Last week I popped into Duplicators/CanSign for a tour with owners Tracy & Joe Lauzon to see what a day in the life of a print shop owner would be like and I have to say, it’s a lot more hands on than I expected! It’s loud, bustling and a huge variety of projects are on the go at once. At any given time you'll see printers churning out colourful, glossy print jobs to mesmerizing laser cuts in the CanSign shop. They have so much interesting machinery that I was running around like a kid in a candy store!
We’ve partnered up to make some really great gifts for the swag bags and more taking advantage of their unique capabilities and we can’t wait for the ‘Merry & Bright’ handmade holiday market to show everything off!
Tracy & Joe don’t run your typical print shop so we wanted to get to pick their brains a little bit more. Check out our interview below and be sure to head over with your next creative project!
What is the story behind Dup/CanSign, how did you get to be where you are today?
We opened in 1996 and it was owned and operated by the Nicholls family. Alfred Nicholls sold the business to his eldest daughter Tracy Lauzon in 2014, who has been managing the business since May 2000. We grew the business one customer at a time, focusing on each job whether big or small.
What kind of services/products do you deliver at Dup/CanSign?
Printing, Scanning, Signs, Engraving, Graphic Design, Laser Cutting, Large Format Printing, Large Format Laminating, Gift Customizing, T-shirts, Awards, Trophies, Stamps, Photo Restoration, Name Tags & Plate, Forms, Laser Etching on Stone, Glass & Steel.
What are some of the lesser known but really awesome services/products you have?
Stamp production, custom engraving, art reproduction, photo editing and restoration, Gallery wrapping, laser cutting.
What was one of your favourite past projects?
Was able to scan and reproduce an original copy of the first Toronto Star newspaper from 1892. We have reproduced an original family cookbook that had handwritten items since the late 1790’s. We have assisted authors in laying out their books and designed the cover.
Why did you choose to sponsor an Emerging Maker Award?
Creating and helping people create is a big part of our business, we are always amazed at all the beautiful things our customers create.
What are you working on now and what do you dream of happening in the future?
Always looking at different services to offer our community, and help educate people, in our region, that what you see online you can get at home in less time and some often better quality.
What is the best advice that you have ever been given?
Be upfront, honest and stick to your word.
Aside from making everyone else’s projects come to life, do you make anything as well?
Tracy loves making custom signs, gift and she experiments with Photography. Joe loves to create in his woodshop.
What is your favourite step in the process of creating a piece?
The designing phase, I love to start a piece and watch it take on a life of its own because part of the original plan didn’t work out.
Have other people supported or inspired you?
Many of our customers inspire us with their projects.
If you could go back in time and give your 16 year old self some advice what would it be?
Believe in yourself, you can do anything.
What do you do to keep yourself motivated and interested in your work?
We love to surprise our clients by going above and beyond their expectations, we love interacting and watching them leave happy. We love that 2 days are never the same in the shop, anything can come through the door.
What is your favourite part of ‘making’?
Seeing the end product, and getting the satisfaction of a job well done.
What was the last gift you made for someone?
Gifted my father with a custom Grumpy Old Man T-shirt for his 70th birthday, and we branded my brother-in-law’s outdoor bar with custom signs, glassware & stone coasters.
Tell me something about your job (other than money) that inspires you to keep working there.
My staff, my family & my customers.
What do you want for Christmas?
We would love to have the time to enjoy some great food & wine with our friends and family.
Major thanks to Tracy, Joe and the entire team at Duplicators for the support and gorgeously produced work for the upcoming market!