Jody was recently interviewed by Northwest Business Monthly.
Q: What prompted the move from Discovery Park to your present location?
A: After years of retail I was needing a change. I spent 20 years selling on weekends and being present for the customers. Wholesale sales and the internet became my new focus.
Q: What is the address of the gallery?
A: I now have a showroom in the Haskell Business Center; 1301 Fraser St in Bellingham.
Q: How is your business doing?
A: The business is still vibrant with a new expansion in our product lines. We are also preparing a new Blog and Video website for the launch of a series of 40+ mini art lessons for beginners. I will be offering art books and beginner watercolor kits; trying to fill some of the void in our young people’s art education.
Q: How does business compare to previous years?
A: The recession has affected everyone. With 8 million jobs lost there is less money for people to spend on the “extras” in life. Recently a gallery owner said that the middle class has stopped buying expensive art. I always had a niche because I spread my price points across the spectrum.
Q: Any recent successes that you might want to highlight?
A: I was chosen and executed a 100 year Anniversary painting to celebrate one of Taft’s sculptures (Lorado Taft’s Black Hawk sculpture, located in Oregon, Illinois). I travelled to Illinois to sign for the event on July 16th.
Q: What kind of connections in the community do you have and how have they factored in to your success?
A: The community was my first opportunity to really succeed; the incubator of my success.
Q: What impact does your location have on business?
A: No one can find me!
Q: You have multiple channels to sell your work – what are they and what percentage of total revenue does each account for?
A: Wholesale 80% Retail 20%
Q: What do you like best about owning the gallery?
A: Being your own boss, there is no option for my odd personality!
Q: In your opinion, how does art add value to the local economy?
A: Buy local, be local is a favorite phrase around Bellingham. What is at the heart of this phrase is the knowledge that a community and a country that produces goods and products creates wealth – keeping money within a shared loop. Art gives a young person the experience of “creating” something of value from personal vision and ultimately adding value to themselves and to the culture.
Q: Future plans for the gallery?
A: I am always painting and creating for the future. The gallery is the house for my personal expression as an artistic entrepreneur.
Q: What is your sense of the local art community?
A: Without art, a community has no soul. Bellingham has an abundance.