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 Michael S. Carver
Noel, Missouri

To:       Decorative Finishes Studio
December 10, 2003

December 10, 2003
Martin, Just a note to tell you how much I appreciate you and your staff!!! I attended your class in Aug. 2002. I had recently been left unemployed after the company I worked for closed up shop. I normally would have just rolled to the next job. ( I was a communications electronics technician), but I had decided to finally take a chance and really do something I ENJOYED doing! My mother had taken the class a few months prior and SUGGESTED (grin) I attend. She had been impressed with your no-nonsense style. Little did I know what I was signing up for! I often describe my time there as"
"The most intense training I ever recieved outside of boot-camp."
It was 5 days of total immersion in the art and technique of decorative painting....
To say the least, I left class each day both exhausted and energized..... Of all the things I have invested in.. I have to say , The Faux Finish School was one of the best! There was, and still is, no question I recieved more than my money's worth in training, materials, and support! I returned to my home ready to take on the world....and found out Martin's quote, "Work your market, Market your work." was more of a commandment than a suggestion. The first few months were hard.... I got out and canvassed every designer, builder, paint store, ect, ect, I could found my first job was a $600.00 finish. While I was excited, I was used to a 50K a year income and, to say the least, this wasn't anywhere near that. I had an ace in the hole however. I had a wife who believed in me and was willing to back my dreams and tough it out while I "found my way". Never underestimate the power of a loving spouse to help you realize a dream. Without her, it would, more often than not, be hopeless! She took the hard times in stride and when I was ready to quit, was the one behind me urging me to push on...... I'm a lucky guy! My second job was 13k in the most high-profile residental area in my market. My canvassing had paid off! I was contracted by a leading designer firm to complete a residence in which every room would be faux-finished. (over a 5500 sq ft home) I was scared to death! However my fears were unfounded, because of my notes and resources from your school, all went perfectly. I am scheduled to do a Designer's Showcase Home in the Spring. On the heels of that job another lead resulted in a 10k job...... This all culminated in a year... my FIRST year...in which I actually substantually superceeded my previous income from electronics! WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT!!!???? I ran into the usual "Well we use a couple of faux finishers already." line..but upon seeing my samples they all were slack-jawed! ANYBODY can do a parchment finish, BUT show them finishes from your workshop and WOW! The samples sold themselves! If for nothing else they were worth the "price of admission" However I learned so much more. I learned how to quote. Because of that I haven't lost money on a job yet! I learned how to ask WHAT I AM WORTH! (That is an ART!!!!! I am the most expensive faux artist in my area..... and THAT seems to be what attracts the most clients! GO FIGURE!)
All I can say is THANK YOU!
Martin, you guys gave me a new lease on life!
Thank you!
Michael S. Carver

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