In 2014, after getting through the emotional pain of a divorce, Sachi moved her two young sons from Kentucky to Hawaii to start a new life. The change not only brought balance, it inspired the talented artist to refocus on what she loved to do and, in turn, build Stamps by Sachi, a growing business centered on her one-of-a-kind, hand carved portrait stamps.
Originally from Japan, where she worked as an elementary school art teacher, Sachi started making hand carved stamps just before she came to the U.S. in 2007. She explains on her Etsy page that stamps are very popular in Japanese culture, and are used frequently as personal signatures. So they were something she was quite familiar with, and a unique medium that allowed her to combine her love of drawing and carving.
Sachi started to work portraits into her stamp-making mix because of her fondness for “drawing people’s happy faces.” The portraits are her way of capturing and preserving a special memory or a moment in time for someone, including herself. “I made my son’s portrait stamps for myself when he started to lay down, crawl, sit up…each stage had so many memories. I stamped them on fabric, cards, and envelopes to show my friends how he was growing. When I see those stamps, it reminds me what wonderful times they were.”
To create one of her portrait stamps (of people and/or animals, a.k.a. “fur babies”), Sachi works from photos that customers send her. She draws the portrait design from there, and then transfers it on to rubber material. That’s when the meticulous carving begins, which Sachi finds to be totally “relaxing.” And just like that, you and/or your loved ones are immortalized in rubber to leave an indelible mark wherever you please.
“Every time I’m so excited to see the test result from stamping with what I made,” Sachi writes. “I like the lines of the stamped image. It gets thicker than drawing designs though, it gives me nice warm hand-made touch.” Because of the manual craftswomanship involved, she says she’ll never be able to make the same stamp twice even if the designs are identical. “It’s always custom made, only one stamp in the world.”