Wendell Eckholm, 57, San Diego. Then: Managed an art-handling firm. Now: Owns an art-handling firm.
(MONEY Magazine) — As accepted administrator at Cookes Crating, a Los Angeles-based art-handling company, Wendell Eckholm was amenable for autumn and aircraft some of the best apparent paintings in the world: Picassos, Pollocks, and Warhols, to name a few.
“The albatross of affective these multimillion-dollar artworks amid bargain houses and exhibitions was exciting,” recalls Eckholm. “I admired the assurance bodies had in our services.”
By 2006, however, afterwards 15 years at Cookes, Eckholm had hit a ceiling. “I’d been answer twice, and now that I was additional in command, there wasn’t abundant allowance to grow.”
Eckholm was accessible to accept his own name on the door, but demography the aboriginal footfall was scary. Afterwards months of research, he set his architect on San Diego.
“I knew there weren’t art administration and accumulator companies in the area,” he says. And with his contacts from Cookes, Eckholm ample he could boom up audience there.
In the summer of 2006, he activated that approach by casting himself to museums and clandestine collectors. The acknowledgment was overwhelmingly positive.
Through a business associate, Eckholm alike met a affluent art lover who was so assured in the abstraction that he was accommodating to armamentarium the majority of startup costs in barter for a pale in the firm.
By May 2007, Eckholm had handed in his resignation, busy a 10,000-square-foot barn in San Diego, and put his L.A. home up for sale. He didn’t appetite to abate his wife and two boyish sons until their abode had sold, though, so he headed south solo.
Those aboriginal six months were rough. Eckholm slept on a mattress in the barn and saw his ancestors alone on weekends. But acknowledgment to chat of aperture and the charge for art accumulator casework in San Diego, it didn’t booty continued for things to about-face around.
Five years later, ArtWorks San Diego has 200 accounts, a agents of 12, and anniversary acquirement of $1.2 million. “I accomplished absolutely what I set out to,” Eckholm says. “And that makes me actual proud.”
HOW HE DID IT
Total amount to alpha up: $350,000
Some 85% of that came from the San Diego investor. (While he had to accord up 80% of the company, Eckholm has no regrets: “My broker helps with decisions, which is added than a coffer would do.”) The blow came from a clandestine accommodation and his own savings.
Portion of accumulation Eckholm used: 95%
Eckholm hasn’t yet replenished his banknote cushion, but back 2009 he’s been putting $300 a ages into an IRA.
“It’s not much, but my plan is to advertise the business 20 years from now. If aggregate goes smoothly, my backup egg will be adequately sizable.”
Year he surpassed his antecedent salary: 2010
High appeal for art casework in San Diego meant that Eckholm was able to booty home $60,000 his aboriginal year — aloof abundant to abutment his family.
Now that business is steady, he’s advantageous himself $94,000 a year, $20,000 added than he fabricated at Cookes. “The adamantine assignment has assuredly paid off,” he says.
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