I loved learning about Maxine! And I hope she doesn’t mind me saying, but one thing I love about Maxine’s story is that she is making big splashes in business and starting new businesses and she’s not letting her age stop her! I hear too many women ready to do their own thing, but they say, “I can’t do that, I’m too old!” You’re never to old to achieve your dreams! Thanks, Maxine!
Name: Maxine Gardner
Location: Metro Detroit
Education: Non-Profit Administration & Art
Professional Background: Over the past 13 years I’ve been an artist, a mosaic instructor, an art and real estate photographer. Prior to that I worked in non-profit administration.
What you wanted to be when you grew up: veterinarian, actress, gypsy and a mom
What you are: mom, visionary, artist, entrepreneur
American artists, crafters, musicians and authors offer creative, quality gifts for sale in our juried gallery. Upon checkout customers choose a participating non-profit to receive a 20% donation from the artist.
At a grass roots level it supports the American economy in a way that buying gifts from big box stores never can; provides an outlet for artists to give back, and the customer makes a difference – one purchase at a time.
You Shop – We Ship, and a donation is made!
Where you are located: Online
Company Website? www.artfulvision.com
What inspired you? Combining my passion for creative expression with my purpose of making a difference.
How many times have you bought something you didn’t want or need to support a worthy cause, all the while complaining “why can’t someone come up with a better idea”.
I did by creating adding a fundraising component to my online gallery of art photography – and then, gas prices skyrocketed. All my artist friends traveling to art fairs, were struggling with the rising costs of gas, and decreased turnout at shows which meant fewer sales.
It got me thinking, that if I had a good idea for me, what would it look like if I were to expand my online gallery with more American artists, crafters, musicians and authors who shared my vision of making a difference with the sale of their work.
Starting with the premise that in any economy we buy gifts, and support worthy causes, there is a huge impact if we purchase gifts that are American made; and even more of an impact if every purchase generates a 20% donation to a participating non-profit of the customer’s choice.
How long have you been in business? Since August 2010
How did you fund it? Self-funded
Do you have a Fairy Godmother (or Mentor)? Herb Drayton of Techtown, Pat Salo of the Small Business Technology & Development Center, and an advisory board of successful business women.
Do you belong to any Business Organization or Networking Groups? TechTown – a business incubator in Detroit; Team Management & Leadership Program at Landmark Education; and various local & online networking groups for artists and/or women.
Current Business Challenge? Developing the systems to support the growth of the business, along with hiring individuals to handle more of the day to day administrative work.
What are you doing about it? Odesk has been great tool for finding the American consultants and VA’s to work with on an as needed basis.
Favorite motivational quote: At first dreams seem impossible, then improbable, then inevitable – Christopher Reeve
Family? Two sons – Adam (30) and Matt (27).
If so, how do you balance family and business? I feel blessed to have sons that are so supportive of my passion; and, that Adam handles all the tech support for Artful Vision from his home in Hawaii.
Favorite book? Start Where You Are by Chris Gardner (the author of The Pursuit of Happiness)
What do you do to relax? Watch movies, hang with friends, travel & relax by the water.
What do you want to change most about your world? I’d love to be able to take power naps!
What are you most proud of? My sons. My mom passed when I was a teenager, so I always wanted to be the mom I didn’t have. Unfortunately, my boys experienced the same tragic loss when their dad died when they were 9 & 12.
What advice would you like to offer other Start Up Princesses? Successful entrepreneurs build teams around them; so ask for support and advice to grow into your greatness.
Favorite Magic Wand (tool/resource)? My imagination and Google for everything else.
If you could design a tiara, what precious stones would you use? Turquoise & diamonds.
Did I leave something out you would like me to know about yourself or your business?
If you belong to a worthy cause that would benefit from raising additional funds in a creative way, please forward this link – http://www.artfulvision.com/Fundraising.html
Know busy women who would love the benefits of shopping for creative gifts that make a difference, please forward this link – http://www.artfulvision.com
If you are, or know artists, crafters, musicians or authors that want to make a difference selling their work, please forward this link – http://www.artfulvision.com/Submission_Guidelines.html
Please follow us: www.facebook.com/ArtfulVision