COVER STORY: ERIN SMITH ART
Left: A wine related greeting card by Erin Smith. Right: Retail display of Erin Smith product lines. Continued from page 8 limited the audience. That is when Erin introduced some greeting cards, taking her canvases and creating a smaller rendition on cards. The timing was perfect! As luck would have it “when the economy tanked my sales soared,” she said. Erin’s female centric line, ‘Holy Crap’ vintage girl made quite a statement. She received licensing agreements early, which was almost overwhelming to the young business. Erin did trade shows across the country, expanding the card designs and even the product lines. She was traveling often truly winging it, as she would say. Keeping her wits about her, Erin sought advice ‘over wine’ from some industry experts in the area. Note that her wine related cards and cocktail napkins are quite popular. Even her son immolated her wine painting in a second grade art event. Using the advice of experts, Erin was able to contract with local printers rather than going overseas. She purchased equipment to manufacture items like ceramic mugs and shot glasses in her Atlanta studio. Being able to say manufactured in the USA
“I want to do as much as I can myself. It is handmade not just USA made.”
Artist Erin Smith
is very important. Even with her licensing agreements, Erin was able to use just two U.S. companies. “I want to do as much as I can myself,” she says. “It is handmade not just USA made.” Erin had started with just 12 card designs and now has over 250 designs. Erin Smith Art does have a showroom in Atlanta and in Las Vegas. She offers jewelry, clothing, purses, drink ware, sculptures, platters, napkins, doormats, and so much more. The company has expanded so much that her husband Fred came on fulltime about 7 years ago. But that success did bring on real copycat manufacturers. “I was shocked the first time I saw my art so blatantly stolen,” Erin quipped. “Six months after I introduced a line I would see it immolated at a show.” The ‘Glinda’ line was created to ward off copycat manufacturers. Glinda uses anony-
mous quotes that are in public domain. There is no loss of Erin’s original prose beyond what is on her products. Her book of short quirky stories “I’m Dangerous … I’m Not Gonna Lie” is in its third printing. Erin focuses on the wholesale marketing, Erin Smith Art is in about 1,000 retail stores and some galleries carry her wall art. She does two major gift shows a year where buyers come in to purchase for their stores. That success is hard work even if she says there was a bit of luck involved. As luck would have it, Erin hasn’t lost the hometown appeal; you probably recognize the house on Oakview with the dogs in the bubble windows on the gate. Erin Smith Art studio is not too far away at 143 New Street in Decatur. She does have an online retail store, erinsmithart.com. Oh, her calendar is quite popular so order now for 2019!
Oakhurst Magazine serving the south area of the City of Decatur. Winter issue 2018.