What’s Your Technique?

Recently, I was streaming a show on vintage car restoration, and it got me thinking. The show featured 3 different types of restorers. The first one specialized in traditional restoration projects, restoring a car back to its original state. Each part is meticulously replaced with a new version of the original equipment. Once they were done with the car, it was exactly as it was on the day it rolled off the assembly line decades earlier.


Next up was a car builder, who took a different approach. Their concept was to restore the car to its (more or less) original appearance but with all new modern parts: tires, rims, motor, disc brakes, power steering, A/C, airbags, GPS, etc. These cars are sometimes known as resto-mods. The end result is a vehicle with the original charm and appearance of a classic car but with all the modern amenities.


The final car builder was a hot rod/custom shop. When they finish a car, it has all the mechanical parts updated and replaced. Still, the vehicle’s outer appearance remains as-is: no new paint and very little bodywork, if any. This approach allows the vehicle to remain “original” with the original patina, paint, and maybe even a few rough spots.


All 3 of these shops offer different approaches and ideas on restoring an automobile and what the result should be. Bill’s Backyard Classics breaks down these approaches. Which one is your favorite? Do we sometimes discount and dismiss older ideas in our relentless push for the newest, greatest thing?


In our industry, many businesses are looking to purchase a rubber stamp that is laser-cut to produce a clean, sharp image. Then there are the businesses that prefer the “old school” traditional rubber stamp and ink pad approach. These people prefer the appearance of the impression, desiring a more rustic and aged look. Coffee shops, book stores, and many other retailers use these stamps for branding bags and gift certificates, among other uses. Then there are the companies that want a rugged stamp that can achieve repetitive marking with no added frills.


As we step further into the future, we find that some past techniques and tools do not necessarily need to be improved upon because if they are, the desired end-effect would be lost. We will encounter countless new innovations and products, most of which make our lives better, but every now and then, it’s hard to beat a time-honored and proven product. The Xstamper family of stamps is a bit of both. From traditional stamps to self-inkers to the world’s greatest Xstamper pre-inked stamp, our products remain as innovative as they are proven.

The Evolution of the Office

The other day I was driving into work, and the notion hit me that over the past 3 years, our offices, work schedules, work tools, and where we work from have all changed drastically. That got me thinking about how offices and work environments have changed over the years.

1950s

In the late 1950s, the Quickborner consulting group located in Germany was established as a space planning firm. The group viewed the current offices of the day to be uninspiring and downright dull, with rows of desks and a repressive office hierarchy. Their approach was called Bürolandschaft, a German term that means “office landscape.” It was a very contemporary design with irregular geometry and organic patterns to break up the layout of offices. This flexible approach allowed each space to be dealt with differently, and for the first time, a breakroom was introduced in office designs.

1960s

In the 1960s, Robert Propst, President of Herman Miller Research Corporation, looked into how the office world operated. He famously stated, “today’s office is a wasteland. It saps vitality, blocks talent, frustrates accomplishment. It is the daily scene of unfulfilled intentions and failed effort.” His answer to this was the Action Office System (originally introduced by the corporation’s namesake, Herman Miller). This was the world’s first open-plan office system. Action Offices allowed for configuring and reconfiguring the office layout as needed.

Ahhhh, the 70s

1970s

The 1970s saw the introduction of the first ergonomic office furniture, making the office more comfortable and fostering health and wellness. The 70’s also introduced the office environment to brighter colors, wallpaper, groovy shag carpet, and patterns and shapes on everything that didn’t move. Unfortunately, noisy metal filing cabinets and economy cubicles pretty much ruined any design sense that might have existed.

1980s

The 1980s office design had a new challenge; word processors, fax machines, and other communication systems were all pretty much new to offices. These machines needed space, so larger and heavier desks were introduced to accommodate them. The office had a more function-built feel than past designs, where modular walls and other components were introduced in mass. The open office plan was now a thing of the past (at least for the time being).

1990s

Office designs of the 1990s were aimed at reducing clutter and streamlining efficiency. With a greater focus on employee collaboration than in the past, the open office format became popular once again. This was also the decade when a PC on every desk started to become the norm.

Apple Park

2000s – 2022

The rise of “Coworking” in the 2010s was meteoric. Coworking (think WeWork) provided spaces where people from different companies could work and collaborate in the same space, opening up new options on how and where to do business. Tech firms went all in on new and creative designs, from Apple’s Apple Park campus to Bloomberg’s European Headquarters, which ranks as the world’s most sustainable office building. Sustainability and community became highly valued aspects of offices in the 2010s. Flexible schedules and remote work became extremely important, especially during the Covid-19 outbreak of 2020. These new work options have become a very important issue for employees today. According to the Gallup survey, 51% percent of participants stated that they would change jobs if allowed flexible schedules, and 35% said they would change jobs if they could work from home.

