Q&A with Joanne Chappell

Article excerpt

Joanne Chappell is owner of Emeryville, CA-based Editions Limited, a leading art publisher founded by Chappell more than 30-years ago when she opened a single gallery in Indianapolis. Since its beginning, the company has published more than 1,500 images, and creates more than 250 new posters each year. Three years ago, Editions Limited launched its Drybrush Graphics division for original artwork and limited edition graphics.

Q. How has your business changed in the last five years?

Like many businesses, we were on a growth pattern for most of the 1990s and into 2000. With the catastrophe of 9/11, our business softened dramatically in the areas of hospitality, corporate and healthcare. Fortunately, we had a committed team who had the resilience to weather the storm. We refocused our efforts on different avenues of distribution and on developing our Drybrush Graphics Collection of original artwork and limited edition graphics. We also committed to testing different trade show opportunities, and we redefined the responsibilities of our salespeople and territory management.

In early 2003, we made a strategic decision to aggressively rebrand ourselves. We developed new catalogs for both Editions Limited and Drybrush Graphics. We committed to an advertising campaign like we had not done in the past. And we greatly increased our publishing plan, specifically fine art posters.

As an entrepreneur, with my management team, I made tough and aggressive decisions to build our business while many of our competitors had been waiting out a stalled These were not easy decisions, but they have helped us to have one of our best years ever in 2004. I would be remiss if I didn't mention our stellar sales team, most of whom have been with me for five to 25 years. They bring art backgrounds, sales skills, and insight, which have contributed to our success.

Q. Who has been the most influential to you in your business endeavors?

My husband, George, has been my most avid advocate. With his IBM background, his pragmatic outlook, and late-night counsel when difficult decisions are to be made, George is a wonderful balance to my creative bent.

Q. What person, living or dead, would you like to spend the day with?

Bill Clinton would be at the top of my list.

Q. How do you spoil yourself?

I swim four to five times a week. Due to our hectic schedules, George and I love to eat out. And I love to gamble.

Q. What is your ideal vacation?

My first choice is anywhere in the sun, with a beach, and with George. My second choice is skiing or ice skating, or boating with my children and grandchildren. …