I started An Angel's Art in a tiny storefront behind a barber shop in August of 1996. The store eventually grew and moved, first into a larger strip mall in Falcon Heights and later into a freestanding building down the street. Throughout my existance as a retailer, my store's strength would never be the store's size, but rather in the unique mix of products offered and the original ideas and concepts that I continually developed for my demonstrations and classes.
In January of 2001, I forged a partnership with Accu-Cut Systems and became a freelance die designer for their company. Accu-Cut produced many of my original boxes and paper crafting patterns as steel rule dies for their popular hand operated roller die cutting equipment. Later, I continued to create new designs for other craft arenas and for their education division. Later that year, I was selected to be on the Creative Imaginations Design Team for their Mary Engelbreit products. What a thrill it was for me to have my layouts and other project designs featured in their design leaflets and in their trade show booth, among other places!
In August of 2002, I was offered an opportunity to be a freelance designer for Accu-Cut's Creative Team, and I began to create project designs that would be shared with retailers and consumers nationwide via their trade show booths, their idea pages on Jangle.com, and in their print advertising. It was an incredible opportunity to stretch my imagination and utilize all of my creative skills. It would also give me the chance to travel and to teach on a national level, which was also something I was wanting to do. As any independent retailer can tell you, bricks and mortar retailing requires an incredible commitment of time and energy. I felt that I would be unable to do both well simultaneously, and so I chose to close the retail storefront in October of 2002 and focus on my design work. I haven't regretted that decision for one moment! When I made the decision to close the storefront, many of my local customers voiced their sincere sadness at losing access to my classes and scrapbooking workshops. After learning that so many people would be disappointed by my departure, I decided to keep the website live and convert An Angel's Art into an e-commerce business featuring my custom page kits as a sideline to the freelance design I was taking on. It didn't take long before the page kit side of my career took over. Word began to spread far and wide about my kits, and the time commitment that was required to move that side of my business back into full swing made the freelance side take a back seat. :) I've never been one to sit around and wait to be told what to do for very long!
At the 2004 CHA Winter show in Dallas TX, I stopped by a small 10x10 booth in the new exhibitors area of the show and checked out a brand new concept: a computer driven machine for making custom cut titles and shapes. Within ten minutes of watching the demonstration, I knew that my future would be linked with one of these machines and I ordered a Creative Cutter Pro for my business from the wonderful people at Pazzles. Before long, every aspect of my page kits was transformed by this awesome invention! I mastered the software and soon was doing everything custom for my kits. Later that year, I was asked to attend the Memory Trends trade show to help demonstrate the machine in Pazzles' booth at the trade show, and I continued to help at every major trade show where they exhibited.
My business was honored in February of 2006 by Memory Makers Magazine in their Top 50 issue, under Cultural Diversity, for my exclusive customizable Kid paper piecings that are a part of each month's set of layouts. I had no idea that I was going to be listed until the magazine hit the store shelves and a friend told me about it! How cool is that?
I joined Pazzles Design Team in 2006-2007, and re-upped again in 2007-2008 and again in 2008-2009. My work has been featured several times over the years in their ads in Creating Keepsakes, Scrapbook Business, Scrapbook Retailer and other leading industry magazines as well as in their consumer show booths, on their website and in their online galleries. I was excited to release my first solo collection of designs for the Creative Cutter Inspiration with my Taggin' Along CD in February 2008 at the CHA Winter show in Anaheim. I'm so pleased to be a part of something so wonderful and cutting edge--and yes, the pun was definitely intended!
As an online retailer and designer, my goal is to continually offer my customers the kind of quality and value that you expect and deserve, and to always pleasantly exceed your expectations wirh kits that are fun, original and creative. Please don't hesitate to forward your suggestions, questions and comments to me. I'm always open to hearing what is on your mind, and I love to find ways to help you to create pages for your photos that you're proud to show off! And of course, your referrals are very much appreciated! Keep them coming! ;)
Life is short, my friends, so I encourage you all to live it up. Kiss your kids, hug your loved ones, and don't forget to take a few photos to scrap along the way!
email An Angel's Art at AnAngelsArt@gmail.com
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