Today we’d like to introduce you to Ginny Erickson.
Ginny, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Erickson Surfaces started as a side hustle in our tiny one-car condo garage. My husband, Doug, had started building furniture for fun, and after listing a few pieces on Etsy, a food blogger contacted us to make her some custom surfaces. We realized there was a need in the food industry for photography surfaces, and we took the idea and ran with it. I contacted every food blogger I’d ever heard of or followed and introduced them to who we were and what we were doing. As orders started to come in, and we started painting and shipping surfaces, a fire lit in me and I felt that I had finally found my true calling! We didn’t have any experience running a business but lead with the idea that if we made quality double-sided surfaces and treated people with love and kindness, we could go far.
The word started spreading and orders kept coming in, and pretty soon we leased our first space. Word of mouth was a huge source of referrals for us, and we started meeting and interacting with some amazing people in the food community. My passion for creating art and was being fueled by painting new finishes and introducing them to our audience. Seeing my art in someone else’s creative pursuits was really exciting!
We’ve now expanded two spaces – a woodshop/surface rental space and our studio/office and I have a full-time artist assistant and we get to create art every day!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
This journey has not been a smooth road! But each challenge leads to growth, personally and professionally. Never having run my own business before, there was a lot to figure out. Thankfully, my husband is the type A to my scattered artist brain and has been immensely helpful on the financial/behind the scenes end. I’ve had to learn how to go from managing myself to leading my employees and growing the business.
The biggest challenge for me has been knowing what aspects of the business I need to let others help with, and which I need to manage myself. Because we started so small, all the details were up in my head. As we’ve grown, I’ve needed to release control of some things- which is hard because it’s all so personal to me. Learning how to communicate that and making sure that the message behind our brand and the values I hold dear are mirrored by my team has been the most difficult aspect but I’m so thankful I have a great team who GETS IT!!
Erickson Surfaces – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Erickson Surfaces makes handmade wood and painted/textured photography surfaces and prop boxes/risers. We are known for our double sided surfaces and our one of a kind custom finishes. I’m most proud of the way we treat our clients- it’s always been my intention that our clients are treated with respect and love. I want them to not only love their hand made surfaces but know that we valued them and loved making their photo background just for them. We’ve included hand-written notes with all our boards from the beginning. Erickson Surfaces is unique in our ability to custom make a large variety of custom finishes- from faux sport courts (that was a whole ordeal but turned out amazing!) to realistic looking Marble, and anything else one can dream up.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
That’s a toss up! A couple of years ago, I worked on a custom finish for one of my all-time favorite clients and close friend Anne Watson. She used the surface on a shoot for Orange Coast Magazine and the image ended up on the cover of their Best New Restaurants 2019 issue. It was such a gorgeous image and such a great project to work on together. My copy is still in the plastic and makes me happy every time I see it!
More recently, I brought my 12 years old mini-me artist daughter, Bella, with me up to LA for a surface installation at the Lend & Gather conference hosted by Allison Howell from RW Elephant. Bella helped me prep and place each of the mini-surfaces onto the gallery wall and gave me her artistic direction. And I could see her mind just spinning with excitement and curiosity as other makers installed flowers, tables/chairs, and an arched walkway with thousands of ribbons hanging down. I was so happy she got to witness this part of my career and the industry and she was thrilled to be there.
- Small Double-Sided Surface $200
- Large Double-Sided Surface $350
- Table Top Double-Sided Surface $450-$600
- Prop Boxes/Risers from $50
- Address: 1650 N Glassell St, Ste O, Orange, CA 92867
- Website: EricksonSurfaces.com
- Phone: 714-790-4011
- Email: Ginny@EricksonSurfaces.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ericksonsurfaces/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ericksonsurfaces
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/erickson-surfaces-orange
Jacob Rushing, Wilmarose Orlanes, Jack Strutz, Evan Kalman, Joy Yi