Monday, December 12, 2011

A Peek at Administration at Poster Mountain

Conservation and restoration have been and will continue to be the focus of our blog, however, we wanted to give you a peek into the administrative side of Poster Mountain. Chelsea and John handle the administrative duties. If you call or email us you will probably speak with Chelsea, but she does a whole lot more than simply answering the phones. The amount of day to day activities that she handles is astounding.

Pictured: Chelsea at her desk in the archive room.

In the morning John helps Chelsea to photograph any new pieces we have received and any pieces that are transitioning through conservation and restoration. We have a photography studio with black walls and professional quality lights that allows us to take the best photos possible. Not only are these photos important for the client, but they help us to document each project and to have examples for the blog. These photos are then uploaded to our database or sent out to clients. All of this generally happens before 8am. (A quick side note about photos that are emailed out: Remember that these are under different lighting conditions than those that the poster would usually be displayed under, either the professional lights in our studio or the fluorescent ones in the back. Please keep that in mind when looking through any photos that we send to you and feel free to contact us about questions you may have.)

Pictured: Our photography studio with black walls, shelf and lights that allow us to take great photos.

Chelsea keeps a tally of all incoming and outgoing projects. Each week she creates new lists for John, Robin and the restoration department. She prioritizes each project depending on the client's timeline and the specifics of each piece (such as how big it is or how much work it will need). The other aspect of this that Chelsea keeps track of are all of the estimates. John and Chelsea work together with our clients to come up with a basic estimate. Most people who have worked with us have gotten an email from Chelsea with an estimate and the reminder that work will not commence until the estimate has been approved. Our clients usually get at least two estimates from us. The first one is the estimate for conservation and the second includes the restoration estimate. The reason for a second estimate is that we don't always see all of the issues until a piece has been through conservation and want to be as accurate as possible with the amount of time restoration will take. While it might seem like a hassle, it does save us time in the long run and avoids any confusion. So, if you get an email from postermount@aol.com or postermount1@aol.com, please check it and respond promptly.  Doing so will help us get your piece back to you as quickly as possible. Also, you should make sure that neither of those email addresses are on your spam or junk list. We also send invoices through our postermount1@aol.com account. (I also want to add that we are more than happy to answer questions about payment options and to work with clients on a payment plan. We want you to be happy with the restoration work and understand that not everyone can afford to do it all in one go, but don't forget that this is our livelihood! So, if you can't do everything at once, but still want your piece to look as good as possible then consider working out a payment plan with us.)

Additionally, Chelsea keeps track of the pieces while they are in our studio, whether they are waiting to go into conservation or headed to the restoration department. Pieces that have not yet been conserved are stored in our archive room. Depending on whether they were shipped to us flat or folded they are stored in our flat files. If it was sent to us rolled it goes on our shelves. Chelsea keeps those labeled and organized alphabetically. (How she does this with all of us rummaging around in them constantly, I have no idea!)  Another thing that Chelsea handles is all of the paperwork for this. She prints out "mount forms" for each piece that goes through restoration. These forms have details such as the client name, the date that it was mounted and the number of hours of restoration that have been approved by the client. Yet another thing that might seem like a hassle, but keeps everything running smoothly and efficiently. Throughout all of this Chelsea is keeping clients up to date on their pieces.

Pictured: Our flat files. We have more than 40 drawers all told and use the tops of the files for additional work and storage space.

Pictured: The storage shelves, organized alphabetically. It may look messy, but this is extraordinarily neat for the amount of pieces that we have coming in and out daily.

Once a piece is finished and ready for the client, Chelsea confirms how the client is getting their piece. Some of our local clients like to come in to pick up their items and see what is going on in the studio. Others pieces are shipped out and Chelsea handles all of the shipping information as well. We prefer to use FedEx because they have been the most reliable for us.

Chelsea has done a lot of work, with Derry helping, to get our name out into broader art and collector circles, including PR and marketing. She has made a new brochure for Poster Mountain that is great! She also does all of the accounting and continuously answers the phones and emails that come in. Basically, Chelsea keeps everything working as smoothly as it does and we love her for the wonderful job she does because it allows us to focus on the artistic side!

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us via email at postermount@aol.com or by phone at 818.882.1214. Also check out our websites: www.postermountain.com and www.lapapergroup.com. Also, please feel free to leave comments or questions on the blog!

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