We here at Shachihata have been a part of the office evolution since its earliest days, supplying stamp pads, rubber stamps, markers, pens, signage, and so much more. To view our full line of products, many of which are ideally suited for offices in their many forms, click here.

Where does the evolution go next, no one knows for sure, but it will be fun to watch. One thing is certain; we’ll be here with new products and innovations for these future office needs!

– Edited by: Charles Arjavac, Marketing Manager, Shachihata Inc. (U.S.A.)

12 Affordable Summer Activities

With summer now upon us, as well as high gas prices and inflation, many of us are searching for fun, and exciting things to do that won’t break the bank. Here are 12 suggestions that might be helpful in finding summer fun.

1. Visit a Farmers Market

Every community has at least one farmers market. They are a fun day out and a chance to explore what the local farmers have to offer. Check out this USDA website to find a farmers market in your area: https://www.usdalocalfoodportal.com/.

2. Have a Picnic in a Park

Grab your cooler and BBQ and head to a local park for a day in the sun. There is always something for everyone at a local park. A quick Google search of “local parks near me” is all you need to discover a previously unknown little slice of paradise.

3. Attend Free Festivals

Check local online community sites to find free events in your area. Here’s a great article for seven free music festivals: https://www.mapquest.com/travel/free-music-festivals-in-the-usa/.

4. Visit a National Park

There are so many things to see in this great country of ours, and a visit to a National Park is a great inexpensive way to see the sights and learn about the nature that surrounds us. The National Park Service has a wealth of information to plan your visit: https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/index.htm.

5. Go Camping

A favorite summer activity for many is going camping. Camping is an inexpensive way to experience nature and spend time with friends and family. You may want to find a camping site a bit closer than usual, with the price of fuel this summer. Again, the National Park Service is a great resource: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/camping/campground.htm.

6. Plant a Garden

Gardens offer natural beauty and fresh vegetables. It doesn’t have to be a farm, just a little spot to plant flowers and/or vegetables. It’s also a great family project. This MasterClass article is an excellent resource for the beginner: https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-start-a-backyard-garden.

7. Hit the library

Spend a family day at the library. There is so much to explore and learn. Find your local library: https://librarytechnology.org/libraries/uspublic/.

8. Take a Hike

Research nearby state parks for good hiking trails, or ask a friend for recommendations on their favorite hiking spots. Grab a hat, some water and snacks, and get out there. The National Park Service remains a great place to start your research: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/trails/index.htm.

9. Go for a Swim

Hit the local pool or a nearby lake. Swimming is an excellent way to exercise and stay cool. To find swimming lessons in your area, visit the Red Cross website at: https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/swimming.

10. Ride a Bike

There are probably many biking trails around your town. You can find local trails through your state and local park services, be sure to read user reviews to get a better idea of each location. Be sure to wear your helmet. To ensure your bike is ready for the road, visit: https://momentummag.com/get-your-bike-summer-ready-with-a-tune-up-checklist/.

11. Go Fishing

Kids love to fish (for 5 minutes, anyway) but add fishing with a boat ride, and now you’re talking. I’m sure you have a favorite spot, but it can’t hurt to explore more possibilities. Good luck! This website provides information on everything from getting your fishing license to registering your boat to finding local fishing holes: https://www.takemefishing.org/.

12. Learn a New Skill

Learn to play an instrument, paint, draw, dance, etc. Summer is a chance to try something new. Maybe you have a novel you’ve been meaning to write or an interest in pottery. There are classes and other resources available online, so go have a look, and let your creative juices flow. Lifehack.org has an article on ways to learn new skills faster and enjoy the process: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/17-steps-acquiring-new-skill-faster-than-you-thought-possible.html.

Whatever you choose for your summer adventures, we hope you make the most of it. If you need marking supplies for camping gear or sports gear, or if you need pens and markers for your artistic masterpiece, we have what you need, and Xstamper.net is your resource. If not, get out there and have fun; summers are short.

Cheap Is Expensive

There are times in our lives when we feel optimistic. We go on vacation or do other things that may not be necessary but make us feel alive. Then there are times when things don’t seem quite as rosy… take the situation we are navigating today. After the past 2+ years, we are now staring down a sizable rise in inflation. So it’s understandable that we now look for ways to save a bit here and cut a bit there. But it is also good to remember that the cheapest solution isn’t always the least expensive.

All of us have, at times, looked for the most cost-effective way to solve a need or task. But, this can often lead to additional costs, whether it be purchasing a lower grade tool that is not up to the task or maybe something that wasn’t exactly what you were looking for, but the price was right. This can lead to aggravation and wasted time at best (redoing a task). Too often, we end up buying a better quality product to replace the one we originally purchased.

