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What follows is a firsthand recounting of the first decade of Craig Martyn ’10’s entrepreneurial journey. Craig has been tremendously supportive of the CSUF Entrepreneurship program during a big part of this time as a client of our CSUF Consulting program, as a mentor in the classroom, and as a guest speaker. We’re extremely grateful for Craig’s support and we hope you like and get some inspiration from what follows (and make sure to read all the way to the end to see some pictures from Craig’s business!)!

I believe it’s true: Most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year, but underestimate what they can do in 10.

Eleven years ago, I attended an event in Kansas City, at which there was one guy that had a suede-plastic business card. I saw it…it was cool. Everyone I met kept bringing up THAT card.

On the flight home, cramped between two random people, I put some thought into the idea of doing business cards – made of metal. I figured surely, they would have a bigger wow factor than plastic. I already knew the chemical-etching process from my model train company and the aesthetic/design aspect fit with my interests.

So I went to Google and did some searching to size-up the competition. There were companies selling metal cards; however, (in my opinion) they were either (A) overpriced, (B) their designs were not good, or (C) they were out of the US.

In June of 2011, MyMetalBusinessCard.com was officially launched. Like any start-up, sales were initially slow, but things picked-up quickly and we gained traction.

In the first few months of operation, I would finish my work for first business, then in the evenings, do the graphic design for metal card orders. I even had some very helpful friends who would do their 9-5, and then help produce card designs at night.

Things snowballed and I’ve been extremely lucky to have a great team of passionate, talented people who are the reason we are here today. We pushed forward, looking for every opportunity to better understand and serve our growing number of clients.

Fast forward 10 years: My Metal Business Card, thanks to our dedicated team, has become the world-leader for Metal Business Cards. We’ve gotten to work with clients I had only dreamed about while studying advertising in college. A few years back we hit the ’10 million cards sold’ mark, moved to our commercial building (in La Habra), acquired 10 lasers – including some now fully automated, built our own proprietary software from the ground-up, and posted real-time metrics on TV’s throughout the office.

To say I’m grateful for the team we’ve had – past and present – would be an understatement; it’s been a lot of hard work from a lot of people.

Over the years we’ve learned a lot, including our fundamental WHY, which drives everything we do: We produce products that positively impact people. Every order and product we produce is an opportunity to spread positivity and at the very least, provoke a smile or two.

To kick-off our 10-year Anniversary, we just launched a new website that is fully integrated between our software, external/internal production, and order management. Clients can now login to their account to track the exact status of their order, get an estimated ship date, or when the time comes, easily re-order.

Many of you might not know we produce many personalized products beyond just metal business cards. For instance, our personalized metal tumblers and other gift items have become increasingly popular.

CSUF Entrepreneurship

We are dedicated to helping the next generation of entrepreneurs develop the skills that they need to compete locally and globally. The CSUF Entrepreneurship program does many things, including: consulting projects where students serve up fresh strategies to actual businesses, competitions for students from middle school to grad school, helping entrepreneurs go from concept to launch, frequent seminars and office hours for entrepreneurs and professionals, and much more. Interested in becoming a part of the CSUF Entrepreneurship community? Reach out to us at csufentrepreneurship@fullerton.edu for more information! CSUF Entrepreneurship depends on the support of the community, please go here to donate.

Published by CSUF Entrepreneurship

We teach, coach and lead the principled, cross-disciplinary practice of entrepreneurship. We believe that, through determined practice, leadership and team work, our students, faculty, clients, volunteers and alums can systematically recombine the new and the old to forge new ventures, create an entrepreneurial culture, and dramatically benefit our community.