If there's anything better than beautiful art, one could argue that would be beautiful and functional art. James creates just that. Over the years, he's combined his love of the visual arts and his love of Columbus to create Columbus Coaster Company:
Q: What's the story behind your business, and how did you get started?
A: I’ve always had a camera in my hands, even as a kid I would usually tinker with them whenever I could. I went to film school and really dove into still and video photography. I got paid for video production work for around 10 years while photography remained as more of a passion for me at that time. A couple of years ago, I decided to move on from making corporate videos and focus more on still photography. I was very fortunate to have met so many awesome people while doing video production and gain access to the rich history of our city, that along with having hung out at so many places inspired me to do something a little different. Being able to share that with others is a fantastic feeling.
Q: What makes your products unique?
A: I personally never liked framing photos and wanted something that set me apart from the other photographers in the community - there are so many great shooters and I didn’t want to try to compete with them by selling the same things. The coasters are fantastic because they are an inexpensive quality product that make great gifts for anyone from or visiting here. We’re now producing magnets and mousepads too which are also things people don’t associate with art photography so it is great hearing the interest from people.
Q: What do you like about being part of the Celebrate Local family?
A: Being a part of Celebrate Local is wonderful because they give me the freedom to try new things and help me with the business side of it all. I guess I am an artist but taking photos is only 10 - 15% of the process and the support of an entire staff, who is at times more excited about my products that I am, is very refreshing. Talking to Heidi is awesome, we got along great right away and I feel like I could go to her with anything and she would have the answer. I also help other artists in the store make products which is great - there are a number of ways to make coasters (some better than others) and the process I use involves some specialized equipment that takes a substantial investment so being able to help others grow alongside myself is truly great. It really is a family and being a part of it is something really special.
Shop Columbus Coasters at Celebrate Local or check out the website for more information on the vendor!