Business Overview

Ice sculpture business owners are typically adept at sculpting, from clear ice, figures for weddings, parties and other social events. Their finished work might include animals, logos, abstract shapes—anything requested. There's also a market for creating larger-scale sculptures for winter outdoor events. The business owner might be a sole proprietor or could employ others, including salespeople, other sculptors and support staff to load and deliver ice figures and help operate the business.

Who is this business right for?

Many owners of such businesses are artistically inclined, skilled sculptors or graduates of ice-sculpting classes. They should be able to work quickly (before the ice block melts) and fulfill the design intent of the client.

Many ice sculpture businesses today use CNC machines for computer-aided carving and more are getting into robotic carving. With these technologies, even individuals with less artistic ability can get into the business. However, using these technologies can become very expensive.

Whichever approach you take, you should be a good salesperson to develop business relationships with caterers, restaurateurs, wedding planners and other prospective customers and influencers.

What happens during a typical day at an ice sculpture business?

Here’s how you’re likely to spend your typical day.

  • Developing and nurturing relationships with clients
  • Sculpting ice commissions
  • Overseeing the sculpting work of others if you have employees or freelancers
  • Arranging for the delivery of the finished product
  • Promoting your business through word of mouth, media stories, paid advertising, your website, signage and other means

What is the target market?

Your best customers are people hosting weddings, anniversary or birthday parties and other high-end celebrations. If your company can attract the attention of end users directly, it will save on commissions.

Another category of customers are companies that provide services for such big-ticket celebrations, such as restaurateurs, event and party planners and caterers.

How does an ice sculpture business make money?

The business makes money by selling ice sculptures at a set price, which is determined by labor, size, and intricacy of the project.

What is the growth potential for an ice sculpture business?

Time and sales volume are your only limitations. If you get enough business that you feel confident to bring on another sculptor, you can increase production further. Also, the more different markets you serve the more business you’ll bring in.

Since ice sculptures are novelty items at premium prices, you can assume that your business might do best during strong economic times.