So the next time you’re out bargain hunting, remember that no matter the economic environment, quality is always quality and must be included in the equation. Once quality and the life of the product are considered, along with the purchase price, the actual value can truly be determined.

Oh, and by the way, there are a few products that will last a lifetime. Once purchased, these items will be replaced or repaired free of charge forever. Click HERE for an example.

Good Luck in Retirement, Terry-san

In late December, we bid farewell to our friend, Terry Minato, as he rode off into the sunset of retirement. Terry had been with Shachihata USA for well over twenty years! During that time, he wore many hats, including General Manager of our New Jersey factory, CEO, and most recently, Vice President.

He was a diligent worker, a teacher, and a leader. However, Terry will be best remembered around the office for his kindness. Terry is the best of us. He was well-thought of inside the walls of Shachihata and outside. He was known by suppliers and customers alike as a thoughtful and considerate person.

We held a going-away dinner party in Terry’s honor and everyone had a great time. Bob, our CEO, gave a moving going-away speech. Terry was gracious as always. And the food was terrific. We left happy and full bellies!

Now, we’d like to introduce Terry’s replacement, “Slim” Yamada. Slim’s been with Shachihata for many years, as well. Most recently, he was in charge of our Malaysia factory. Slim has big shoes to fill, but he’s up to the task. Over the past month, he’s hit the ground running and is helping to chart a new direction for us. We’re thrilled to have him on board.

Slim Yamada

We’ll wrap up this post, saying thank you to Terry-san once was again and good luck with the next steps in your life. You will be missed! Now we leave you with an image of the quintessential Terry, laughing and enjoying life!

Terry Minato

Giving Thanks for the 400th Time

Although nine other countries in the world have thanksgiving celebrations, the U.S. holiday is unique in the aspect that along with being a day of giving thanks, it is also tied to the earliest period of our country. It is not only a national holiday but a prominent moment in American history, that is still taught in schools.  

Since 1621, Americans have celebrated Thanksgiving, but it did not become an official US holiday until 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln made the last Thursday of November the day the country celebrates the event. This date has remained the same ever since, except in 1940 and 1941, when President Franklin Roosevelt attempted to move the celebration to the third Thursday of the month for commercial reasons. This change was not received well and was short-lived.

The question of where the first Thanksgiving celebration was held in the United States has been a subject of debate, between New England and Virginia. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy attempted to find a compromise between the claims, by issuing a proclamation, “Over three centuries ago, our forefathers in Virginia and in Massachusetts, far from home in a lonely wilderness, set aside a time of thanksgiving. On the appointed day, they gave reverent thanks for their safety, for the health of their children, for the fertility of their fields, for the love which bound them together, and for the faith which united them with their God.”

So on this, the 400th year of Thanksgiving celebrations in the U.S. let us all take a moment to be thankful. It can be easy sometimes to overlook how fortunate most of us are in the United States, especially with all that has gone on over the past couple of years. But, if you take a moment, I am sure we can all find many things to be thankful for, families, friends, pets, health, happiness… Whatever it may be, be sure to acknowledge the blessings and gifts that you and your family have.

Happy Thanksgiving!

THINK PINK

Last year around this time, Bob Ally, our President and CEO, bravely spoke about his personal bout with cancer. Since it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we thought this would be a good time to remind everyone of his thoughts and that the struggle to eradicate cancer continues to this day. Above is a shortened version of the previous video we posted on this blog, where Bob tells his story.

Cancer is such a devastating disease. It affects not only the individual but those around them. Sadly, most of us know someone close to us who has been impacted by cancer; I know I have. My grandma had breast cancer, as did my Auntie – both made it through, I’m happy to say. A good friend survived Hodgkin lymphoma. I had another Auntie pass away from melanoma several years ago, which was tragic for all of us, including her son, who was barely entering adulthood at the time. And, in the past year, my dad dealt with a form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He is currently in remission but will be closely monitored for the foreseeable future.

This is the unforgiving nature of cancer. We’re thrilled to report, however, that Bob remains cancer-free after eight years. We have posted the following link to the American Cancer Society. Please join us in donating to cancer research so that we can help out others, like Bob.

– Joshua Musial, Order Processing Supervisor/Marketing Assistant

The Heart of a Contender

As I am sure you are now aware, the Milwaukee Bucks won the 2021 NBA Championship. What makes this achievement noteworthy, besides Giannis Antetokounmpo’s amazing performance, is that the last time the Bucks won a championship was in 1971. That’s 50 years, a half-century, 5 decades, 18,250 days. Any way you write it, it is a long time coming.

