Eric & Christopher started as a collaboration between two artists. Eric Fausnacht and Christopher Kline met at an art show in 2011, where Kline helped Fausnacht create a screen-printed pillow.
Kline, a 25-year veteran screen printer, had started teaching screenprinting techniques to artists as a way to weather the economic downturn. Fausnacht, an internationally known artist with a background in retail merchandising, costume design and set design, was also looking for a new venture.
Fausnacht started taking the pair’s printed pillows to local craft fairs, where they kept selling out. “We quickly realized our shared interest in creating adorable, fun screen prints with images based on our photography of animals,” Fausnacht recalls, “and we developed a business model that would allow us to share our excursions, design and screen-printing experience with the world.”
Kline was 19 when he started his first printing business, which was also when he first encountered SCORE. While his and Fausnacht’s experience set the foundation for their business, the men still wanted guidance from seasoned experts. “It was a no-brainer to turn to SCORE,” Fausnacht recalls.
The men wanted to make sure their vision and expectations were in line with what their mentors had experienced as business owners themselves. "It’s been an ongoing mentor / mentee relationship where we touch base, talk through how to manage growth, product development and introduction, marketing, looking ahead, hiring the right people and looking at when to hire more employees," Fausnacht says.
“They’ve worked hard and they’ve produced a super product,” says mentor Tim Fielder. “It’s a delight to see them grow, to see them solve all these problems that come up on a daily basis, and they’re still smiling and they’re still got lots of thoughts and ambitions for the future.”
“Without the thought-provoking questions and guidance from SCORE counselors John Small, Tim Fielder and Ken Haldeman, we would not be where we are today,” Fausnacht says.