Constance Kay, Inc. – New York, New York
The Empire State Building framed in the showroom window, assorted muffins on the table and bebop jazz just loud enough to warm the room. But it’s the architects of it all, Constance Kay and her husband David Illies who best represent the class and elegance of their product line of handmade artcards.
The duo has spent over two decades building a thriving business that capitalizes on their sensibilities. A perfect marriage of art and commerce. Constance provides the vision and direction for a network of artists across the country who produce handcrafted and signed works of art for every occasion. And that’s where it gets complicated. Fifty artists, hundreds of retailers (including Barneys, Neiman Marcus, Fortnum and Mason, and scores of other high-end stores, galleries, and boutiques) and hundreds of thousands of pieces present challenges familiar to many small business owners.
“When you start a business, you don’t always know where your talents lie,” Constance reflects. “It seems we are good at art direction and sales, but there’s so much more to it.”
And as the business grew, the organizational and logistical demands became overwhelming. Inventory control, profitability analysis, vendor management, payroll.
“We have used AccountEdge since the beginning and, to be honest, we weren’t sure whether it would be able to grow with us. We thought our business needs were unique. But every step of the way we’ve been able to tailor the software to our needs. I cannot imagine how we would have succeeded without AccountEdge.”
Occasionally relying on the wisdom of long-time AccountEdge Certified Consultant, Art Troast, David has become an AccountEdge expert, analyzing data while customizing forms and reports for his needs.
But after all these years, what helps them to remain engaged and excited by their work? It’s the act of creation.
“We’ve expanded into handmade wedding invitations and it’s a whole new challenge and a new excitement,” says Constance with a gleam in her eye.
"AccountEdge lets us do everything ourselves instead of having to outsource pieces of the business."
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"An intensely strong devotion to surfing, combined with the desire to spread the love and enjoyment derived from this elegant and mighty sport."