Heather Vann: What made you decide to be a designer?
Cookie Hanson: Have always loved art. Have a passion for decorative design, and how textures and colors have a positive effect on our mood and feelings. Found my niche.
What tools and utilities did you use in order to promote yourself?
- Our company website TourdeFaux.com – Facebook – Twitter
What are some of your accomplishments?
- Worked on numerous Parade of Homes winning houses. Had my designs shown on HGTV. Invited to do restorative work at the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills; Received national attention in a cover story about our company – The Faux Finisher Magazine, Spring, 2007, issue, entitled “Onward & Upward”. Won seven awards at the 2006 FauxCademy in Las Vegas. Judges were convened from Europe and the U.S.
How long have you been in this kind of industry?
- We started Tour de Faux in 2000.
What has been your biggest challenge in promoting yourself?
- Getting builders and interior designers to see our product designs. My education in the decorative art industry has produced thirty certifications, and I make sure to include classes in the latest designs. When we are able to meet in person with builders / interior designers / architects, they can see our designs and feel the textures of our product. That usually results in working with these professionals in their business. We always approach these meetings with how our services will help their business, and satisfy their customers.
How have you tried to network yourself?
- We use online networks, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. We also speak at group meetings in business networks. Tour de Faux is connected with several groups in the Asheville area. This has proved effective, and has increased our business visibility in our area. When we attend a large event, we provide our business card, and arrange to meet in person with those interested in our services.
What kind of steps with using HGTV, NBC, Facebook?
- I was invited to appear on NBC Montana Morning Show. The interview focused on our products and services, and how homeowners and businesses could benefit with the products, colors, textures that we offer. With over 300 finishes, we are able to provide virtually anything that a customer would like for their personal environment. One of our trademarked expressions is “From Your World to Your Walls™”.
Do you have any particular product/design you are trying to Market?
- We are currently in the process of opening a retail store / studio in Brevard, NC. Opening date will be February 1, 2012. We will be teaching all aspects of decorative art, such as faux finishing, furniture painting, countertop repurposing and refinishing. One of my students provided this testimonial: Gregory and Cookie: I thoroughly enjoyed the class. I appreciated that Cookie designed the class specifically around our needs and wishes. It was a great workspace and relaxed atmosphere. It was wonderful that Cookie allowed us to jump out of the box, since that is the way she works best, also. It was helpful that she shared little tips that have made her successful. I loved seeing all her work. I will definitely take more classes from Cookie as my work schedule allows. Thank you, Laurie McGree
- NOTE: Since this interview, Cookie & Gregory Hanson have relocated to Asheville, NC and no longer operate a retail store.