Many of the mom’s drawings had been with a gallery in East Hampton, but it had been years since they sold anything. I knew given the right public forum, that people would want them, but I was stymied as to what to do. I debated about bringing them home. I worried that they’d just sit in that cabinet again. And then I had an idea…
I really didn’t want to sell the originals. I had some samples of a new fine art inkjet paper, so I decided to see what a reproduction of her drawings would look like on it. I photographed one of them. (I’m a photographer by trade, so all the equipment is at hand to do this.) I had a high end printer, suitable for art type of printing. I was pleasantly surprised with the result. It looked almost as good as the original. I brought the print around to friends for an opinion and everyone was excited about it. I could see their enthusiasm was genuine.The next step was to research papers more and I found a whole world of fine art inkjet paper available, then got samples and did my testing. I knew I could print up to 13″x19″, but wanted to see if they could go larger. I then found a fine art printer called Booksmart Studios up in Rochester NY. They do prints and one of a kind books as well. A very patient man named Mark became my printer. We tested blowing it up to 2’x3′. The first proof wasn’t quite there. I thought that I’d have to stick to the smaller sizes. Mark then worked magic on it with Photoshop and sent me down a full print. I opened the box and was blown away. It looks like the pen and ink drawing. It didn’t feel like a reproduction at all. The paper mimicked the original. The tones, the line – it was all there. I decided to put aside my personal printing aspirations and let Mark take on the whole thing.
Everyone I know loves her drawings. I just knew that an online store was the way to go. My friend’s daughter (who is also my friend), Sierra Bailey, has an online store of her jewelry creations (www.manictrout.com). She helped me get in touch with her site design company. The last two months have been spent working with them, redesigning the website to make it beautiful, cool, fun and user friendly for my projected launch on September 1.
August 30, two days before my deadline, The White Cabinet went live, about two months after my initial thoughts.
This is truly a joy to work on. It puts mom’s drawings out there for the world to see and it also keeps her close to me. I feel like we’re doing this together. It’s always fun to start a new business, as long as you have the right partner! I’m excited by all the great emails that have come in already. I thank all of you for your good wishes. So that’s the story of The White Cabinet. Spread the word. Hilda is here!!