A design and fabrication company that started out in a spare room is moving on to greater things.
Funky Laser, founded by Leah Moore, has moved into a flagship business centre to meet growing demand from a client list that includes Disney, Scottish TV, Soap and Glory, BBC Good Food and Penguin.
Its team of four is now based in UK Steel Enterprise’s Innovation Centre in Hartlepool, creating its ‘weird and wonderful’ range of bespoke and personalised items from necklaces, badges and wedding cake toppers to party and photo props incorporating anything from animals, flowers, figures, hats, lips and moustaches to names, jokes and quotes.
Funky Laser has grown fast in just three years after Leah combined the skills acquired since taking her degree in industrial design with the huge potential of high tech laser cutting machines.
The company’s commercial work includes designing and making photo props for Soap and Glory, elves hats for Scottish TV, cake toppers for Disney to promote the film Into the Woods and even cut-out leaves for an Ascot hat.
“It has been amazing because these companies find us,” said Leah. “And we love working on such exciting commissions.”
Funky Laser’s ‘How Old’ cake toppers are stocked in Lakeland shops as well as being a top favourite with the public.
Its own website www.funkylaser.com sells products to Australia, Canada and the USA as well as the UK and word is spreading fast through social media, bloggers and magazines.
“All our designs are original and we work mainly in Perspex and wood but also leather and other suitable materials,” said Leah, who combines running her business with a busy family life that includes three children aged between six months and 12.
“When I wanted to start a business from home I asked my now-husband for a laser cutter instead of an engagement ring.
“Within a year I needed more equipment and we quickly moved from spare bedroom to garage to a specially built extension and now, thank heavens, to the Innovation Centre. And I also have my ring!
“It is great to be in our own business premises as having conference rooms and the other facilities available is a huge benefit and the 24 hour access means we can work at times to suit us.
“Every team member works flexibly to help each other with commitments to family or further education and that is an important part of my business. As the only woman on my degree course I am also passionate about encouraging girls to look at industrial design as a career option,” she added.
Paula Addison of UK Steel Enterprise said: “It is always good to see businesses that have outgrown their existing premises arrive here and find they have the space and support they need to concentrate on growing. We can see Funky Laser going from strength to strength.”
Details of UK Steel Enterprise’s support for businesses from 01429 239 500 and www.uksteelenterprise.co.uk.
• Pictured (above): Leah Moore (left) of Funky Laser in the company’s new Innovation Centre premises with Paula Addison of UK Steel Enterprise.