Posted by JaamZIN on 8:12 AM
There seems to have always been this idea that an artistically minded individual prepares and then waits for that serendipitous moment to experience success. I don’t subscribe to this point of view. I have the benefit of years of experience in a corporate environment and it’s my perspective that being artistic and being business smart are in no way opposing sensibilities. In fact, finding the right entities to do business with enables you to further your creativity and direct you in new way, which is what artists should strive for. Sometimes these opportunities are the ones you’d least expect.

As CEO/Founder/Designer of my company EcoChic Lifestyles, I’ve been able to start a successful company based around my artistic vision under my own terms. My work is known for its vibrant use of color. We deal on a global market with some of the biggest furnishings providers on the planet. While many of my pieces are available to the public, I’ve found a great deal of success by creating custom designs that fit into public or corporate spaces. Sometimes these customers want pieces of mine which they have already seen but they often request custom designs that will help them create a unique signature feel. This doesn’t require any creative sacrifice on my part; it’s actually the opposite of this. In conferring, designing, and planning with clients who need proprietary pieces, I’m offered a way to use my voice and blend it with the surroundings.

The American e-commerce company Wayfair is a company that I have had a relationship with for years. They sell home furnishings and d├ęcor items and over ten million products from over 10,000 suppliers. Wayfair approached me because they liked the products of EcoChic Lifestyles but they were looking for pieces designed for a business setting rather than homes. While the host is Wayfair, the clients range from hotels to restaurants, bars, boutiques, bridal shops, etc. There are a wide range of needs for these different clients. I research and consider the environment and then sketch out ideas and models. I’ve created a number of custom tables and seating for these situations in a variety of custom colors. My EcoChic line is designed for sensible, effective use with a flare of color and style. Because Wayfair clients are also seeking beauty and practicality, they can go with pre-designed options or custom made pieces depending on their personal choice. Since the clientele are commercial customers, they usually have a need for functional pieces and follow a color collection. For example; the corporate colors of their corporate office or, if located in a shopping mall, colors that match the shopping centers main colors for a comfortable flow. Wood is sturdy and long lasting but often times pictured dull. My designs have the same sturdiness but a plethora of color. The color is what I believe to be the star of the pieces. I’ve always been a fan of being challenged and this work with Wayfair has allowed me to explore areas I might never have considered before. I’m very pleased with the outcome, as are the clients.

Similarly, in working with the commercial sales division of Amazon, EcoChic Lifestyles has provided furnishings for Amazon’s commercial clients to decorate their restaurants, bars, hotels, and numerous other public spaces. This is the very inverse of my work with Wayfair. In this situation a company approaches EcoChic for the very aesthetic I built my company around. I’m still the person steering the artistic vision but channeled through the lens of the client. I’m able to see pieces like the Endless Summer Chairs, Key Largo Loungers, Buoy Crazy Tables, and others in a variety of settings. While many designers think that the customers who find them will seek them out for their voice/creations that stand out, I’ve found that my influence can be subtle or profound and still come through clearly. In the same way that many of my clients want art in their business surroundings, I want business in my artistic endeavors. Working with commercial clients on a grand scale has led to the growth of my company and my creative outlook. More of us in this industry would do well to embrace this opportunity without fear of losing our “voice.”