A Conversation With: Milo OylerOwner, The Crossed Connection Laser Co.
Milo Oyler, 29, founded The Crossed Connection Laser Co. in January, inspired by a shared dream of his and his late brother's.
He has spent his professional career working as an electrician with Oyler Electric, a Waynesboro-based business founded and owned by his family since 1967.
Oyler is a graduate of Waynesboro Area Senior High School. He and his wife, Carrie, reside in Guilford Township, Franklin County.
Q: How did you come to start your business?
A: My brother and I had always talked about starting something. We grew up as electricians in an electrical family, and it was a living, but at the same time, you want to do something to make your mark on the world and to build relationships with people. I don’t even know how I found out about lasers, but it’s something I saw and thought: This can be a way to reach out and connect with people.
My brother was killed Oct. 26, 2016. He was going to be a missionary and was in a Bible school in Washington, and one night he was driving home and got shot. It made me realize we only have one life to live, and if you want to do something, you do it, because you’re not promised tomorrow. That’s how I ended up (starting the business). You can wait on life to make things happen or you can go out and get them.
What makes laser engraving different from other methods?
It’s one of the more permanent methods. On powder-coated metals, it actually takes it down to the steel underneath. A vinyl or paint is going to wear off. With laser, once it’s there, it’s not going to go away.
On glass, it would be similar to sandblasting, where it gives it a frosted look. It does well on wood. It vaporizes the wood where the laser hits. You can feel the depth and the texture on it. Engraving can be done on about any material. If you can fit something in the engraver, it can make a mark on it.
What have you learned from working for your family business, Oyler Electric, that you are using as you build your own?
I would say the work ethic most of all. I’ve learned the importance of presenting a positive, professional appearance to people. We don’t realize how much of a first impression we make on each other.
I actually started going places with dad when I was 5 years old, so it’s hard to separate my work from my home life in a sense of what I learned where.
What is the most interesting or unusual item you’ve ever engraved?
My mom wanted me to engrave all her spoons; she takes them to potlucks and such, so she’ll know which are hers. Dowel rods for a wedding was interesting too. They will be used for roasting marshmallows over a fire at the wedding.
I do leather bracelets, and I thought people would just get them to wear, but people asked if you can use them for essential oils. I got to researching, and leather actually absorbs oils very well, so when you wear it on your arm, those oils absorb into your skin. When you challenge people and make them think rather than just looking at pictures and choosing, they come up with ideas you never could have dreamed of, and that’s awesome. I enjoy that.