Ana Sanchez and Assi Glikshtein create works of art from personal photos at All Pop Art.
Photograph by Aaron Bristol
There's probably no more effective public relations coup for any product than an endorsement by Oprah Winfrey-just ask Ana Sanchez and Assi Glikshtein. The young couple started their All Pop Art business in 2003 with nothing more than an investment of $130, and when Oprah herself personally chose one of their designs to feature in her O Magazine one year later, the business took off. And it's continued to do so ever since.
All Pop Art, based in Hollywood, Florida, is a design studio where customers can bring their favorite photos-of themselves, family, friends, pets, whatever they like-and have them transformed into eye-catching works of art in the style of their favorite pop artist, be it Andy Warhol or Roy Lichtenstein. And their growing base of thrilled clients is proof that the idea was nothing short of ingenious.
Sanchez, a native of Spain, had studied business and marketing there but had always been into illustrating and graphic design. When friends in Madrid who were running a similar business asked her to join them as an artist, she balked: She had bigger ideas. "I told them I wasn't interested in just creating designs for them," she says. "I wanted to take the idea to the U.S" .
Enter Glikshtein, who was pursuing his business degree here in Florida. In 2000, while he was a student at Broward Community College and Sanchez was attending the Fort Lauderdale Art Institute, they came together as a couple-and three years later, they forged a business partnership as well. "We started it in our two-bedroom apartment," he recalls. "We were very poor at the time, so we put the $130 it cost to start a corporation on a credit card and did all the work in house, calling people and doing the marketing and promoting it by sending out emails to magazines" .
Then came Oprah. Once her magazine showcased one of their pieces, business took off. "Two years after we started the business, we bought out the company in Spain and now the whole operation is here" .
How does it work? Customers choose a design style in which they'd like the photo to be replicated as pop art, the layout (one panel or four, background design, etc.), the size they'd like, either canvas or glossy paper, and their framing option. Once all the decisions have been made, they receive a proof within a week that must be approved before the artists at All Pop Art will go forward with the piece. Three to six days after approval is submitted, voila: a personalized piece of art that serves as a lasting memory, a genuinely unique gift, a conversation piece that never fails to pique the interest of those who come into contact with it. Orders can even be placed online and shipped anywhere in the world. "Everything is very personalized," Sanchez points out. "It's not like we put the photo in a computer and generate the work. The business would be more profitable if we did it that way, but we're a boutique operation that really wants to give our customers what they want. We have very talented illustrators in house that we train and who have a very artistic sense of what they're doing. And our customers are very involved in the whole process, because our main focus is on the quality of the work and the customer's satisfaction. We get a lot of feedback from our customers and we take it seriously" .
In fact, the company conducts surveys of their customers several times a month to obtain that feedback. "It's so amazing to see how happy everybody is; that blows us away," says Glikshtein. "We pass those emails around to each other and really enjoy them" .
Surprisingly, prices for the various items one can have made at All Pop Art range from $50 for a silhouette on paper up to $1,000 or higher for a large, framed canvas, but "the average ticket is between $350 and $500," Glikshtein says. Which is arguably more than reasonable for a one-of-a-kind, hand-illustrated, original piece of art.
The couple, who reside in Hallandale Beach, are proud of all they've achieved in the five years they've been in business, and with good reason. As it turns out, 2003 was a very good year all around. "We got married the same year we launched the business," Sanchez explains, then laughs and adds, "It was a very lucky year" .
Visit allpopart.com to view samples and get more information.