Artoons is a collaboration between Floridians Pauline Cordeiro and Sherry “Shoopy” Smith, who have run a successful business for decades.
ABI: What is your business concept?
PC: Art and functionality can blend. Art can be versatile, durable and ecologically responsible, while still being aesthetically appealing. The synergy of creativity, craftsmanship and material can produce innovative, “Made in America” products that can exceed customers’ design expectations while being practical. I believe art can and should be a part of everyday living. More than half of the line has functionality.
ABI: How do your products emotionally connect with the customer?
PC: As an “Artoonist,” my imagination draws inspiration from my everyday life with family, friends and my pets. The lighthearted style and uplifting sentiments are reminiscent with customers of shared life experiences. Buyers are drawn to art that is relatable and reflects their life’s journey – new love, weddings, kids and their four-legged friends.
ABI: What do you feel is key to your making sales?
PC: Strong lines, bold colors and quick quips give the work a unique style. The playful functionality of many of the accessories provide a retail cross-over – buyers can not only “use” the piece, but they can enjoy the whimsical nature of the design. Retailers are excited by the duality. Art becomes approachable and affordable.
ABI: Please share some of the strategies you use to partner with your retailers.
PC: We view our retailers as partners. Developing personal relationships, offering creative support by fulfilling custom orders, creating distinctive displays and offering promotional support materials have been key. We check-in on their FaceBook, Twitter and websites to see what they are doing and provide encouraging feedback.
By being vested in them, we have developed and maintained positive long-term relationships and ongoing dialogs with our retailers. In addition, by contributing art to a myriad of causes, we show a commitment to their communities as well.