Tell us about your business.As a career brand identity designer, I knew that every day, millions of people saw my graphic work on websites, brochures, TV and beyond. But those impressions were temporary. I wanted to create artworks that would be a part of people’s lives and memories for generations to come—I wanted to design high-impact art—focal points in our homes, gardens, work spaces, vacation places, favorite fine shopping spots...anywhere that needs a big splash of beauty and energy. So I set about to create a company that incorporated those things I most love, I spent two years tucked away at my home overlooking the stunning, open grounds of the American River. I studied the world’s diverse and striking tribal forms. Sunsets and nature flooded my work. Paintings of landscapes and flora emerged, as well as portrait studies and thousands of sketches. This intense focus crescendo’ed into FineArtGardens.com and a distinct collection of “Big, bright and beautiful” art.
What makes your business stand out?There are no other art products like these anywhere. Perhaps some artisan is tucked away somewhere making lovely large-scale, bold, colorful art for the outdoors, but they sure are hard to find! My venture is designed to have broad market appeal (everyone loves butterflies, sunflower smiling faces feelgood, celtic symbols forms, bright colors, etc) and be in a place where anyone can find me—the web! Ten years ago, I painted the first "Sunface" on my garden fence, it was about five feet diameter. It became part of my family, memories captured with photos of growing kids and visiting moms show the sunface smiling always in the background. I though, "I would like to paint that on a million fences", but that was not one of my most practical ideas! Then a couple of years later, I made one out of two layers of plywood, and the solution became clear. I spent two years designing over 20 artworks, eventually, went to market with nine. But more are on the board and the collection will grow :)
What's the best business advice you've received?Do what you are most passionate about. Start where you are, do what you can, use what you have. If a job is worth doing, it's worth doing well. Never surrender!
Mark Your Calendar
NOMINATIONSJun. 17, 2015
Nominate yourself or other aspiring entrepreneurs.Learn about American Made
VOTING BEGINSSep. 21, 2015
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WINNERS ANNOUNCEDOct. 23, 2015
2015 Editors' Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
AMERICAN MADE SUMMITNov. 7, 2015
Don’t miss our networking event and maker lecture series in New York City. Tickets available July 2015.