It's back. #smallbizatoz is here again with the letter L. There really was no other choice for this letter but to use it to tell you a little more about our life with the laser cutter.
I am not very good at dates so I can’t actually remember when we invested in ours but it has been one of the best things we have done since beginning We Are Scamp.
Having hand stitched pretty much every single item we originally used to make we realised that if we were going to grow and scale our business that we would have to take a slight change in direction. We soon realised we were we going to have to increase our speed of production. I was introduced to the laser cutter whilst screen printing our baby grows at the workshop that I used. This is where my laser cutting relationship began. I paid by the hour to hire it which was rather stressful as if things didn't go to plan - which was often the case in the early days of use - I could literally see the pound signs stacking up.
The first product I made on the laser cutter was our original Christmas angel decoration.
For a few weeks this was the only thing we made as we hadn’t sussed out how to use Illustrator properly and to create that one vector file literally took me forever!!
Over a number of months I gradually became more confident at using the machine and also creating the artwork. As I created more and more products and sales increased it got to the point where renting the machine by the hour was no longer the sensible thing to do.
I did some research around laser cutters and decided, in the end, to go for the version I had been using in the workshop. Originally it was set up in my freezing cold garage and I panicked every time I switched it on in case something broke or I did something wrong and messed it all up. It’s a big piece of kit and the most money we had invested in our business so to say I was a little paranoid about it was an understatement. The machine has moved around a little since then. Next it was in our spare bedroom and now it has a home in my new studio space.
There is pretty much a constant hum in the background of the laser working it’s way through all our orders. I still occasionally stop in my tracks and watch it rastering or etching. It really is pretty cool how it transforms a vector image on a screen to a 3 dimensional object.
Currently we are whizzing through our thank you teacher gift orders
But my real favourite thing to make at the moment is our new wooden personalised family tree. I think this makes a beautiful keepsake for so many special occasions. I have made these for special birthdays, grand parents celebrating new grandchildren and significant wedding anniversaries. Shhhh, don’t tell my mum but she is getting one for her imminent special birthday with 7 birds on it representing each grand child.