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Networking In A Niche Industry

Updated: Jan 13, 2019

Maggie Smith saw a need for a network of art installers in back in 1985 when she founded Art Source, one of the industry's first e-commerce art businesses, a distinction which earned her a feature in Inc. magazine. As a full service art provider, she hired installers and based them out of her Milwaukee frame shop, until she met Chris Kulow, a freelance installer from Tennessee. His work ethic, professionalism & craftsmanship impressed her greatly, and because Nashville was an inexpensive hub, he was able to travel efficiently. She outsourced to him for 15 years.

In 2007, Maggie hired a web designer named Scott Solda. He upgraded her web site and also took an interest in the art installation process and approached Maggie with a plan to make installs more efficient. She liked the idea and made him her Installation Coordinator. Scott recruited installers to complete her projects, conducted various time studies, researched the local costs of living and negotiated prices for future installs. With the data he collected, formulas were created which predicted installation times and labor costs. Maggie saw immediate savings in travel expenses and was eventually able to eliminate them completely.

On August 23rd, 2015, Scott uploaded a computer program which utilized a database of installers and integrated it with pricing, scheduling, and file-sharing services. Art Installer Network started operations as a provider of Information Services, with a system that located the closest, most qualified installer available for any art project.

Since then, Maggie sold Art Source and is A.I.N.'s President. Scott works on the website. Chris works as Field Director, liaison to the hundreds of independent installers registered to the Network, all working at standardized prices and practices, all looking forward to helping with your projects.

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