Mary Anderson’s Art Company

SPS 300
Final Paper Case Study

Mary Anderson, an interior designer, artist, and nature lover living new New York City, was convinced by her husband and friends to translate some of her painted silk hangings into pieces for possible sale to the gift and art markets. Anderson recognized that silk was the best medium for portraying her creations because of its translucent beauty, permanence, and fidelity of color as well as texture. But most silks are not appropriate for paintings, since silk is a protein fiber, similar to wool or to human hair. It is only natural for silks to have some irregularities — sometimes called “slubs”. Anderson studied the art of making silk relentlessly, absorbing whatever knowledge she could find on creating silk fabric. After months of experimentation in a dingy Trenton, New Jersey basement, Anderson and some textile friends developed a special silk that had no slubs, therefore equal to the finest in the world.
Next, Anderson had to master the complex process of painting on the silk. Each wall hanging of silk is a technical as well as artistic challenge. A 52-step process is required to convert a sketch into a completed wall hanging. For example, one major creation required 1509 paint strokes to create a forest scene. This level of detail required creating 132 specialized brushes and 56 different colors in order to get just the right effect. Once the strokes, brushes and colors were determined, then a specialized machine could be configured to execute the brush strokes, but each pass of the painted silk included drying time from the last pass, plus reconfiguration of the brushes and colors. Each creation had to be made permanent by spraying a fixing agent on at just the right temperature, where heat could change a delicate piece of silk into a crumpled mass. No American had excelled in creating silk. And when Anderson’s creations first appeared, no one understood the quality of the silk, or believed it was hard to create the overall effect of her works.
Anderson began to create in silk what she knew and loved best – nature, particularly the more delicate forest and flower scenes. In her art, Anderson tried to “capture that special moment and setting which conveys the character, charm and loveliness of an early morning or the moment of sunset.” After selling her early creations for several years during her lunch hours, her talented husband, Bob, left an outstanding pharmaceutical sales career to “peddle” Anderson’s silks full time. Soon Mr. Anderson’s extraordinary salesmanship skills, promotional touch, and sense for the art market began to pay off. People liked Anderson’s forests and prairies, but bought her flower wall hangings. And Anderson agreeably complied, striving for ever greater perfection on ever more exotic and natural flower creations.
By 2008 some Anderson silks (especially the flowers) had become recognized as collectors’ items. An extremely complex piece like “Stelitzia reginae” might sell for $28,500 at retail, and might command much more upon resale. Mary Anderson, then 55 – though flattered by her products’ commercial success – considered her art primarily an expression of her love for nature. She felt the importance of portraying vanishing species like the American lady’s slipper orchid or the South African leopard orchid, and traveled to remote areas of the world to bring back samples or photographs of rare flowers for study and later rendering into silk paintings. A single company, Stanton Silks, was the exclusive distributor of Anderson’s products to some 175 retail outlets in the United States. Anderson’s line included (1) its “Serenity” series of smaller, somewhat simpler pieces, usually selling for less than $100, (2) its profitable middle series of complex designs like the “Field of Poppies” selling from $800 to $5000, and (3) its special artistic pieces (like “Stelitzia reginae” and “Cactus in bloom”) which might sell initially for over $20,000.
Individual Anderson silks were increasingly being recognized as outstanding artistic creations and sought by some sophisticated collectors. Production of such designs might be sold out for years in advance, but it was difficult to anticipate which pieces might achieve this distinction. Many of the company’s past policies no longer seemed appropriate. And the Andersons wanted to further position the company for the long run.
The Andersons hired you as a consultant to help them with the following. When asked what they wanted from the company, they would respond, “to make the world aware of Mary Anderson’s artistic talent, to help world ecology causes by creating appreciation and protection for threatened species, and to build a continuing business that could make them comfortably wealthy, perhaps millionaires.” No one goal had great precedence over the others.

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In an 8-page double-spaced paper (including title and reference pages, and APA formatted), provide the Andersons with a game plan to further their company’s position for the long run. You will argue for a course of action grounded in a systems approach; that is, solving the problem/opportunity from a big picture standpoint. You will pay special attention to the following:
Analyze how a hobby evolved to a business that is poised for a global reputation,
Analyze how the individual talents of the Andersons are key assets to their business and its future positioning, and
Argue for a course of action that takes into consideration the environment in which the Andersons are going to operate and evaluate its impact on the Andersons’ goals.

