From Handset Type to Laser Technology!
What do custom rubber stamps, engraved signs and plaques, daters, notary stamps and embossers, signature and artwork stamps, specialty inks and pads, and a vast variety of other marking devices and a 70 year old grandmother have in common?
Well, that’s easy! Bernice Wassner, founder and owner of the long-successful laser engraving business Genesee Stamp & Stationery, featuring custom made high-tech laser engraved rubber stamps and signage, is still the active President, CEO, and Main Staple of her business venture that started in 1972 from a corner of her kitchen.
The way Bernice tells it, she wouldn’t have it any other way. “I enjoy being here everyday. I love running the business as much as I love meeting and visiting the people who have chosen to shop here.”
The Recognized Name
From the humble beginnings of hand-setting type, Bernice has been determined to grow Genesee Stamp to a business to be reckoned with. Over the years Genesee Stamp has been the recognized name for stamps, engraving, notary supplies, signatures and custom artwork stamps.
They Just Want To Talk To Bernice!
Most notable, though, is the exemplary customer service which Bernice prides her business with. Every customer that comes through the door receives individual attention and detailed assistance with their order. The staff is always ready to offer suggestions or answer questions about layout, styles, or special wording to make their purchase as creative as possible.
“People actually call just to chat with Bernice,” states a long-time employee. “Everybody here is trained to assist, but they just want to ‘talk to Bernice’.”
That is primarily due to two things: 1) Bernice develops an ongoing relationship with her customers, as if they were more friends than business acquaintances, and 2) Bernice is there in the office/store whenever they call or come in. She oversees all aspects of their order, from design to pick-up, assuring the quality and quick delivery of each product.
Outgrowing The Walls
In the 36 years of operation, Genesee Stamp has up-sized their location three times to expand their product line. With the addition of the laser engraver they were able to offer a larger variety of engraved items such as laser engraved specialty plaques, signage, nametags and industrial labels.
“Over the years, we’ve needed more room to accommodate production and an increased staff,” tells Bernice. “We also needed a place for our sales team to work from. We upgraded equipment and locations as the need developed.”
Where Did It All Begin?
“I wanted to start a business where I could be at home when the kids were home from school,” says Bernice. “So we borrowed $100 from a friend and set up shop. Within a couple years the business outgrew the kitchen workspace, and customer traffic increased so much that we were forced to consider moving to an outside location.”
“Back then, type was set by hand, letter by letter, into a 3” x 5” metal box, then heat treated with a small hand press to form the stamps. It was long, tedious work, but there was a growing market for a local shop to provide stamps to the townships and school districts as well as individual customers around the area. Once word got out, businesses and municipalities became our primary source of revenue.”
Meet The Racing Team
Bernice’s true passion, as if running a business weren’t enough, is her stock car racing crew, Team Wassner! Family drivers include son, Russ, points leader and 1st place trophy winner several years in a row, granddaughter Kailey, age 15 (she started driving her stock car at age 12!), and grandson Dustin, age 22, now “semi-retired” while a full time college student and full time employee. Other drivers include granddaughter Monica,granddaughter Alecia,daughter-in-law Monique, and daughter Wendy. The Pit Crew? They’re ALL there to help.