The 3D Crystal Company produce high quality bespoke crystal goods. Using the latest in sub-surface laser technology, they are able to reproduce photographs in crystal and give them a new dimension.
Emer Parker started the business last year after retiring from a career in the NHS. Since launching, Emer has tried new venues, new products and different networking groups to expand her connections and to get the brand recognised. The 3D Crystal Company have now expanded their range of products to include bespoke awards, trophies and corporate gifts. Emer explained that: “It’s sometimes exhausting being on my own; everything has to be done by me but on the other hand it’s a great sense of achievement to see the orders becoming more regular and comparing the growth from this time last year”.
After a hectic Christmas last year, when one of her lasers broke with 52 orders to produce, Emer has better processes in place and has started preparing for Christmas already. Emer revealed part of her plan: “I’ve trained my youngest son to use the laser so I’ll have help when the orders start flooding in. I have several products that I can make in advance such as Christmas tree decorations, crystals with the Welsh dragon and Castell Coch and some that can be lasered while people wait such as photos on slate”.
Emer has had lots of advice from friends and neighbours in Tongwynlais: “One friend in the village forwarded me an email about a ‘pop up shop’ being set up in the Capitol Centre for 5 weeks in the run up to Christmas. This connection has been very productive for me. I’m a regular stall holder with this lady’s events during the year and have continued with her Christmas shops too,” she said.
Emer told us that one of the most popular products are keyrings: “I can laser a 3D photo into the keyrings, a company logo or just clipart and text. Each keyring has an integral light and for a small gift they’re ideal,” she said.
Another top seller is the large plaque. It’s most commonly bought as a wedding or anniversary present but they have been asked to make logos for a corporate reception area.
We asked Emer if she has any advice for other people thinking about setting up a business and she had several suggestions: “Make use of all the free advice and support from the Welsh Assembly Government. There are lots of free courses available from Word, Excel, Sage etc and if you don’t realise how to access these then you can pay unnecessarily. I would also recommend finding a business mentor, someone that you can bounce ideas off and whose opinion you trust. This could save you costly errors! They will see your business in a different light to you and may be able to offer suggestions about how to develop and grow your company”.
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