As of 26 November 2020, we can no longer guarantee delivery in time for Christmas. This page will explain why that is and what your options are in terms of gifting Cumbria Crystal during the festive period and supporting a small, heritage business like ours.
Why are you unable to guarantee Christmas deliveries?
Unfortunately, this is out of our hands. We have been extremely grateful for all the orders we have had in this difficult year however there are a number of factors which have led to us being unable to keep up with demand.
- On March 24th we had to shut down both our furnaces for the first time in 44 years, and furlough most staff.
- We spent the Spring and Early Summer preparing crystal that already had been blown but that needed to go through the rest of our process including cutting and polishing as these are activities that are carried out by an artisan operating alone.
- We were able to relight one of our furnaces in late Summer (this is a four week process to ensure they are at the correct temperature to blow the high quality glass we are known for).
- However just a few weeks later one of our furnaces had to be shut down due to a cracked crucible (these are made of clay in France and take months to create, dry and deliver).
- At the end of October we were able to install a new crucible and over the course of several weeks heated it up so it could be used to blow glass once again.
- During this same period we had difficulties with our acid machine which meant 100s of beautiful pieces of handblown glass were unable to be sold due to the damage done when introduced to the machine.
- We began the Christmas ordering period still trying to fulfil earlier orders, which has put us in a difficult position of not being able to guarantee any orders in time for Christmas
Can you do anything to increase output and fulfil orders?
We are a small team of 23 artisans in a modest factory in the Lake District. Our glass blowers work in pairs and so UK government regulations and social distancing rules has heavily impacted this area of the factory. All our glass blowers have a minimum of 15 years experience. A piece of crystal takes a minimum of 10 days to make where around 40% will be deemed high enough quality to be Premium Quality, and the rest Factory Outlet.
There is an incredible beauty and magic in our traditional manufacturing process, and one that we are extremely proud of, however it means that we cannot simply increase output with demand like a modern business would be able to do.
I very much want to buy from you and support you – what are my options?
We are so grateful for such a loyal customer base who really do fall in love with the Crystal we pride ourselves on. We welcome all your orders, we just do not want to make any guarantees and then disappoint so here are what we are doing
- Made especially for you this Christmas (Premium Quality) if you are in the UK and order a Premium Quality item(s) we will send yourself/ your recipient a Made especially for you this Christmas gift box. This will include a glass tealight holder made by our talented team along with a personalised letter, printed on headed paper, explaining that Crystal is being handcrafted just for them and will be delivered in the new year. ORDER NOW
- Made especially for you this Christmas (Factory Outlet) if you are in the UK and order a Factory Outlet item(s) we will send yourself/ your recipient a Made especially for you this Christmas letter. This will be a personalised letter, printed on headed paper, explaining that Crystal is being handcrafted just for them and will be delivered in the new year. ORDER NOW
- Gift certificate if you would rather your recipient receive a gift voucher and choose Crystal for themselves then we send a personalised letter, on headed paper and in a crisp purple envelope to yourself or the recipient advising them of the amount gifted and how to use this with Cumbria Crystal. This can be used for Crystal and Glass Blowing experiences (which we plan to resume in Spring 2021 if COVID19 guidelines allow to do so safely). ORDER NOW
- Our International customers can order e-vouchers which are delivered immediately.
I really want to gift actual Crystal this Christmas, I don’t really mind what it is, how do I find out what you have in stock ready to post?
We do strongly recommend the options above however you are welcome to call us on 01229 584400 during office hours to place an order for items which we have in stock, ready to send. We can discuss your needs over the phone and select appropriate items for you.
It is thanks to our small but mighty team of staff and our loyal customers that we have survived 2020. We understand that you may want to physically gift something this Christmas and we respect that. But if you want to gift a bespoke, handcrafted timeless piece created to last a lifetime and more then we ask you still order from us and we will ensure your recipient receives a promise from us regarding your generous gift.
Thank you for your understanding.