What I enjoyed the most was matchmaking -- not of person to person, but of people to beautiful art that was then specifically matted and framed to enhance their decor. I carried around little snippets of fabric, throw pillows, -- crayons, even. That was neat, I was good at it, and I had a lot of fun doing it!
One of my best customers was my first husband. I found several nice pieces of art that complemented his patio home beautifully. Once we even commissioned an artist to do an original mosaic -- something like a stained glass window, only this piece would be round, as I remember, and hanging freely -- of a figure representing him, of course, para-sailing. (I think that's the right term. If it's not, I'll come back later and fix it.)
That was an interesting process. She sent preliminary sketches. He and I met to go over the sketches, and he made comments -- he kind of liked this, didn't so much like that, what about adding thus and so? I called her with my report. A few additional sketches were sent, and the process continued for maybe two or three exchanges.
Then, always with the understanding that the finished product might not be exactly the same as one of the sketches (colors had been decided long before), she went to work. When the piece arrived, I couldn't wait to show it to him. I thought it was absolutely gorgeous!! I was so pleased. And he was, as well.
I commissioned an artist only one other time for a particular client. This piece was to be a sight unseen work, no sketches, by Roy Kerswill. Now deceased, Roy's specialty was the Grand Tetons. My client had seen some of his work in catalogs and galleries, and wanted an original of his own for his office.
Roy asked me if there was any particular area of the Tetons that my client wanted to include in the painting. Outside of that, the only constraint placed on the artist was the maximum size (complete, with frame). No color restrictions. My client wanted Roy to have complete discretion.
[A sidebar here, if I may. Roy and his wife lived in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in the summers, and -- on one of their many trips west, always traveling by car -- my father stopped to visit Roy. My dad knew that I had commissioned him to do an original painting.
Now Dad had never exhibited any kind of interest in art, whatsoever, but I had entreated him so many times to stop and just see if Roy was in town that he finally relented. Well, it turned out that Roy was in town, and he had Dad and his wife over to his home, where they had a nice long visit. I never had the opportunity to meet Roy in person, but Dad did. A warm fuzzy.]
My biggest client ever was a direct result of my Welcome Wagon sponsorship. Mike and Daphne Osborne were newcomers in the SugarLand area, and Daphne and I, in particular, had spent many delightful hours together perusing catalogs, cruising art suppliers and in general just enjoying each other's company. She was wonderful to work with!
I had personally placed and hung a grouping of several very fine limited editions on a stairwell landing in their home. I thought it looked great! Mike was not at all pleased with the placement (he wasn't actually there when I did the initial installation) ... thought it was too low. Daphne called, and said it was imperative that I come over as soon as possible and redo it to his satisfaction.
Well, I really didn't want to redo it 'as soon as possible'. As I recall, it was Thanksgiving, and my daughter was here for a short visit. I was disinclined to spend time away from her. But, I went to redo, taking her with me. Mike was there, and he was happy with the end result, he said.
I must admit that it did look good. I liked the first one better, but the customer is always right, right? Well, not really, but you have to be willing to 'give' a little bit.
Less than a week later, Daphne called me and said (something like), "Your ship has come in! Mike wants to see you in his office." I asked, "Where's his office?" She told me, I called him, and we set up a time to meet. I'd not had the VAGUEST idea that Mike was in charge of the finances for the company he worked for, not the vaguest!
It turned out that the company had recently re-located to an office building of perhaps six floors not very far from where I lived. I was to place a piece of art in each of many offices occupied by employees of a certain level, and I was given a list of those, along with hallway art of lesser quality print-wise, but still with custom matting & framing on each floor. I would be doing all of the installations.
Was this a dream come true, or what?? Of course it was.
So what happened? Well, a combination of things, actually, two of which were out of my control.