Your paper should include three major sections.
Introduction: introduce the problem opportunity to your readers and your suggested course of action.
Analysis and suggestions: this is where you show your skill and ability to solve problems and capitalize on opportunities. You will take a systems approach to analyze the situation and propose a solution for it. You are to argue for your solution using a systems thinking methodology by addressing the details of the situation identified in the case study. You should emphasize the three areas identified in the instructions by the above bullet points.
Conclusion: conclude your paper by summarizing the problem/opportunity and your proposed solution and tell your readers, briefly, how and why your solution would address the Andersons’ needs.










Mary Anderson’s Art Company


Art, among many people, may be a hobby, a business, or both. Art allows people to view and communicate diverse perspectives and vantage points regarding life, people, cultures, and nature. Art is a stimulant to both artists and the audience, as it instigates creativity and productivity, which may establish the entrepreneurial aspect in people. Art thus can be described as a hobby, business endeavor, and a connector of the psyche in people with the transitioning elements in the world (Singh & Gupta, 2020). A significant challenge for many is transitioning one’s hobby into a full-time profession or career, profitable business, and reputable art company due to fear of action taking, failure, or lack of a well-planned and operationalized plan. Monetizing a hobby thus requires a plan, networking, differentiation qualities, and confidence. In reference to systems thinking, deciding to build a company will require an investment in new operational resources, policies, infrastructure, human resources, and capital requirements to develop a successful company and business. Anderson’s case study provides an example of hard or structured problems that can be addressed by integrating the hard systems thinking approach. Therefore, in finding the most appropriate solutions and game plan Anderson can adopt to achieve her three focal objectives, a system that defines the main problem, objectives to be attained, and an analysis of best options is integrated.

Anderson’s artistry is a talent and hobby that provides a viable business opportunity with the potential to grow in the current business environment. The proposed game plan and solution for monetizing Anderson’s hobby into a conclusive, reputable, profitable, and successful business and company will focus on five key aspects taken into account as factors that may affect the decision to translate and monetize Anderson’s hobby into a business. First, evaluating the business opportunity’s viability against the current business milieu. This will provide valuable information on whether ”going big” will be a good or bad investment. This will be achieved through SWOT analysis. Second, establishing the targeted collectors, mapping out Anderson’s potential markets and customers. This will help her be part of a community to establish her presence as a differentiated and unique brand locally, nationally, and globally. Third, establishing Anderson’s distinctiveness in the market and industry, identifying her identity brand art type. Fourth, mapping Anderson’s operating environment and possible partnerships. Finally, establishing the most profitable investments that the new company can adopt in the line with Anderson’s art talent.

Analysis and Suggestions

Monetizing Anderson’s hobby into a business will require venturing into the entire art industry and markets, familiarizing with the game rules in the market, finding potential growth opportunities, and acquiring adequate information on the operations, survival, and sustainability of the business. Hence, this can be attained through the analysis of the presented business opportunity. When evaluating a business opportunity’s viability, five aspects can be analyzed to determine which provides adequate information on the go-ahead: market size, capital requirements, management of skillsets, growth opportunities, and individual passion. Primarily, Anderson requires unique qualities and management skillsets to compete competitively in the market. Anderson possesses the individual passion and management skillsets as silk painting and artistry are her hobbies and motivation sources. This motivation and passion align with her individual objectives, which includes providing the world with excellent art and silk paintings from Anderson’s artistic talent, aligning with environmental realities by promoting the course to appreciate and protect threatened and endangered species, and building a sustainable, profitable, and globally recognized art brand and business. These objectives create a clear vision and source of strength as valuable assets for the business opportunity making it viable. Individually, her husband portrays exceptional and expert salesmanship skills motivated and devoted to developing successful sales and marketing strategies to promote Anderson’s art, which is another source of strength.

