Flower Power

On a Shoestring

What: An art production company
Who: Dave Link of FrameFetish.com
Where: Costa Mesa, California
When: Started in 1991
How much: Less than $1,000

Art inspires many, Dave Link included. But it was the lack of originality displayed in the art galleries where he did framing part time that inspired him to let his creativity flow with a venture of his own.

Keeping his gallery jobs while he launched his company gave Link the creative and financial elbow room needed to perfect his craft, which includes specialty matting and framing. Using his own available funds, Link bought framing tools and a matte cutter. He also saved money by fashioning many of the tools himself. Having designed work spaces at his other jobs, he knew how to maximize his own--his one-car garage, where he also built his work table out of 2-by-4 plywood purchased from The Home Depot.

Like most artists, Link, 35, treasures his solitude and has remained the sole employee, ensuring quality results. In 1999, Link launched his Web site, FrameFetish.com, which relies mostly on word-of-mouth to entice frame-seeking customers with a colorful gallery of his work.

Link quit his other jobs a year later to pursue what he still calls his "hobby." With projected 2003 sales of nearly $1 million, Link's "hobby" has earned quite a following among abstract art collectors. "With the word 'business,'" he explains, "I see a tie and a desk. I consider myself an artist who's fortunate."

-April Y. Pennington
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This article was originally published in the May 2003 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Flower Power.

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