31 Days of Thanks Insight into who has influenced us, our art, and our business throughout the years.
Going back to Carolina Creations on Middle Street, Jake eventually moved on and others moved in. We each had our own business but helped each other in the sales department so we could each have time off.
I remember that tiny space I worked out of and the amount of art I sold out of it! Michael was working for himself fixing boats but I was getting so busy I was either going to have to hire someone or he needed to come work with me. We chose the latter. I thought "he'll never be fussy enough to cut a mat", not so, within a week he could cut a mat better than I and I had been doing it for years. He took over all the matting and framing and a variety of other jobs.
I really had no idea how to run a gallery - I had no experience in it - but learned fast - and learned I had a good head for business, both selling, buying, forecasting and advertising. I really had found my niche. Who would have guessed I would eventually have 6 employees?
Some of the art I've created through the years have come from ideas from my customers. I spoke about this in my last post, but here it is again.
Like my lighthouse series. People kept asking for them and I thought to myself "there are a million lighthouse pictures out there". But eventually drew all of the 7 NC lighthouses, did prints of them, and hand colored the prints. We still sell them. And we've sold a lot of them!
Just the other day a customer was buying one and said they are the best she had seen. Well I don't believe that but it was nice to hear. I told her there were so many I was reluctant to do them and she said no, they WERE really good and she was a collector. Nice. I always tell people when someone gives you a compliment on your blouse don't say "this old thing?" you should say "thank you very much." So thank you very much for the compliment on my lighthouses!
I did a series of small prints of birds, flowers, fruits and vegetables which I would hand color. People kept saying, "do you do tiles of these?" No, at the time I did not, but more about that later.
I always had an inkling that I needed to be self employed but I never REALLY proved I could be until our days on Middle Street. I really didn't like high school, other than my art class, I didn't like someone telling me what to do or at least how to do it. When I worked for the printer they would bring me one job at a time. Finally one day I said bring me a bunch at a time and they will all get done much faster. I always liked figuring out a faster or better way to do things.
One person who gave me some work was my friend Bruce, he's still my friend today, Bruce had, and still has, a Ad Agency. He really gave me a lot of encouragement and still does.
So thank you Jake, Marilyn, Karen, Lou, Becky, Bruce and customers!
- Jan Francoeur