Carving a new business out of ice

on Wednesday, 08 August 2012. Posted in N21 Business Blog

Carl Charalambous is keen to give up the corporate job and run his own business. Towards the end of 2011 he began trawling the Internet for possible business ideas, to identify emerging trends, gaps in the market and possible business opportunities. In December, he came across a company in Manchester offering ice making and sculpting equipment for sale. Carl, who works in the transport sector knew nothing about ice, but undaunted, a few more hours of sofa research soon revealed that ice sculpture is a sizable market in the US, but there are few companies in the London area offering attention grabbing sculptures that will wow guests at corporate events, parties and weddings. 
 
So Carl duly bought the plant, comprising freezers, pumps, moulds and tool kit and began building a business plan. In February 2012 Funky Ice began trading, with a 'cool' brand which conquers up an image of a company that is contemporary and stylish but in an unconventional way.
 
 
Next came the recruitment of a team of ice carvers and sculpters (yes there are people that make a living out of ice art), who could work with the new company as and when required, as the fledging business begins to build a client base. Carl and Zara have also invested in a good quality website, to showcase their work and excite potential clients, especially as in many instances Funky Ice will be working with ideas submitted by their clients.
 
 
As Carl is still in his day job, the first few months of business development have been managed by Carl's wife Zara, who began making contact with event organisers, wedding planners, PR companies, major hotels to introduce Funky Ice. They had an early PR triumph when in April they won a Theo Paphitis Small Business Sunday award (at the eighth time of applying - a lesson there surely?). Not only has this generated valuable PR, but it has also won them mentoring support and the opportunity to network and even collaborate with other award winners.
 
 
They are already working wth a growing number of event businesses (who are listed on the Funky Ice website) and have created some amazing ice sculptures and ice bars, which can be viewed on their website. Funky Ice recently supplied a fun sculpture for the Pure Indulgence2 event at the Green Dragon.
 
 
Carl hasn't yet given up the day job, but as most events are in the evening and at weekends it has been possible to combine the two until the business is large enough to replace his income,  in the not too distant future. A crystal clear case of how a business is more than the value of plant and the tools, Carl and Zara are well on the way to have created this super cool new creative local business?
 

Carl Charalambous is keen to give up the corporate job and run his own businesss. He began trawling the Internet for possible business ideas, to identify emerging trends, gaps in the market and possible business opportunities and came across a company offering ice making and sculpting equipment for sale. Carl knew nothing about ice, but undaunted, a few more hours of sofa research soon revealed that ice sculpture is a sizable market in the US, but there are few companies in the London area offering attention grabbing sculptures that will wow guests at corporate events, parties and weddings.

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