Matter for… organisation
Clarisse manages the administrative aspect of the company. A mission that she carries out every day with a particular focus on the well-being of her colleagues. A family spirit pervades throughout Crystal Group.
Could you tell us about your role at Crystal Group?
I take care of the administrative side of the companies. At the same time, I manage the Ice department, from quotations and invoicing to supervising the production team. I also make a point of maintaining regular contact with our customers. The Ice department is represented by between four and five people: the workshop manager, material and logistics manager, delivery drivers, production staff and a full-time sculptor who is assisted by a second. Depending on the scope of the project, we also work with a regular team of external contractors.
In fact, it is impossible to describe a typical day at Crystal Group because every day is different. However, most of my time is spent on sales, production and customer contact.
What is the process behind an ice project?
Our customers are very loyal and contact us regularly to involve us in their ice-related projects. Every week, we are called upon to create several ice pieces. Some are tailor-made products that must be replaced regularly, while others are creations for new events.
A lot of thought goes into the customer’s request, the design and how to produce the ice. In this research, I am supported by the sculptors, who know their material inside and out. They also confirm the feasibility of the projects.
We then create 3D visuals for our customer to envisage the project. It is important to have these images in order to clearly see the final result.
What is your background?
I did not initially gravitate towards events, since I completed a medical-social diploma! When I met Michel*, we decided to set off on this Crystal Group adventure. Our partnership has lasted for 20 years already!
I had no knowledge of running a business. I had to learn on the job.
It must be said that in the beginning there were not many of us here at Crystal Group. We had to do everything ourselves. We took care of the delivery, ice production, installation and even the sculpting. To give you an idea, I myself have had to sculpt ice on many occasions!
A little later on, I naturally found my place in the position of managing director. I certainly had to take on a rather administrative mindset, while Michel remained an artist!
What do you value most about Crystal Group?
Its longevity, since we have been there since the beginning. It’s a true creation. We put all our money, all our time and all our energy into it. Seeing this company evolve over the years has been a beautiful form of acknowledgement. As a business, we have even developed into a group, incorporating ice rinks, décor and special effects.
In addition, aside from the administrative side, which I enjoy, I like working with the beautiful material that is ice. I don’t get tired of it, even after 20 years! The projects we are working on are so interesting and beautiful that it’s impossible to get into a routine.
Where do you see Crystal Group going in the future?
I am not from the school of ‘always bigger’, which would mean losing the family feel that we have today, which I like to defend. I want people to feel good at Crystal and not become anonymous faces like in some big companies. This proximity with the collaborators is important even if, it must be said, my role sometimes leads me to organise things a little too much and be behind everyone!
In the future, I would also like us to maintain this goal of dreaming up and producing beautiful things without getting lost in financial digressions.
Could you tell us about a memory you have related to Crystal Group?
The first project we ever carried out immediately comes to mind! We had to do an ice sculpting demonstration and I had never done it before!
We were interviewed on site. The reporter asked me if I had been sculpting for a long time. I couldn’t possibly tell him it was my first time! So, I answered that I had already been practising the art for several years. My nice little ice fish ended up looking good and I was pretty proud of it!
*Michel Amann, Associate Director.