[quote style=”boxed”]Believe in yourself and what you are doing. Belief will get you through anything. Employees that also believe in what you are doing certainly helps too. [/quote]
John and Felicia met 15 years ago in beautiful southern New Mexico where they were both raised. After college and a few corporate jobs, John spent most of time in the east traveling and working in textiles and Felicia lived in southern California studying and working in design. They reconnected while John was on a road trip passing through New Mexico. They discussed their many life adventures and decided to embark on a year long journey of traveling and sightseeing. They visited many amazing places, museums, antique stores and unique boutiques. They became inspired by everything they discovered.
When they settled down they wanted an eco friendly way to display the pictures of all the unique places they had visited. There were virtually no eco friendly options. Typical canvas printing uses toxic solvents and latex inks that produce a heavy, shiny finish that can distort the quality of the image.
Using his knowledge of plastics and textiles John created ECO-CANVAS which is made from 100% recycled polyester. Using recycled polyester reduces the environmental impact of processing petroleum into virgin polyester. ECO-CANVAS saves the 400 gallons of water needed to make a cotton canvas of the same size.
They use organic, water based inks that are free of solvents and toxins. The unique printing process produces vibrant colors and a unique depth. Unlike solvent and latex inks that are sprayed on, the sublimation process dyes the ink into the canvas. This process produces a distinct tone and texture that cannot be matched. The images are clear and crisp at any angle and do not produce any unwanted glare. ECO-CANVAS is very versatile and has been used for photography, art, custom fabric patterns, lamp shades and decorative pillows.
What are you working on right now?
We are working on a project for a client making objects out of printed fabric. It is a very unique; we are taking fabric printing 3 Dimensional.
Where did the idea for Reverie Studio come from?
The name is very literal. It is the space where our dreams and the dreams of others come together.
What does your typical day look like?
It depends if we are working on a project or not. If we are working on a project, it is very intense with long days. If not we are in creative mode and typically painting, building or using Illustrator. There is usually meditation or Latin Jazz playing on Pandora.
How do you bring ideas to life?
First we identify what the most viable ideas. Felicia creates and I figure out how to get the product in to a form that we can produce and market. We use story boards all the time. We will print, draw, paint and build. By the end of the day an entire wall can be covered with printouts and sketches.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
3D printing is gaining a lot of traction. It has been around for a while but the machines are getting much more sophisticated and cost effective.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I worked for a company setting up computer networks. My life was literally like Office Space. I had 4 managers. I learned that no matter how hard you work for another company they will reap the financial benefits. No matter what you do make sure you have a vested interest.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would have studied industrial design and traveled more. The process of creating is fascinating. In a way the structured nature of school can suppress the creative process, especially if you are studying computer science. : )
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Believe in yourself and what you are doing. Belief will get you through anything. Employees that also believe in what you are doing certainly helps too.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Learning that you cannot be a jack of all trades. If you try to do everything yourself you are limiting your ability to grow. When you look at very successful companies they have a lot of people working for them. You can only do so much in one day.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
In my other company theperfectlawn.com I have developed a product that eliminates the need for fertilizer on lawns. I always here about something being a “game changer” this certainly is a game changer. Currently we manufacture artificial grass this is a huge departure from our key business but the market is much larger.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
I would make education available to everyone via the internet. I would make it simple and in every language. I believe this would reduce suffering. The main thing I think that is gained through education is learning it is ok if somebody is different than you and has different beliefs.
Tell us a secret.
I don’t mind what happens. When you truly understand that quote and embrace it, it will change your life forever.
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. They all allow me to communicate with people I wouldn’t otherwise communicate with. I love that.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
On a personal level New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. On a business level Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. They both give a unique prospective on life and business. I have always found perspective to be very valuable.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
Dan Ariely, Richard Branson and Deepak Chopra. They will all give you insight. Insight on how you function and how other function is very beneficial.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
About 2 weeks ago. I was reading a blog that posted notes people left for each other at apartments. It was great! Some people are very creative on informing someone that they are not happy about something.
Who is your hero?
What is the biggest challenge you face in business?
People do not value quality as much as they used to. Everybody is so focused on price that they overlook value. The price of “cheap” is very expensive both economically and socially.
What is the most significant change you have made in your life?
Learning to live and be aware of the “present” moment. It is never really the situation it is usually your thoughts about it that intensify it. The saying that life is 10% what happens and 90% how you react to it is true. Learning how to embrace that idea is the challenge. You can’t be unhappy if you are present.
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.