I’ve been asked how I got started in the collage business. It began years ago when my friend Becky gave me a collage for my birthday. The pictures were from magazines but they represented me: the musicians I liked, my favorite foods, a guitar representing my hobby and words that only the two of us related to because they were nicknames we gave each other. I loved receiving such a personal gift all about me!
It was such a hit that my twin sister Helen and I began making collages similar to the one Becky had made and gave them out to friends for their birthdays. We wanted to upgrade the quality of the collage from a white non-foam poster board with pasted pictures on it so we began experimenting to make each collage better. We glued a white board to the inside of a framed cork board so that it would have a frame. That was fine until the glue peeled off the cork board (not a good substance!). We eventually found the right boards, glue, coating and frames for the collages.
We then set up a booth at street art shows. The collages were still pictures from magazines but they had themes, i.e., guitar, sports, food, etc. We also offered custom collages by creating personalized collages based on the information they told us about the person, similarly like the one Becky had done for me. They too were pictures cut out from magazines, books, calendars. Often we would be approached by the attendees that would ask if we did photo collages. At that point we hadn’t thought of it but with so many people asking, we looked at each other and said, “You know….”.
So we began experimenting with photos and that greatly changed the dynamics of the business. Now we were able to create photo collages professionally and we were getting orders for all occasions but particularly those milestone occasions, i.e., 50th anniversary, 40th birthday, etc. We also added those personal touches by having our customers fill out questionnaires to describe the person’s personality and incorporated objects based on their answers. If someone was a coffee drinker, we’d add a miniature coffee cup; team logo for that baseball fan, etc.
Who knew that such a wonderful, heartwarming gift all those years ago would set the tone to doing a business we love so much! And by the way, Becky is still my friend and I thank her from time to time for the idea that went such a long way.
Wishing you a day filled with wonderful memories, Miriam
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *