Sugar & Vice And All Things....Argh!...Fire! January 12 2015 1 Comment
On the 29th of December we were faced with the most harrowing experience of our 8 year strong business. I had been in Manchester for Christmas with the family and once I set foot back through the door I was literally thrown straight back into work, as per the life of a self employed jeweller! Two hours later and our beloved VersaLaser was the victim of some incredibly poor luck.
We'd finished running a cutting job, turned the machine off, walked away and shut the workshop door. Twenty minutes and the vague smell of burning plastic alerted us to the fact that something was very, very wrong. We ran back out to be greeted with a fire originating from the machine. Luckily, aside from a couple of minor burns, we were both completely unharmed but the same could not be said of our laser cutter.
Having spoken to a couple of laser cutter providers at length, we can only assume that even though the machine was unplugged, there must have been a rogue ember underneath the honeycomb bed that grew and engulfed the whole machine. A further blow was a rather upsetting conversation with our insurance provider. Although we'd been told that our machinery would be covered when we started the policy, we have since been informed that our laser cutter is considered 'too specialist' to be covered for any amount. It was a rather expensive and difficult lesson, but one we'll take with us into the future.
Knowing that our entire business and everything we'd built was now in jeopardy was one of the hardest things we've ever been through. But what followed, was one of the biggest displays of human kindness I've ever witnessed.
One of our most faithful customers and friends Kitty suggested running a crowdfunding campaign to get us back up on our feet, and it was met with agreement from so many others that we felt bolstered enough to take the plunge. We started off with a modest target of £1000, sure that we would never meet it, but we soon surpassed that goal and as we got information from a local laser cutter provider about their second-hand Universal Laser (with a 50w laser tube, no less), we updated our goal to the £5000 that we'd need for the deposit.
To date, we are at £5210 with a total of 252 donations. What was the worst start to 2015 we could possibly imagine became a miracle that made us feel so loved, and more importantly, gave us back the motivation that we'd started to lose in the face of disaster.
I've said thank you a lot over our various social media platforms but it never feels significant enough. Without these donations, we would literally have had to walk away from our dream and the thing that we'd built from the ground up over 8 years of our lives. Without the donations, it would have been the end for us, but 252 unbelievably kind people helped us to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and carry on.
We ended up having another run of bad luck when it came to getting hold of the new machine and getting it up and running but that feels rather insignificant given everything that came before it. What's important is that for 3 days now, we've been able to catch up on the outstanding orders, and even design and make a couple of new pieces! It's something we'd started to take for granted but we're now so appreciative of the simple every-day tasks and the things that we're able to do again.
Here's the new machine in situ. It's hard to explain how we felt once we'd been able to set it up and start making jewellery again, words simply won't suffice.
The only thing left to say is, once again, thank you for your donations, support, kind words and unending enthusiasm for what we do. We've said it before but it's truer now than ever, without our customers, our business does not exist.