Ana Sanchez-Gal and Assi Glikshtein-Gal, co-founders of The Oliver Gal Artist Co., received a publicity boost from Oprah Winfrey while launching their company, and have followed up on that initial success by leveraging their own talent to grow the business even further.
"We both have business backgrounds, both immigrated to Florida and realized quickly while working for another company that we had a lot of opportunity in this country to become entrepreneurs and start a business and do something for ourselves," said Sanchez-Gal. "Assi and I worked very hard at night after work, and within six months of starting the business, Oprah picked one of our portraits for "Opera's Favorite Things" and featured us in her holiday gift guide in the December issue for 2004."
Oliver Gal designs, manufactures and markets wall art and home décor in addition to pursuing import/export opportunities in that market.
"The company has seen a lot of change during our 14 years," explained Glikshtein-Gal. "What started out of an apartment turned into a 10,000-square foot office and a 15,000-square foot warehouse. We create all our products in house from the artwork to the production to the end product while most of our competitors use publishing houses and license images from artists they don't employ. Because we have a manufacturing facility in the U.S. plus we import, we have both the U.S. made and overseas made products so we can compete at different price points and sell into both online retailers and brick and mortar whereas most companies can only do one or the other."
The pair's advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is that success never comes easy and hard work and dedication win the day.
"Never give up," said Sanchez-Gal. "Focus on your end goal; be positive and tenacious. Don't be naïve; inform yourself and seek assistance from organizations that can help you achieve your goals. I had a business background, but also went to SCORE."
"Success doesn't come overnight," said Glikshtein-Gal "It requires a lot of hard work and dedication. Step by step is the fastest way. Always be mindful of the team you work with because they represent you in the marketplace. Treat them the way you want to be treated because they are carrying your message."