*Where are you from? Tell us a bit about yourself.Our business Gulf Coast Laser Graphics is located in Florida. My husband Tom and I (Denise) run the company. We have 2 boys that are 27 and 19. Originally, we both came from the upper Midwest, Wisconsin and Illinois.
*How did you decide on your shop name? Why did you start your business?Our location had a great influence on our company name. Living on the West coast of Florida and engraving products for pet shows and gifts combined to form our name. We formerly operated a commercial cleaning business, but needed a creative change.
*What are 5 things you want people to think when they see your product?The 5 things we want people to think when they see our product are:
1. Wow, they have a great selection of hard to find pet lover's items.
2. I love the detail and ability to customize a product.
3. The quality of the work is great:)
4. The shipping time is very rapid.
5. Their product line is expanding to sports, promotional items, holidays, and gifts for special occasions.
*What’s your supply addiction; is there a specific color or type of supply you just can’t pass up?We use wood a great deal because it is so versatile for engraving, and now that we are starting sports items the plastic is great for color.
*What do you do when you’re not being an artist? What activities do you enjoy?I am a foodie at heart; have been since the age of 17 when I worked at a fine dining restaurant in a suburb of Chicago as a bus girl at and helped serve at the table where Julia Child was. Tom is a sports fan who has a great time with our 19 yr. old watching the games.
*Which item in your shop did you enjoy making the most and why?The photo engraved ornament is the one we enjoy the most. It is like capturing a moment in time that you will pull out every year and possibly hand down to your child to help them remember what they looked like or what their pet looked like long after the time has passed.
* Is this your first craft adventure or have you tried other crafts? What would you like to try?As for previous crafting experiences, I enjoyed candy making and adventurous cake decorating from the time I started experimenting with it at the age of 16. My largest project ever was a 3 layer wedding cake with a fountain between the first and second layer.
As for other crafts, learning the art of lampwork beads to create characters, or animals would be something I would like to try.
*What keeps you motivated?The motivation comes from 1. a never say quit attitude, 2. a desire to expand and look for what the public may want, and 3. a belief that as long as we keep trying new things and examining all options that success is possible.
*If you could give a piece of advice to a new shop - what would it be?Get as active as you can manage in the teams, because the more you network your business, the greater exposure you will have.
*Are there other places on the net we can find you?www.facebook.com/pages/Gulf-Coast-Laser-Graphics/219114098152870