Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Always changing

When I started on this journey back in 1982 the name of the store was

Carroll Fine Arts Gallery and Supplies and Custom Framing
quite a mouthful and I didn't pick the name out.
In 1982 I left college after 3 years and bought the above named  business in my hometown.
I was 20 years old.
 No experience.
No business classes.
Just a burning passion for art.
and totally clueless what I was getting myself into.....what I wanted to be when I grew up...
but a $10,000 loan cosigned by my parents and a crash course in business courtesy of the same parents and I was the proud owner of the Carroll Fine Arts Gallery And Supplies and Custom Framing. I represented over 40 regional artists. Along the way my own work got lost in the business of work.
 Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life.
I didn't love framing pictures- it was OK.
I didn't love selling other people's art- I enjoyed making art friends and talking art with them.
I didn't love retail - I love working for myself. 
Now I am 52 - and still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up
The original concept has changed over the years- because I have changed
I don't frame pictures for people anymore but I have quite a love affair with vintage frames. 
I sell original works by myself, my sister and few friends of mine and we get together at least once a year and have an art weekend in my studio.
I love working with kids and I teach 80+ kids during the school year and 490+ in the summers..
I love teaching and I have started an adult painting and wine drinking class.
The name  has evolved into it's current name - Artworks Studio - it's a studio because it's where I create, teach, mentor, socialize, consult and spend a lot of time.
A year ago I purchased a scrap booking store. I don't scrap. But I DO love paper! I'm a mixed media artist and I find myself using many of the same supplies scrappers use. I have changed the mix over the past year. Less cutesy papers and stickers and more grungy/vintage. I have added creative kits and blank art journals and really cool disposable cartridge pens and letter press note cards... and everything I sell is something I would buy. I read somewhere that a successful shop is one that reflects the owners personality. Mine says - I am not sure what mine says about me...
Now things are changing again- Because I am a mixed media artist I collect quite a bit of odds and ends. Things like bottle caps and game board pieces. Marbles, broken clocks, keys and hardware. I am changing some of the "gifty" stuff.  Keeping the vintage costume jewelry and my hand made jewelry.  Closing out the new costume jewelry. Maybe I am making a mistake maybe I am doing the right thing.

One thing I have learned from the moment I signed that loan 32 years ago- you won't know anything unless you take a risk and try.