St. Petersburg Times Online: Business

Weather | Sports | Forums | Comics | Classifieds | Calendar | Movies

Company thrives on the art of doing business

By CHRISTINA K. COSDON

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 18, 2001


When Roland Bailey retired after 38 years in the graphic arts supply industry, he had a hunch he wouldn't have time to hang around the house or spend his days on the golf course. His wife had a job waiting for him.

When Roland Bailey retired after 38 years in the graphic arts supply industry, he had a hunch he wouldn't have time to hang around the house or spend his days on the golf course. His wife had a job waiting for him.

Sharon Bailey made her husband secretary-treasurer of her wholesale art and framing business, Shar/Decor Art, and put him to work.

The business puts art in hospitals, banks, resorts and hotels, theme parks, restaurants and corporations worldwide. Their clientele includes Walt Disney World, All Children's Hospital, Smith & Nephew, Radisson Hotels, Arthur Rutenberg Homes, Honeywell, Columbia Hospitals, Morton Plant Hospital and Sony Corp. The company's two mobile showrooms deliver art to decorators and art galleries around the state.

Since joining the company 11 years ago, Bailey has been involved in the construction of the company's new and expanded headquarters as well as the recent formation of a new division, Coast to Coast Editions, which specializes in fine art ink-jet printing using the giclee process.

The Clearwater couple had no plans for the division when Shar/Decor Art purchased an empty lot at 7300 124th Ave. in the Interlaken Commerce Centre four years ago. Mrs. Bailey, president and holder of all the company's stock, built a 6,000-square-foot, single-story building for Shar/Decor Art's framing operation, art showroom, offices and storage of some 4,000 works of art.

The price tag for the land and new building was $300,000, Bailey said. "Many of the artists we deal with said we should get into the reproduction end of the business," he said. So last spring, the Coast to Coast Editions division was born.

In the giclee process, a water-based organic ink is sprayed onto paper or a canvas coated to retard light damage. It has a reputation for producing a high-quality product. Consumers of giclee prints include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Los Angeles County Museum, Bailey said.

"We provide a printing service for the artist that allows them to maintain and retain their original image," Bailey said. "We also retain the copyright to that artwork and will reproduce it on canvas or paper, whichever gives the artist the best reproduction.

"It's almost like art on demand. Once we have digitized the original art and the artist has signed off on the proofs, the data are stored on compact disk and archived for future printing. Whenever artists need more products, they just call us up and tell us how many of which image they need."

The original programming of an artwork costs about $300, Bailey said. A reprint's cost varies according to the size of the paper or canvas, from $150 to $180. The giclee prints are produced at a "fraction of the initial costs of other printing methods," Bailey -- Send information about businesses, promotions, expansions and new contracts to Seminole Business, Seminole Times, 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. Fax: 445-4119.

© Copyright, St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.