Fortville, IN: Fortville-based PlaqueMaker.com has announced plans to add 30 workers during the next three years as part of an expansion. The company is looking to pump $3 million into adding office space and later production space at its Hancock County operation.
A homegrown business with a global reach plans to invest as much as $3 million to grow its Fortville operations, building and equipping a 42,000-square-foot facility and nearly doubling its staff by the end of 2018.
Established in 1999 in founder Kyle Sherman’s garage, PlaqueMaker.com sells laser-engraved products online, employing 33 workers who handle graphic design, production and customer service.
At any time, PlaqueMaker has about 1,000 orders in the works, Sherman said. Sales topped $5 million last year, he said, and annual growth has averaged about 25 percent. PlaqueMaker moved into leased space in Castleton in 2002, and then relocated to Fortville Business Park in 2006 after expanding its product mix to include personalized gifts and memorial plaques. Adding industrial signage fueled more growth. Now it’s running out of room in that 18,000-square-foot building, and Sherman expects business to boom with the spring launch of a redesigned website and additional products. By this time next year, he hopes to have about 5,000 products available, up from 500 now.
Construction is set to begin on the first 6,000 square feet of new space, which will accommodate the company’s growing office staff. Plans call for adding production and warehouse space as it’s needed.
Fortville and Hancock County offered a 10-year property tax abatement for the project, potentially saving PlaqueMaker almost $270,000. The state chipped in a $50,000 training grant.
FairWinds Advisors was retained to help with site selection, incentives negotiation and compliance.