We're Celebrating 25 Years in Business!
It's hard for me to believe, but 2014 starts our 25th year in business! Holy cow, how did that happen? Every year certainly seems to zoom by. Since we are still having a great time we are aiming for another 25!
Some of you may know that I started out as an artist with an emphasis in sculpture. Call it crazy, but darn if I could find steady work as a sculptor, so I moved on to more practical things. I loved flipping houses and interior design. So I went back to school to get my masters in design to help me become a better flipper. I did notice that when I faux finished anything in the houses I flipped, that it helped sell the house.
Light Bulb Time!
I told myself, "I need to do more faux finishing, and less design." At the time I thought I'd do decorative painting for a few years and then go back to design work. The truth is, after a long and winding route, I found my happy place and I never wanted to leave!
Things in decorative painting and faux finishing have certainly changed over the years. When we started out, we worked exclusively with oil glazes and latex paint. If you couldn't come up with a dazzling finish with those two ingredients you were out of luck. It made for a lot of ragging and sponging – with a little faux marble thrown in. We gilded, too, and did murals but we were so limited by the materials we used. Then like all things, an entire industry seemed to pop up around it...
Walking into the Future of Faux Finishes
22 years ago I was in an industrial park in Vero Beach, Florida, when through a little window I spied some of the most fantastic finishes I'd ever seen. One look told me it wasn't latex paint or oil glaze. Not being shy in anyway, I knocked on the door. The guy that opened the door figured me for another "lookie loo" and didn't want to talk. I asked if the finish was done in something other than oil. He just smiled and said "You're a faux finisher, right?" (Remember this was before Ralph Lauren put the words "faux finishing" on the average persons lips.) When I nodded yes, I was invited into the inner-sanctum of Faux Effects International by owner, inventor, chemist and creative genius Raymond Sandor. At the time I think he had somewhere between 3 to 5 products, and I believe I was his 6th student.
These products would simply revolutionize the decorative painting industry. They rocked my world and changed how I created my finishes, setting me and my fledgling company apart from everyone else. It led to my training others at our school and around the country. Who knew that walking through that door would be such a game changer?!
Now Faux Effects makes hundreds of products, all of which we use in our finishes, and they are still blowing artists away with their versatility. Thank goodness they keep inventing new stuff!
Thanks to Everyone We've Worked With and Learned From
It's through this business that I've meet and worked with great designers and have gotten to know decorative painters from all over the world. It's pretty amazing when I look back on it. But you know me...reflection is fine, but the next 25 years will be far more interesting. I hope you'll come along for the ride!
Sincerely, Janie Ellis, RID, ASID-IP, CF, Master Artisan firstname.lastname@example.org