This Entrepreneurship Spotlight features Alexandra Hall, a local (wonderfully and amazingly talented) artist. She’s a member of Fort Wayne Artists Guild, Wunderkammer Company, and Artlink, and interestingly enough, holds degrees in non-art related fields. She got her start right here in Fort Wayne, at a 2013 art show at the Dash-In.
She’s an inspiration for all of us to find the things that we are passionate about, pursue them, and not write-off the idea that our hobbies and talents can someday (with a lot of work and a little patience) turn into a full-time gig.
What made you decide to open a business in Fort Wayne/Northeast Indiana?
Before I had a location at the City Exchange my business was mobile. I attended art festivals and showed work in galleries all over the country. While other cities may have a bigger art scene, I was able to develop a strong customer base here because there is a growing desire for unique and locally made artwork. When it was time for me to experiment with a brick and mortar location, I decided to test out the Fort Wayne market; I only signed a short term lease at the Exchange. I have a summer festival season coming up, so I closed my shop at the end of May, but I have learned a great deal about running a boutique/gallery space. I hope to return in September and find a different location for my studio/gallery.
What resource in the Fort Wayne area has helped you thrive in the community?
There is a very supportive arts community here. I would not be where I am today without my artist mentors and support from local galleries. People like Charley Shirmeyer, owner of Northside Galleries and local artist Terry Ratliff, have allowed me to make the move from hobbyist to professional artist. The kindness and generosity in this community is the only reason I am able to pursue art.
What is the biggest challenge you have worked to overcome in starting your business?
I think the biggest challenge I have faced is balancing the growing clerical aspects to my business and the actual creation of my product. I have nothing to sell if I don’t remember to make time to paint!
What person has helped you the most in your journey?
My parents, Scott and Andrea Hall, have helped me the most.
What is some advice you would have for new entrepreneurs?
It isn’t easy. Surround yourself with positive people who want to see you succeed, and don’t allow obstacles to slow you down!
What would be the best thing Fort Wayne could do for entrepreneurs in your opinion?
I think that the city is doing lots of things that make downtown more desirable, and I appreciate their efforts!
This post is part of a series of posts in collaboration with Start Fort Wayne where Living Fort Wayne explores resources available to entrepreneurs and spotlights entrepreneurs who decided northeast Indiana is the place to operate their businesses.