We had the good fortune of connecting with Brett Barney and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Brett, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Without question, the most important success factor in our business is the energy between people. As a service provider we balance the needs and personalities of our clients with the capabilities and talents of our team members. This interaction takes place in all aspects of the client relationship from the front office during project origination through to the shop floor to bring the client’s vision to life. A corner stone of American Fine Arts Foundry reputation is allowing clients be part of the process by art directing along the way.

What should our readers know about your business?
I have been lucky enough to be the steward of this venerable organization for the past 18 of its 45 years. In 2007 I could feel the market was shifting and the evolution of demographics and collector dynamics, and in 2008 the recession hit us hard. With intention, we chose to focus on the upper echelons of the global sculpture world, and have produced works for some of the biggest names such as Kaws, Kai, Richard MacDonald, Ed Ruscha, Antony Micallef, Bill Mack, as well as commercial clients such as Disney, Sony, DC Comics, Warner Brothers, the Screen Actors Guild, the Writer’s Guild, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and many, many others in all genres. We keep a bit of our capacity available to work with up-and-coming artists and enjoy helping them understand how to best utilize the foundry and the casting process. We also made a strategic decision to produce work for top of market furniture and lighting brands seeking bespoke level craftsmanship. Our team is so talented that they can execute projects in scales from pedestal size to monumental. Our largest project to date is a monumental sculpture of children’s blocks by Bill Mack that appear to be tumbling and suspended magically as they fall.

Patinas are a central point of our strategy as well and we have pioneered many unique finishes of both traditional and contemporary finishes to give our clients a broader palette. Recently we completed cross-training on 50+ new patinas that we can now make available.

However, even with the intention of how to grow the company, much of our success has been from clients referring us to their friends and colleagues. This means more to us than intentions and planning as it is validation that we are doing something right to take care of our customers.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My answer will probably be unconventional as I actually live in Ventura County. I love the outdoors and being physically active so I’m going to share some of the places I go for those experiences. I grew up in Ojai and it is a magical place where you can feel the energy shift to a slower pace. I would share the hiking trails of the Los Padres Forest that is just up highway 33 from Ojai. There are lots of adventures to be had and it is my happy place but one of my favorites is a hike to the top of the Topa Topa bluffs for a 270 degree view of the Pacific Ocean, the Channel Islands, and all the surrounding mountains. A visit to Ojai wouldn’t be complete without dinner at the Ranch House in Meiner’s Oaks and a stay, or at least lunch, at the Ojai Valley Inn. For friends that have the legs, I would challenge them to a road bike ride up the coast from Ventura to Santa Barbara and back. On this jaunt we would take in the views from high above Montecito, passing through San Ysidro Ranch and then through Hope Ranch to the Beach. A fun cruise through downtown Santa Barbara and then a beautiful ride along back along the coast. And one of my favorite places for a casual dining experience would be Stonehaus in Westlake Village for a great outdoor experience of live music, delicious appetizers and a glass of wine.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’m a firm believer that daily I am the end result of all the experiences I’ve had thus far which means that I am appreciative of all who have crossed my path along the way. The success of AFA is certainly due to tireless efforts of the production crew over the many years to produce at the highest-level quality they can every single day. The longtime leadership provided by Angel Meza, Foundry Manager and Sandra Corona, Office Manager has created a family atmosphere that transcends the atmosphere within our walls beyond that of just a job and makes every day a rewarding and fulfilling experience.

Website: www.afafoundry.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/afafoundry/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/afafoundry/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AFAFoundry

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ABetterFoundry

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCglA_GdlX_KOQNwoXEcNvYQ

Other: https://www.pinterest.com/afafoundry/_created/

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.