for people and it’s kind of neat do that.”
In addition to helping others, Vicki and her husband, Dennis built more turners to give her the ability to work on multiple orders. “My husband is very supportive,” Vicki said.
The motors for the turners were bought on Amazon and secured on a work bench. “I have six going at a time. If I need to I can break the other two out,” Ingram said. “They’re at different stages so I can prep and start once they get their first coat of epoxy on.”
In doing tumblers for two years, Ingram has had multiple customers come back for more and has shipped to all but six states. One project that she recently completed was a Bluetooth tumbler that plays music.
If you would like to order a tumbler from Vicki, contact her on Facebook.
Ingram offers Wine Cups for $20.00. 20oz standard and skinny are $30.00 and 30oz standard and skinny are $40.00.