For the sustainability of the business, there should be maximized growth opportunities. Growth opportunities in the Art Industry in the USA continues as in 2018; the global market value was $64.12B, a valuation of $67B, an increase from $64B in 2017, with North America accounting for the highest global art market share: 36%. In 2019, the USA had a 44% market share in the international art market, holding the first position. Moreover, there are increased industry trends due to technological advancements, showing tremendous growth in the online art painting market. In New York City, art is highly valued with diverse art institutions, galleries, appraisals, and auction houses that provide a large market size (Lock, 2019). These statistics maximize Anderson’s growth opportunities and business success in the art industry in the USA and the world. Anderson’s new business should exploit these valuable opportunities. Entry into the industry may require substantial capital requirements to meet the industry and customers’ competition and expectations, which is an identified weakness and competition threat. However, Anderson’s foundation is strong, providing valuable, un-imitable, and rare assets necessary for business operations and future positioning, as she possesses unique and differentiating qualities including her skillsets, husband’s marketing, and promotional skills, focused objectives, financial background, market presence and establishment, and outstanding artistic quality.

Anderson’s transition and expansion into the national and global market mean an expanded customer base and wider presence, which requires effective customer analysis and understanding to maximize successful business set up and operation. Anderson’s art talent and silk painting skills are distinctive and gaining a high reputation and fame among collectors and customers globally. Anderson’s silk paintings are recognized as collector items, which helps expand the targeted selling market and niche for retail, wholesale, and individual sales. Alternatively, mapping out the target customers and segmentation helps Anderson identify her target customers. Her target customers are segmented into individual collectors, ecological targets, retail, and wholesale customers (Gichuru & Limiri, 2017). This expands the target market for Anderson’s demand for art; hence, it will require extensive distribution and marketing strategies and plans. As he possesses exceptional and expert salesmanship skills, her husband can head the sales and marketing plan. While developing the marketing strategies, the promotional messages will be created and tailored depending on the customer segmentation addressing their different needs and purpose for acquiring the art and silk paintings. Marketing messages for individual collectors, multinational companies in ecological and non-ecological departments, retail, and wholesale customers will vary depending on the art required, value, and purpose (Pleasure, Aesthetic Beauty, Emotions, Message, Education, and Saving the Endangered Species). The target market must be mapped and identified, as it will help develop winning and differential marketing strategies and corporate departments (customer-segment oriented) to handle the distribution, content creation, and successful sale of all paintings to each customer segment (Gichuru & Limiri, 2017). Customer-segment teams provide a competitive advantage to the business, as each segment’s desires, needs, and art trends will be studied, keeping Anderson, her production team updated and informed of changing trends, customer needs, and content they incline with, influencing their purchase behavior.

The decision to expand Anderson’s hobby into a business presents maximized opportunities to grace the world with monumental paintings. However, this can be splintered if Anderson does not distinguish her art’s presence in the market. Determining Anderson’s distinctiveness can be attained by analyzing her individual skillsets and analyzing the most profitable pieces of art among the three developed and sold. Distinctiveness in the market locally, nationally, and globally is critical as Anderson’s art talent and silk paintings will find other competing artistry work and corporations. The art industry is competitive, making it essential to identify the strategies that best and competitively position Anderson’s art compared to her competition. Anderson primarily possesses internal strengths, as specified in the SWOT analysis. She exhibits unique and differentiating silk painting skillsets, with non-slubs silk and production materials, husband’s marketing and promotional skills, focused objectives, financial background, market presence and establishment, and outstanding artistic quality. Hence, Anderson’s business will integrate the differentiation generic competitive advantage strategy by Porter (Scheele, 2014). Her art talent, silk quality, and silk painting process are differentiated from her competitors, providing an upper hand and competitive edge. Using her own innovated non-slub silk in painting results in exceptionally high-quality wall hangings recognized by collectors.

Moreover, Anderson currently sells three pieces of art: Serenity pieces (smaller series), Poppies (middle series of intricate designs), and Special pieces (the most priced). The most profitable pieces are the Poppies pieces. In contrast, the ecological pieces have a higher demand as they are essential in creating awareness, which helps protect the environment, necessary for educational purposes in schools, and generate the human psyche where people can connect with nature, hence conserve and save it. The poppy pieces are the most profitable, meaning Anderson should emphasize on the production. Secondly, the special pieces are on-demand depending on the collector’s demand; hence, their production should be done depending on the need, using the just-in-time production system. Special pieces require sophisticated materials, quality, and time; therefore, producing many beforehand can be unprofitable. Ecological pieces in all series are in high demand; thus, Anderson can capitalize on these as they present a more comprehensive customer range. They align with the current trend of greening the systems and products to address the current global climate crisis. The pricing should also depend on the quality and piece type within the three categories. Art lovers and collectors from high to low social status class will purchase all pieces based on the aesthetics, love for nature, and ecological protection and conservation.

