Glenville man hopes new business venture will carry him into his retirement years

Published 8:06 pm Wednesday, November 14, 2018

GLENVILLE — While some anxiously wait to retire, others simply hope to transition into something else. This is the case for Curt Aldrich, 48, of Glenville.

Aldrich has a 29-year career as a driver for UPS, but has turned a new hobby into a business — Grasslake Engraving. He started his business in 2016 after spending some time following the technology surrounding engraving equipment and getting up to speed on his computer skills with the help of his girlfriend, Melanie Steene.

In the years since, Aldrich has honed his craft.

Email newsletter signup

“It’s exciting,” Aldrich said. “And I think I learn something new every time I’m on that machine.”

Aldrich can engrave a number of surfaces, including wood, glass, stainless steel, aluminum and granite, among others.

Currently, there has been a rise in orders for personalized thermal tumblers, which keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold while promoting a business, demonstrating one’s support of a particular school/organization or celebrates a certain occasion.

While Aldrich said he enjoys helping out with fundraising events, his favorite medium to work with is granite.

“Whether it’s a patriotic memorial or a picture of a grandfather in their military uniform from World War II, it means a lot to them,” he said of a few of his projects.

The Grasslake Engraving Facebook page highlights his work and is a good starting point for those who wish to contract for his services. He will typically make arrangements with clients over the phone or through email. Many times, businesses or organizations will share their logos with him along with a few ideas for what they want. Other times, customers may already have a specific design in mind. After showing potential customers a mock-up of what their final product will look like, he will order the supplies needed and complete the projects on the weekends.

For now, Aldrich can fulfill orders in a matter of weeks, just by working a couple days a week, but he foresees a day when that might not be enough. He’s hoping that day will come sometime after he stops driving his big brown truck.

“I know I’ll always work, I’ll always want to be doing something,” he said.