“I’ve always wanted to do something creative,” says Molly Greenwood, manager and long-time friend of Sharon Stallings, company president.
With a business like Hampton Roads Engraving, there is no lack of creativity. In business since 2006, Stallings and her son Jerre have poured their time and love into this company since it was a start-up in their garage.
“We made stuff for an aircraft carrier out of my garage. I was 14 or 15 when we started, so it was just something my friends and I would worked on after school.” says Jerre. “Back then, we were praying for a job.”
The Stallings and their small team of dedicated workers separated from their parent company, Hampton Roads Contracting, in 2011 and have been located near Newport News Shipbuilding since 2015. “We really wanted to be near the shipyard, and that was our first big client. Also, our parent company is next door,” says Jerre.
With services ranging from framing to large format printing, it is doubtful that clients will have a difficult time finding products to suit their needs. Jerre explains that some of the services offered, such as the vinyl decaling on automotives, are great options for clients who are looking to get the job done for a fraction of the cost. Instead of buying an expensive paint job to create a look (such as racing stripes), vinyl strips can be purchased and applied from Hampton Roads Engraving for a much more affordable cost.
Molly and Jerre agree that the company has developed both long and short term in the periods they have watched it grow. Molly notes that in her one year of working for the company, everyone has grown closer, which makes their work move along even more efficiently, creating even better products. Jerre adds that he has been able to watch the business go from “an absolute chaotic mess” squeezed into his family garage to an organized, flowing and functioning group.
Hampton Roads Engraving caters specifically to industrial projects, and is trying to move more in the direction of corporate jobs. However, this team loves working with anyone who comes its way, even with the smallest most personalized jobs.
“I love playing any musical instrument, and I get to work with them because people bring them in all the time.” Jerre says. He says every customer brings a new experience, to which Molly adds, “There’s a great customer connection, because they’re bringing in their hobby for us to personalize.”
Because they serve so many clients with unique ideas and experiences, Jerre and Molly have been able to work on a variety of projects, such as reunion gifts, engraved pictures, automotive decals, liquor bottles and even the service weapons of a group of Navy Seals.
Hampton Roads Engraving is unique in its practice because of how closely it works with its customers. “There’s a close community feel,” says Molly, “That person-to-person connection is what ensures nothing is lost in translation. We have designers on staff who work closely with each customer. We get to make exactly what the client imagines into reality. When customers work with us, they know that we see them as people and not dollar signs.”
Jerre and Molly spoke especially fondly of some of the projects they had done for the Newport News Tourism Office. “Newport News Tourism comes to us almost every other month with big projects, and they’re always really interesting to figure out,” Jerre says. He especially remembers one difficult project he worked on for them. He reflects proudly on a gigantic timeline of Newport News that covered time from the 1600s to the present, outfitted with plaques and pictures. It now hangs in the Tourism City Center offices.
Molly spoke about a huge map they prepared for the tourism office. “I think the coolest thing in there is this nine-foot Virginia map made of three different materials.” She says it is amazing to see, and that it especially stands out to her among all of the other projects completed by Hampton Roads Engraving that adorn office walls.
Hampton Roads Engraving is excited to keep expanding, and looks forward to every unique and creative project that will be coming its way.
TO THE POINT:
Hampton Roads Engraving
Address: 3300 Warwick Blvd.,
Newport News, VA 23606
Contact: Sharon Stallings, president