Restoration firm Art Effects seeks to raise $175,000

11/19/2012 2:58 PM

11/19/2012 2:59 PM

In the 18-year history of Art Effects, a decorative painting and restoration services company in Wichita, owner Robert Elliot says he’s donated more than $750,000 to churches that couldn’t afford to do restorations completely on their own.

Now, Elliot is seeking help.

He’s trying to raise $175,000 in 45 days through crowd funding on Launcht.org.

“We are for-profit; however, we have a slightly different business model than a lot of other companies that are for-profit,” Elliot said.

He said he regularly donates his company’s time.

“We’re very philanthropic that way,” he said, saying Art Effects also offers training for artisans to learn how to do preservation, restoration and decorative painting.

Through the campaign, Elliot hopes to strengthen the company, increase its ability to be a resource for the communities it serves, develop an education platform for future artisans and work on a marketing campaign. He also wants to do some capital improvements with new equipment.

Elliot said that although Art Effects has done major renovations and restorations, such as at St. Anthony Roman Catholic Church and the Carnegie Library for Fidelity Bank, it often loses major projects to a larger out-of-state competitor.

“As a small company, I have a hard time competing with these people,” he said. “We have the talent right here in Wichita and in Kansas to do these major projects.”

Elliot said the company does more than restore buildings.

“We help restore communities,” he said. “These structures are key elements to people’s culture and their history.”

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