The transition from a local and minimal operation environment, as seen in Anderson’s current operating environment to a national and global operating environment, presents increased business opportunities and projects that the newly formed business can undertake to create a broader portfolio, hence maximizing its sustainability chances. Anderson will be operating in a competitive world and an environment supportive of all her developed goals, objectives, and preferred vision. They include providing the world with excellent art and silk paintings, aligning with environmental realities by promoting the course to appreciate and protect threatened and endangered species, and building a sustainable, profitable, and globally recognized art brand and business. In the 21st century, environmental conservation, protection of endangered species, flora and fauna, and climate change awareness are serious and vital issues globally (Hess, 2017). Ecological degradation and climate change crisis has placed the world as a global village with global citizens working collectively to save the planet and create a quality life for people and nature. This trend aligns with Anderson’s goals supporting and developing them, as she will play a critical role in supporting a required course in the world today. This presents her opportunities to partner with ecological agencies and educational facilities where her artwork in environmental conservation can be used for educational and research purposes and environmental agencies to raise public awareness in environmental preservation and protection.

In addition to protecting threatened and endangered species, Anderson seeks to monetize her hobby and build a profitable, reputable, and sustainable business that would make her family wealthy. In achieving this, the business must prioritize investments that will maximize competitive advantage and bottom-line. Anderson currently has a substantial reputable market with collectors and customers who love her artwork and talent. Essential and profitable projects she can consider include partnering with companies and environmental agencies. This partnership will provide monetary and non-monetary benefits. Her artwork will sell quickly in educational facilities and environmental agencies, which will increase her revenue and bottom-line. Secondly, the partnership maximizes her presence, popularity, and reputation as her artistic talent would be used as a reference for educational purposes and environmental protection awareness. The credit maximizes her brand’s visibility creating increased awareness of her art types and talent (Mukesh Srivastava, 2013). This type of visibility acts as a competitive marketing advantage of her business, inspiring art lovers and potential artists that can be coached in her style, creating a rare and similarly equipped workforce of artists. Alternatively, her pricing for serenity and poppy ecological pieces can be priced at low prices to attract a broader base of potential partners. Artists play a crucial role in protecting the environment and conserving endangered species, as their work provides pleasure to art lovers and generates emotions that promote individual responsibility and fortitude in environmental conservation and protection.



The case study presents a case of Mary Anderson with a hobby that she wishes to monetize to provide the world with excellent art and silk paintings from Anderson’s artistic talent, aligning with environmental realities by promoting the cause to appreciate and protect threatened and endangered species and building a sustainable, profitable, and globally recognized art brand and business. Anderson faces a significant challenge in transitioning her hobby into a full-time profession, thriving business, and reputable art company. This paper presents and describes a well-planned and operationalized game plan effective in Anderson’s case. It includes five steps: evaluating the business opportunity’s viability against the current business milieu: establishing the targeted collectors: establishing Anderson’s distinctiveness in the market and industry: mapping the operating environment and possible partnerships. Finally, selecting the most profitable investments that the new company can adopt in line with Anderson’s artistic talent. This operationalization and game plan provides conclusive solutions that address Anderson’s significant problem of monetizing her hobby into a business. It also leverages her artistic talent into a source of income. It provides her an opportunity to be part of a more extensive course by contributing to environmental conservation and protection, especially among the endangered and threatened species. The game plan developed exemplifies her wishes and individual goals and vision in her artistic talent as a hobby and a profession that guides their trajectory to build the most sustainable, profitable, and globally recognized art brand and business.




Gichuru, M. J., & Limiri, E. K. (2017). MARKET SEGMENTATION AS A STRATEGY FOR CUSTOMER SATISFACTION AND RETENTION. International Journal of Economics, Commerce and Management, Vol V(12), pp: 544-553.

Hess, C. (2017, May 23). The role of artists in protecting endangered species. Retrieved from

Lock, S. (2019, November 1). Art market – Statistics & Facts. Retrieved from Statista:

Mukesh Srivastava, A. F. (2013). Building a Sustainable Competitive Advantage. Journal of Technology Management and Innovation, 8(2):47-60.

Scheele, D. (2014). The trade-off between cost leadership and differentiation. GRIN Verlag.

Singh, D. S., & Gupta, S. (2020). Entrepreneurship With Practical Class XII. New Delhi: SBPD Publications.





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