Home Business Services Crystal Galleries rises from the ashes following devastating fire

Crystal Galleries rises from the ashes following devastating fire


Odyssey Systems has helped a fellow Teesside business bounce back from a devastating fire by hosting its entire customer service team.

Founder and managing director Mike Odysseus contacted client Crystal Galleries within hours of the blaze that wiped out its 25,000 sq. ft premises containing its production workshop, warehouse and offices in Skipper’s Lane, Middlesbrough.

Its 10-strong customer service team has relocated to Odyssey’s Stockton headquarters, while its engineers quickly recovered the data from Crystal Galleries’ fire-damaged servers and reinstated a microwave antenna to restore its telephone network and wireless communications.

Managing director Jeremy Lowes, who runs Crystal Galleries with sister Joanne, said that Odyssey Systems’ timely offer of help allowed the family-run business to be back up and running within three days.

“The future looked very uncertain until I got the call from Mike. His generous offer to provide a home for our customer service team and Odyssey’s ability to reinstate our communications system, meant we could contact all our clients to keep them updated,” he added.

“This really is a fantastic example of the spirit of collaboration that exists here on Teesside, with people always willing to help out in a time of crisis.”

The fire struck on Saturday, April 3 during the Bank Holiday weekend, destroying the 25,000 sq. ft premises, its engraving and laser equipment and more than £700,000 worth of stock. The investigation into the fire is continuing.

Crystal Galleries is currently operating out of a separate 8,000 sq. ft building, together with several shipping containers, to the rear of the fire-hit main building, which will need to be completely rebuilt.

The business, started by Jeremy and Joanne’s father in 1982, is the UK’s leading supplier of wholesale glass and crystal blanks for glass engravers as well as the foremost trade supplier of engraved glass, crystal glass and awards to promotional gift distributors and online retailers. Recipients of its gifts include Lady Gaga, Ronaldo and the Queen.

Jeremy added: “Fortunately, we had an overflow warehouse containing 30 percent of our stock that escaped damage and we quickly replenished our lost stock – which meant we could return to full production within weeks.

“We lost £300,000 worth of equipment, including engraving and laser machines, which we have borrowed or replaced from suppliers.

“It’s really incredible that we have returned so quickly after a fire that we feared might end the business. As a result, we have safeguarded the future of 54 jobs, and our ambitions remain to grow the business.”

Mike Odysseas said: “Communicating with your customers is crucial in the wake of such an unfortunate event so it was important to respond extremely quickly.

“We were able to provide a socially distanced space within our offices where Crystal Galleries’ customer service team have relocated to. Everyone at Odyssey Systems is pleased to offer our continuing support to a fellow Teesside business.”