Well, what a year it has been for Costumes with Character. We’ve had such a blast making an amazing array of costumes for our many fabulous clients from across the globe. As we’re coming to the end of the year, I thought it would be nice to update you all on what we have been up to in 2016 as there’s lots to talk about.
First off, let’s start with a few numbers:
In 2016, we brought to life over 500 new Mascot Characters for existing and new clients from across 5 different continents. We have also expertly refurbished well over 500 well-worn costumes throughout our refurbishment season, with the majority coming from Holiday Parks across the UK, freshening up for a new season of fun and frolics with the younger holiday guests throughout the summer.
In May of this year, we launched a new and fully refreshed website onto the unsuspecting world-wide web. This new website answered the need for a more responsive and SEO friendly design to ensure that we are clearly visible on the Google network. Since the launch of the site, we have seen over 90,000 visitors to date and responded to over 200 enquiries since this feature became available in July. We’ve also added over 200 of our fabulous costumes to the site and posted 12 well-read blogs with Fur, Sweat and Tears being the most read at over 230 page views to date. Keeping with the world-wide web, we have grown our social media Facebook presence to a whopping 1045 likes and over 1000 followers, and our Twitter account to over 200 followers and counting.
The team has grown in 2016 with the addition of 4 new full-time members of staff, covering Props, Patterning, Marketing, Printing and Illustration, taking the core team up to 22 with the addition of some fantastic Freelancers during the busier periods.
Now we’ve had a quick look at some numbers, let’s see what’s been going on at CWC HQ as we’ve been busy here too!
We’ve had some major work done to the Studio this year to cope with the increased demand for Costumed Characters. It’s great to know that Mascots are as popular now as they have ever been and we’ve adapted to cope with this increase with some significant additions to the company (staff and assets alike). Earlier this year, our second-floor mezzanine area was expanded to add additional floor space and create extra storage for those hundreds of refurb costumes we receive each year. It has also allowed us to increase the size of our dedicated photo studio space so that we can take professional shots of all our characters during production and before they leave the building.
These aren’t the only reasons we have increased the space inside the building, as this year we have added an additional in-house service to the ever-growing list of things we can do, giving us more control over the quality of our Costumes.
In October, we introduced a state of the art Dye Sublimation Printer and Calendar Heat Press, allowing us even more control over the quality of our final products and the opportunity to offer more printing services in the coming year. For those who don’t know, Dye-Sublimation printing is the transfer of dye to fabric and other materials using heat. The heat causes the special ink on the paper to evaporate and turn into gas, binding with the material and permanently marking the fabric (in our case). New patterns, colours or images can be printed at CWC HQ to allow us to perfectly match the requirements of our clients
with things such as particular clothing colours, patterns or textures to give that added dimension to the Costume and give us control of the final print.
Alongside this, we’re always trying to improve the working conditions for our staff and at the same time as the introduction of the Printing Press, we installed a much-improved extraction and air conditioning system to keep our staff warm (or cool) and well ventilated over the coming years.
Worthy of a special mention, 2016 saw the 30th Anniversary of Welephant. We wrote a blog on this
earlier in the year (our first ever post) but it’s a particular highlight for us because it was the first costume CWC made and it is still being made in 2016, albeit with some modernisation…
A Great Big Thank You!
So, as you can see it’s been quite an amazing year for us here at CWC. We’ve had new staff, new equipment and new space to mention a few. However, none of this would have been possible without you, our clients, followers and customers, who have made all this possible by trusting us to bring your costumes and characters to life and by interacting with us through social media, the website and beyond. Without you, this 2016 end of year update almost certainly wouldn’t exist and I wouldn’t have had the pleasure of sitting here, excitably tapping away to tell you all about the great things we have achieved over the last 12 months.
With all of these goings on in 2016, Who knows what will happen in 2017. All we know is that it’s looking like it’s going to be a fantastic year as we’re currently booking up fast with some fantastic costumes from right across the globe!