A couple of years ago someone told Erin and I that there was a rumor going around that we are Electric Factory heiresses and that is how we were able to start Art Star. I thought that was so funny. It couldn’t have been farther from the truth.
We opened Art Star in our mid 20s on a shoe string budget. We were both right out of art school and struggling to make ends meet. We wanted to be able to do what we loved and also pay the bills. Being young and naive was a good thing for us. I don’t know if we’d have had the courage to start Art Star if we had this idea now that we are both getting close to 40.
Since we aren’t Electric Factory heiresses (do they exist?!) and really had no money to speak of, we had to be creative about how we could afford to start our business. We found a space in a new development that was offering free rent for the first few months and we jumped on it. We priced every single thing out, down to the staples. We told people what we were going to do and though many thought we were crazy, others were so supportive and offered their services for super cheap (or free) to help us get started! A woman who i was friendly with at The Clay Studio (where I worked at the time) gave me a Home Depot Gift Card which ended up having $800 on it. I didn’t even know her that well, she just believed in what we were trying to do. One family friend who was a lawyer looked over our lease for free, another family friend did all of our construction work at cost, and the list goes on.
We also came up with the idea to host a Raffle party to raise money. Friends donated art work and we hosted the party at a friend’s house in an old gymnassium turned apartment. We made $1,000. It came together pretty magically and we are so grateful to all the people that helped us get started. We’ve been in business now for over 12 years!
When Bethany Rusen of Stanley Chester and Albert came to us with her idea to open a co-working ceramic space in West Philly, we wanted to do whatever we could do to help her achieve her dream! We told her about our raffle and offered to host one for her in our space. Small business is important to us and we want to see more women start them!
Please help us, help Bethany, achieve her goals of opening up Black Hound Clay Studio (click that link to learn more about it). We will be hosting the raffle at Art Star this Saturday from 6-8pm in conjunction with the Closing Reception for our Pop Ups, which features Bethany’s line Stanley Chester + Albert, Le Puppet Regime, Wild Hart Paper Company, and West Oak Design. There will be a slew of ridiculously awesome raffle prizes, donated by some really amazing artists and local businesses. Bethany is posting many of them on our Facebook event invite HERE. Raffle Tickets are just $5 each and if you buy 10, you get 2 FREE! We will be announcing the winners at the end of the night! All money raised will go towards Black Hound Clay Studios opening expenses. It is NOT CHEAP to start a business, especially one that requires pricey equipment like kilns.
We hope you will join us! Oh and there will be free beer. It’s the least we can do as rumored Electric Factory heiresses.