Saying Goodbye to Ceramic Tiles
I've been agonising over this for the last few months, and finally, with great sadness, I have decided I can no longer continue with ceramic photo tile frames.
I know how much you love the ceramic frames, they have been a staple for my business for so long. This is not a decision I've reached lightly. I want to share with you why I'm having to give them up.
Most important is the potential impact on my health. Have you heard of silicosis? It's a long-term lung disease caused by inhaling crystalline silica (clay) dust. I am having to sand tiles often when they don't print perfectly and the dust levels in the studio are becoming too much. Unfortunately, I can't afford the expensive extraction system it would require to properly control the dust. So as I don't want to develop a future lung problem from my business, it's time to change.
It's no secret that many small businesses are struggling and mine is no exception. Aside from the health concerns, the process to achieve perfectly finished ceramic tiles is complex and time-consuming. I can no longer ignore that I'm barely making any profit on ceramic tile frames once I account for my time.
And finally, on a personal level, I don't have as much time as I used to. I've very sadly had to let go of my team and it's just me now. With two small children, it's too much - I need to simplify and streamline how I run the business.
Saying goodbye to ceramic tiles hurts. They've been part of my story for so long ever since the first frame I made for my sister over 10 years ago.
I know this will upset many of you, especially you avid collectors of ceramic tile frames who keep coming back for more. (Thank you, thank you, thank you for your loyalty - it means the world to me.) I hate letting anyone down and I'm so sorry, but I have to do the right thing for me and the business.
So what happens now?
Firstly I fully appreciate some of you have outstanding orders, crowdfunding gifts and so on. I will be getting in touch with each of you in due course to update you. I have already started contacting those of you with outstanding orders from 2021 for 60mm tiles as these were the first to run out. If you have a more recent order I will be in touch soon.
There are plenty of frames and different-sized tiles left, mostly 90mm and 150mm. You can shop the remaining frames on the website and I will update stock as frequently as I can.
For those of you with outstanding orders, please keep sending your photos to email@example.com - I will let you know what can be done.
This is not the end of photo tile frames! I am working on a new range of beautiful acrylic tile frames which print beautifully and have an overall look very similar to the ceramic you know and love. They look fantastic, they're simpler and quicker for me to make, and they don't risk my health.
Look out for new acrylic tile and frame combinations, worded designs and artwork launching this July.
I'm taking a short break for a week from 17th June, so any orders placed from 16th June will be handled when I return to work on Thursday 22nd.
I hope you'll continue to follow my journey. I am so very grateful for all your orders and the support you've shown for my small business over the years.
Love Claire x