A former engineer who took up crafts as a hobby is now running his own business designing and selling his handiwork.
Phil Davies started out turning his hands to creating objects as a hobby.
It was hard at first, but the business has really started to take off.Phil Davies
But as demand for his work grew, he created a small workshop within his South Shields flat.
Alongside his job as an engineer, he would use his spare time to make various products using laser craft.
In 2009, he set up his sideline and soon saw his work take off so much so that he sourced an industrial unit in Rekendyke Industrial Estate, South Shields, to work from after having to invest in a larger laser machine to meet demand.
However, after the unit was broken into, it was the push he needed to give up his main job as an engineer to concentrate on building up his craft business.
Last month, he opened the doors to his first craft shop – Acrylic Craft – selling his handmade products.
Mr Davies, 34, said: “At the time I was working shift work as an engineer and doing this in my spare time.
“After the break-in, I thought ‘that’s it’ and I decided to give up my job and concentrate on building my business.
“I have been going a while, but I really started concentrating more on it in the past year with a view of opening up the shop, and, last month, I did it.
“It was hard at first, but it has started to really take off, I am getting a lot of people through the doors, especially for the handmade Christmas baubles.
“For me the time was right and it’s a decision that I don’t regret making.”
Mr Davies sells a range of his craftwork created through the use of laser using materials including plywood, acrylic and MDF among others.
As well as festive products, he also creates boxes, cake accessories and other items as well as offers craft supplies for sale.
He employs one part-time member of staff.
Mr Davies added: “I have worked in the engineering industry ever since I left school, which I think gives me that extra edge.
“It’s great seeing new customers coming through the doors, but even better when those same customers come back.
“I have the laser machine in the back room and from the counter people can see me working, which does lead to a lot of questions being asked about my work.”
Acrylic Craft is based at Unit 8B on the Rekendyke Industrial Estate.
The shop is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 9am until 4.30pm, Wednesdays, 11am until 4.30pm, and Saturdays, 9am until 1pm.
The shop can be contacted on 0191 597 3698.
Items can also be viewed on the website www.acryliccraft.co.uk