When young, Kevin studied hard, played sports, and went to a good college. Upon completing a few degrees he promptly abandoned career plans to be an architect and enthusiastically dedicated himself to painting, the other pursuit that he has had since childhood.
But painters need money, even if only a little bit. Beginning painters don't sell paintings, not because they are bad painters, but because they are bad business people. Kevin was one of these kinds of painters.
So a friend told him to get some silk, paint on it and she would sell it. He went down to Fabric Row in Philadelphia and bought 20 yards of the finest polyester (the salesman figured he wouldn't know the difference). He painted on it anyway and they took it to Barney's NY and secured their first order. Barney's suggested that since they had an actual order maybe they could splurge for some real silk.
He has learned a lot, in addition to identifying real silk, in 20 years. The business thrives because he recognizes that everyone in the company has value to contribute. Although Kevin still does all of the original artwork himself, much of the creative work is in the hands of employees/collaborators. This is important to his idea of creating beautiful things as well as a successful business; spreading the grunt work and the glorious work amongst all involved. The collaborative approach suits Kevin and the products of the studio are far superior than any lone genius could create.
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