I came to the mosaic industry through ceramic tile contracting and a couple of clay artists. Our business was remodeling kitchens and baths with ceramic and glass tile and doing tile jobs most other contractors wouldn’t. This led to a reputation for being creative.
During this time, I met a began to work with 2 clay artists that asked me to assist with their school and public mural installations they had created. It was great fun and I volunteered to help. Then, after a year or two of volunteering, I landed a paying gig to cover for one of the artist installers, as they needed to go out of town. That was the beginning. Circa 1998.
From this beginning, I worked to incorporate mosaics into my contracting business and there was a market! It wasn’t huge, but it was there—I worked to make mosaics mainstream through our business and have had some happy customers as a result.
Most of my work was architectural in nature. Then the clay artist who had instructed classes, for which I assisted—was moving out of state, so I approached the venues and inquired to see if I could take over for her. They were happy to give me a try. That was the beginning of my instruction career. Circa 2004.
As of 2017, I am continuing to instruct, learn and create mosaics!
It is an ever-evolving landscape for this career it seems. The best thing I ever did was to be flexible and diversify talent. The construction industry certainly had its challenges with job management and employees, then the recession of 2008 seemed to cripple the tile industry. The mosaic side of the business grew during this time though, and with that knowledge, I expanded on the instruction and experiences side of the mosaic business. It is a finite market for certain, and we found our best success was the same model I had for construction, partner with local business and share customers. It has worked out very well, and through Mosaic Guys, I now have a combination of 10 partners in Phoenix & Tucson.
My business, Mosaic Guys, is a mosaic instruction business that caters to beginner and intermediate participants. We specialize in one & two-day workshops throughout the southwest that are designed to explore the technical side of creating mosaics through a specific project. We believe that the learning is in the doing. We stand apart from others through a maximum of variety and opportunities. www.mosaicguys.com/tucson-area-workshops
It takes a lot of Integrity & tenaciousness to be successful…but mostly it is our customers! Without them, we wouldn’t be able to do this wonderful career!