By Lily Belcher
Small Plant City business owner and teacher Mathew Boddiford started his own laser engraving business, ELC Creations, in his garage last year. In December of 2020, Boddiford was talking to his brother, who gave him the idea to purchase his first laser engraving machine. He started by engraving a few products for his friends and family, but ELC Creations eventually grew into a business.
ELC Creations, named for his three kids, Evelyn, Levi and Cade, sells custom engraved products from tumbler cups to cutting boards to notebooks. Customers can send the design they want engraved on the natural or synthetic material to Boddiford, who then digitizes the design and engraves the product.
“I try to keep a variety of products at different price points … I have, for example, Christmas ornaments. They go for anything like $5 when it’s not a customized one,” said Boddiford. “The most expensive product I have currently (at $125), besides a custom giant sign, would be a 20-inch, olive wood charcuterie board.”
Boddiford has had the opportunity to engrave custom acrylic motorcycle parts for The Ruck Shop in Zephyrhills, which means his products have traveled internationally.
“What’s really cool is the stuff that I’m making in my garage in Plant City is all over the world. It was kind of neat to think about,” said Boddiford.
Since starting the company, Boddiford has worked to make his small warehouse in his garage a better environment. He has added air conditioning and made the garage strong enough so he could work through storms and hurricanes. Since he is a full-time English teacher at Durant High School and father, he usually works well past midnight to fill orders after his kids have gone to bed.
Boddiford plans to use the extra money he is making from the one-person-owned and operated company to pay for his kids’ college. While Boddiford’s motivation is supporting his three kids, he also uses his company to support local schools and organizations by supplying products for fundraisers.