Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Wayne Sandberg, Co-Founder of Crystal Prints Inc, located in Woolford, MD, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We make personalized 2 and 3-dimensional crystal gifts, awards, and memorials.

Tell us about yourself

We had loads of previous experience in the digital imaging field, and the evolution of 3d imaging was very intriguing. We had a relationship with an English manufacturer of microfilm and 3d scanners. After we sold our microfilm systems integration company, The English manufacturer approached us to distribute their new 3d scanner products.

We wanted to test the market for interest in 3d scanners and 3d crystal portraits, so we connected with a traveling crafters group. We made a 3d Crystal Portrait booth and traveled with the crafters group visiting several shopping malls in the summer of 2004. The response to our 3d crystal portraits was awesome. Everyone who viewed our display was mesmerized by the glass encapsulated 3d portraits.

After several failed business models during the first couple of years, we discovered the best model for us was to run an e-commerce shop and do the crystal production in-house. Now, after 19 years of making 2 and 3d subsurface engraved gifts and awards, we find the customer's positive response to our work to be very rewarding. Designing the awards and gifts in the crystals satisfies our need to be creative and productive.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner was to develop the first high-speed and volume microfilm digitizing system. Then building and selling the business to a public company in 1998 was very rewarding.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

I think the hardest thing a business owner has to face is scaling the business. Finding and managing employees can be very challenging.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Find your market niche. Know who you will be selling to and direct marketing to them.
  2. Enjoy what you decide to do.
  3. Persevere. Don't give up; if, at first, you don't succeed.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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