My love of printmaking became a business when we moved to Montana 7 years ago. We had a little financial cushion from selling our house in Duluth, so it seemed like the perfect time to go for it and try to live my dream as a professional artist. I started by building up a body of work and taking it to art fairs across the country. The public response to my linocuts was great, and my dream became a reality.
For 3 years I showed my work at about 20 art fairs per year. It was busy and labor intensive, with lots of traveling. I enjoyed many aspects of art fairs, but they were exhausting and it was hard to be on the road by myself so much. Plus my husband and I wanted to start a family and I knew I couldn’t be on the show circuit on my own with a baby.
In addition to my original block prints, I began making giclee reproductions, jewelry, and greeting cards showcasing my block printed imagery. I decided to start wholesaling these products to stores, and got my work into a few more galleries. I was also given the opportunity to license one of my images to a greeting card company called “Artists To Watch”. In one year, they sold over 27,000 of that one card featuring my image. I only made about $0.04 a card in royalties, but it was nice to make an extra thousand bucks, and it got me thinking about the greeting card business and how I could possibly profit from it more myself.
I had always been reluctant to bring and sell greeting cards at art fairs. I wanted customers to buy my more expensive originals or reproductions instead of a $3.00 card. But I realized I always bought other artist’s cards as affordable souvenirs, and that they are a great way for people to collect artists’ work and information. That is when I started thinking more seriously about expanding my business. Perhaps if I mass produced my own line of greeting cards and sold them wholesale I could make a little more than $0.04 and we could see what happens.
So that is how Sarah Angst Cards came to be two and a half years ago. It is still in its infancy, but my greeting cards are in about 350 stores, and I am hopeful that my business will continue to grow and evolve. I now have a baby boy named Hayden as well, so it is wonderful to be able to be with him most days, and making income from home instead of on the road.
I am so thankful for all the support I have received over the years. I am forever grateful to all those who buy, sell, send, and save my cards.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!