What we can learn from the Bucks feat is that if you stay committed and focused on your goal and work hard, good things will come your way. Of course, there will be setbacks, and it may take longer than you initially planned. Ask the Bucks, but yet, here they are champions once again.

Now not everyone can be THEE champion, but that isn’t always the most important thing. When I was younger, I was a motocross racer; I loved everything about it, the bikes, the sounds, the smells, the competition, the excitement, the risk involved, all of it. Well…maybe not exactly all of it. One season there was this other rider. I can’t remember his first name, but I’m pretty sure his last name was Juba, as I saw it on the back of his jersey more times than I care to remember. I could NEVER beat this guy (unless he fell off or broke down); it became a bit of an obsession for me to beat him, if just once.

I watched him ride at every opportunity. During practice, I would always try to follow him to learn his braking points, his corner entrance and exit speeds, how far he would clear a jump, the lines he would take. Anything I could glean that would benefit me, along with my own hours of practicing. As the season moved on, I took what I learned and steadily got closer and closer. When the season had finally ended, I still had not beat Juba…not even once. The following season he moved on to another race class, and we would never compete against each other again.

Now I know what you are thinking; that doesn’t seem like much of a success story. At first glance, it may not appear to be one, as my total dedication to one goal had not been realized. But, what was achieved is more important than one race win. From this experience, I became a better rider, and the following season was more successful than any prior. I also learned patience and respect. So if you do experience initial setbacks, keep going, find ways to learn from them, and try new techniques and ideas. In the end, you may not be the champion of the world, but being the best you can be is true success in itself…

So, no matter what your passion may be; a sport, business, art, music, crafts, writing…stick with it, create, grow and expand, who knows maybe one day you too will be a champion. And hopefully, it won’t take 50 years!

In the words of Samuel Beckett – “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

– Charles Arjavac, Marketing Manager

Celebrating Independence Day

The 4th of July is a day to celebrate the independence of the United States of America. We thought that it was a good time to celebrate all things independent. From kids going off to college for the first time and small business owners to musicians and artists, independence is a fundamental American value.

Shachihata is also independent. We are a 3rd generation family-owned company, established as ink chemists and stamp pad manufacturers almost 100 years ago in Japan. In 1967, we opened our US facilities. Since our inception, our focus has been on offering customers real-world solutions to all their marking needs. As an independent company, we have never strayed from our original concept of doing things the right way, regardless of time or cost.

As such, our core philosophy is guided by three principles: Convenience, Genuine Pleasure, and Trust & Safety. All of our products are rigorously tested for quality and durability, ensuring that you will receive the superior craftsmanship only Shachihata can provide. The result is loyalty and satisfaction.

Although we are an independent enterprise, we recognizes that we are still connected to everyone and everything on the planet. Therefore, Shachihata is also committed to restoring balance in the global environment by stepping up its efforts to conserve and recycle resources and develop production systems that minimize industrial waste. As an enterprise that prides itself on enriching people’s daily lives and culture, we regard environmental preservation as a central responsibility and are dedicated to realizing a low-carbon society.

So as we celebrate Independence Day this year, please take a moment to celebrate independence wherever you find it because it’s one of the things that makes this country great!

Happy 4th of July from all of us!

A Summer of Happy Campers

Many children are excited about going to summer camp this summer, many for the first time. Summer camps have always been a place where children grow, and imaginations are sparked. For many, it will be their first experience being in nature for an extended period of time. There are so many exciting things to do and learn. Oh, to be young again.

Certainly, this year will be different than summers in the past, as we are emerging from a pandemic that pretty much shut down life as we previously knew it. So, for those parents who are concerned about Covid-19 and summer camps, here is a link to the CDC recommendations for summer camp precautions and other helpful information.

Probably the hardest thing about summer camp (besides saying goodbye to our kids at the camp gate) is getting everything packed and ready to go. Kids rarely bring back everything that was packed; things get lost and mixed up with other campers. One way to reduce this is to permanently mark all your camper’s items. We have a few solutions for you here at our website. To help you sort through all the planning and packing we have a short list of essential items to pack:

  • T-shirts
  • Shorts
  • Swimsuits
  • Long pants
  • Sweatshirt/jacket
  • Underwear
  • Undershirts/bras
  • Face mask
  • Socks
  • Pajamas
  • Backpack
  • Medication
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tissues
  • Washcloth
  • Sheets
  • Blankets
  • Pillows
  • Towels
  • Bug spray
  • Flashlight

We hope that all parents and campers have an amazing summer experience and that many memories and friendships are made. There is no better place to spend the summer months than in nature. So, enjoy and be sure to take plenty of pictures!