Dubuque Firm Grows As Demand Grows For Complicated Designs


DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) – With an emphasis on high quality and a definite creative contact, a small Dubuque-based firm is carving out a distinct segment in a aggressive trade.

Painted Sky Designs sells benches, chairs, swings, and a wide range of different objects that adorn decks, porches, and patios.

The intricate, hand-drawn photographs featured on these merchandise have turn into the corporate’s calling card.

“We are saying we promote useful artwork,” mentioned Kristin Dietzel, CEO. “We give attention to the truth that our merchandise are all designed by artists. Each element begins with a pencil drawing. “

Over the previous 18 years, Painted Sky Designs has refined its processes and broadened its attain to incorporate retail shops throughout the nation.

Nonetheless, a wave of latest adjustments suggests the perfect days for the enterprise are but to come back. The Dubuque Telegraph Herald experiences that enterprise leaders are rolling out further product traces and establishing new methods to attach with prospects.

In 2020, Painted Sky Designs started promoting direct to shoppers by its web site for the primary time. Across the similar time, the corporate fashioned partnerships with two native companies that show and promote its objects.

Weston Pins, who’s Dietzel’s brother, has been with the corporate for about eight years. In the meantime, Painted Sky Designs operated in relative obscurity in Dubuque. He’s satisfied that’s about to alter.

“We’re simply beginning to get our identify on the market and get our toes moist,” he mentioned. “We’ve a whole lot of progress potential forward of us. I’m actually enthusiastic about our vacation spot. “

The origins of Painted Sky Designs date again to 2003. Co-founder Mike Meyer was working as a contract illustrator on the time, creating designs that appeared in medical and organic textbooks. A household good friend, Tom Orr, steered that Meyer might use his creative abilities differently.

Orr believed there was a marketplace for well-crafted photographs of wildlife, pure landscapes, and different outside themes.

Mike Meyer and Orr quickly co-founded Painted Sky Designs, making a mutually helpful partnership. Meyer and his spouse, Renee, have been each expert artists. Orr, who later retired from the corporate, had retail expertise which offered helpful perception into the trade.

“(The enterprise) took off so quick,” Meyer mentioned. “Earlier than I knew it, that is what I used to be doing full time.”

A brand new era is making its mark.

Pins, Renee Meyer’s son, was in highschool when Painted Sky Designs was based. He majored in advertising and enterprise on the College of Dubuque, acquiring coaching that ready him for his function within the household enterprise. At present, he is in command of processing orders, ensuring they arrive out on time, scheduling truck freight, forecasting gross sales and extra.

Dietzel joined Painted Sky Designs a couple of months in the past. She famous that her mom, Renee, just lately withdrew from the day-to-day operations of the corporate, making a void that Dietzel is attempting to fill.

Previous to becoming a member of the household enterprise, Dietzel served as Vice President of Workforce Options for Larger Dubuque Growth Corp. She mentioned this job gave her the braveness to “make the leap” and be a part of the household enterprise.

“(At GDDC,) I bought to see contained in the operations of so many firms, see how they work and what makes them efficient,” mentioned Dietzel. “For me it was actually a chance to work on the opposite aspect of the desk.”

The chemistry of members of the family is important in transferring the enterprise ahead.

Every new product begins with a brainstorming session, as members of the family focus on what prospects are searching for and the way they’ll meet their wants.

From there, Meyer attracts the design. He typically creates photographs of flora, birds and different wildlife, a purpose that displays his love for the outside. The corporate’s merchandise additionally incorporate regional collections centered on the West and Northwoods areas.

It is a meticulous course of, he defined.

“I’ll typically draw 5 completely different fashions (earlier than figuring out a favourite),” he mentioned. “I attempt to get as many contributions and feedback as doable.”

Utilizing digital software program, Meyer’s designs are rendered on a pc and despatched to a producing firm that has partnered with Painted Sky Designs since its inception.

Craftsmen sculpt the picture with clay, create a mould, then solid the design with iron or aluminum. The cupboard is then sealed with a layer of bronze.

Every step is carried out with strict consideration to element, in accordance with Dietzel.

“We do not promote the most affordable furnishings, however we promote very top quality merchandise,” she mentioned.

Painted Sky Designs is partnering with Peosta Warehousing, an association that enables it to retailer giant volumes of furnishings and distribute it to prospects on a well timed foundation.

Two different native enterprise companions are additionally serving to the enterprise. Painted Sky merchandise could be bought from Wagner Nursery in Asbury, Iowa, All Seasons Heating and Cooling in Dubuque, and Aspen Ridge House and Backyard, Mineral Level, Wisconsin.

The corporate will even diversify its merchandise. She just lately obtained the licenses to create furnishings merchandise bearing the logos of the College of Iowa, Iowa State College, the College of Nebraska and the College of Texas. He’s searching for comparable authorizations for different universities.

With the adjustments occurring shortly, the leaders of the corporate take consolation within the shut household ties on which they’re based.

“If there’s a drawback, we will repair it,” Pins mentioned. “Our conferences often happen round a kitchen or eating room desk.”

Dietzel, Pins, Mike Meyer and Renee Meyer make up the corporate’s workers.

Mike Meyer mentioned he does not plan to step down from the household enterprise anytime quickly, a major issue given the vital function his work performs.

He sees his work as a ardour and an outlet for creativity, reasonably than a strategy to pay the payments.

“It isn’t work,” he says. “It is one thing that I like to do.”

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