Welcome to Creighton's Collection, founded July 2003.
I am Tim Creighton Griffiths. I am not a musician, I can not play a note and as for my singing - I reckon I can clear a room in 10 seconds flat. I was born in Cardiff in 1962 and in 1982 I started full time employment with our family firm. I am still there 21 years later and our business has absolutely nothing to do with the music industry. How could I possibly help a professional musician?
Well, it all started in 1986 .............
In 1986 I meet Jane Groves, a flautist from Hartlepool, who was taking a performers course at the Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff. Three years later we got married. 1989 also saw the formation of another successful partnership, Jane and fellow student Eluned Scourfield (harp) formed Mwynion Mai Flute & Harp Duo.
As I had a computer they asked me to assist with bookings, letter writing and accounts. I was delighted to help and some how ended up as an Honorary Manager doing just about every thing except the playing! In 1993 the Duo staged their first self-promoted concert, again they asked me to undertake the organising, promotion & box office as well as designing and print posters, flyers, programmes & tickets, running the door on the night and producing the final accounts.
In 1996 there were two major miles stones. Our son Benjamin was born and Mwynion Mai produced their first album. I will come to Benjamin later.
The Duo decided to self-produce the album, it suited them as they would have complete artistic and financial control. The alternative of trying to get a recording contract with a distribution agreement seemed very remote. So I was now their Honorary Record Producer helping out with the back office side including liaising with MCPS, PRS, the recording studio and the CD / cassette manufacturers. I designed the covers and arranged for the photographs. From our research we knew the lack of a distribution agreement would reduce the quantities we could expect to sell but we were convinced that it was financially viable. Soon the Duo were the proud owners of a stack of boxes of CDs & cassettes.
They also asked for some help with the sales. We created a brochure web site for the album where purchasers could download a form, complete it and post it to us with a cheque. We sold the recording at concerts and we gave complimentary copies to clients, sometimes leading to bulk sales to Corporate Clients as gifts for their guests. We got the recording into a small number of shops. We broke even within six months.
I was always convinced that their fantastic recording should appeal to a much wider audience than we had reached so far. What we needed was a complete overhaul of our web site to bring it up to date and introducing credit card sales as well as extending it to use it to sell the Duo as well. But the cost of getting the site redesigned and introducing credit card sales was still very high. So in late 1999 I started to learn the basics of web design so that we could eventually design and maintain the web site in house and upload it to servers ourselves, giving us day to day control and the ability to keep items like the Concert Guide current. I bought Dreamweaver & Fireworks for the main web design and Actinic Catalogue for the on line sales.
The running costs were still very high and due to pressure of work the project was temporarily shelved. I was still managing the Duo in my spare time and having come across some other excellent undistributed self produced albums, the seed that was to become Creighton's Collection was sown.
In early 2002 my son, Benjamin, who was not quite six at the time announced that he wanted to organise a Harp Concert in November 2002 to raise money for BBC Children in Need. The previous November (2001) he had raised £370+ for the appeal by buskin with his harp, but had got the idea of staging a 'proper' concert on the way to a rehearsal for a charity concert he had been invited to play in which being given by CAFE (Cardiff Amateur Flute Ensemble).
Benjamin's concert was a big project and as you would expect he needed some help organising it. To help generate some interest and to thank all the sponsors, advertisers and the musicians who gave up their time to come and play I decided to design a web site for the concert. The URL uses Benjamin's initials: www.bjcg.co.uk. The concert was a great success and raised just under £1,500 for BBC Children in Need. Not bad for an event with ticket prices £10 and maximum seating of 100. The concert is being repeated for 2003.
As a direct result of the web site and the printed matter for this concert I received a number of requests to design web sites, posters and brochures. Two enquiries were from musicians we have know for years who also wanted to sell recordings from web sites but had not known where to start. They asked me to do the design for them. The individual costs for on line credit card sales can still be very high if you are only selling one album, but if I were to design separate sites for each of them and link them back to a single store and if I could find a few more musicians in the same situation .................
So all be it a few years delayed I am delighted that we are able to offer a no nonsense, no strings attached, e-commerce site not only for Mwynion Mai but for any musician who would like to use it on a commission only basis.
Once we are up and running we hope to gradually introduce more services so please come back to see us again shortly.
Page last updated 24 September, 2003