Or­ford MNA 618 Sher­brooke Ma­gog 819-847-3911 1 855-547-3911 80,000 years in the mak­ing

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM -

The story of Pic­ture This on Gran­ite starts way, way back when man first dis­played that he was the only an­i­mal able to com­mu­ni­cate graph­i­cally and thus leave a me­mo­rial of what he was.

Around 80,000 years ago, a man took a stone to a wall in a cave and started draw­ing on it. Not ran­domly, but ren­der­ing what he was see­ing around him, com­pos­ing a scene.

Flash back to the be­gin­ning of this mil­len­nium when Bon­nie Good­sell took the ul­ti­mate step in the evo­lu­tion of stone etch­ing, a laser beam would now etch the stone, all con­trolled by com­put­ers, com­bin­ing the old­est trade with the lat­est tech­nol­ogy. A 2 door garage op­er­a­tion in Beebe, a strange ta­ble with a large belt and Pic­ture This on Gran­ite was born.

15 years later, in all states of our South­ern neigh­bours, a Me­mo­rial, more of­ten than not, en­tirely de­signed and man­u­fac­tured here, us­ing the lat­est equip­ment avail­able. Of those, 40 are con­sid­ered by Bon­nie Good­sell, to be ma­jor works.

Most of you have a sim­i­lar ma­chine at home. Now imag­ine your inkjet printer blown up to a foot long ma­chine, then re­mem­ber when your printer de­cided to skip a cou­ple of lines do­ing mul­ti­ple copies of your "oh so cute" cat pic­tures. At most, a cou­ple of dol­lars go­ing down the drain. Now if your printer had a full time tech­ni­cian, us­ing the lat­est re­vi­sions of mul­ti­ple soft­ware, cal­i­brat­ing your printer ev­ery morn­ing, it would be a dif­fer­ent game. And that’s the game that Pic­ture This on Gran­ite is in. Es­tab­lish­ing it­self in 15 years as the leader in per­son­al­ized stone. Quite an achieve­ment con­sid­er­ing that the busi­ness started dur­ing the World Trade Cen­ter at­tack, went through the re­ces­sion of 2008, the fluc­tu­a­tion of the Cana­dian dol­lar and kept grow­ing.

Tech­nol­ogy played a big part in that pro­gres­sion nat­u­rally, in 15 years it has evolved by leaps and bounds. But the lat­est tech­no­log­i­cal won­der is use­less if those who op­er­ate them are un­able to push them­selves to the lim­its. In fact, as Bon­nie Good­sell is pon­der­ing her next move, which should hap­pen some­time over the next 18 months, her main worry is where she will find her next em­ploy­ees: ‘I’ve al­ways pre­ferred hir­ing lo­cal peo­ple but find­ing qual­i­fied em­ploy­ees is hard.’ She said. And it’s not for a lack of lo­cal re­sources, as her daugh­ter Heather Good­sell pointed out, the Len­noxville Vo­ca­tional Train­ing Cen­tre that of­fers a di­ploma in CNC Op­er­a­tion, a skill re­quired by their busi­ness and more and more in the gran­ite in­dus­try.

Busi­ness that are fo­cused on a niche mar­ket, able to with­stand for­eign com­pe­ti­tion, are the fu­ture of Stanstead, and Pic­ture This on Gran­ite is good proof that it is pos­si­ble to do so.

Photo: Ja­son Drew op­er­at­ing one of the laser etch­ing ta­ble

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