Today we’d like to introduce you to Sarah LoVasco.
Sarah, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I grew up working alongside my Dad in a family-owned hardware store. One Sunday, a customer was referred to me. She was overwhelmed by finding the right locations for her 50+ piece artwork collection and nervous about how to chose the right hardware for her plaster walls. After learning that I was an artist and also had gallery installation experience, she asked what my rates were to come help her in her home. That was the lightbulb moment for me!
Five years later, SJ Art Consulting is a growing business that focuses on placing and installing artwork for private clients and Interior Designers, connecting artists to buyers, and advocating for experiencing artwork in the community through exhibitions in local businesses and alternative, non-gallery settings.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I think most small business owners experience bumpy roads! Ultimately, though, the type of person who is interested in embarking on an alternative career path is someone who doesn’t expect things to be easy. I love meeting other artists-turned-business owners because we share the same passion for following that thing that makes us happy and most fulfilled. Like our art practices, it’s a constant struggle to create things that are good enough to ourselves, our peers, and affect our communities in the way we intended.
Beyond the standard financial and emotional toll that starting a business takes, I feel that successful arts-related businesses fight this perception that we deal with only very wealthy people. There is a misconception in our culture that artwork in unaffordable. I am constantly listening to the stories behind art collections, what the pieces mean to people- and that’s what it’s about, I think, not the monetary worth of the thing. It’s very subjective.
SJ Art Consulting promotes the thinking that anyone can be an art collector (holistic collectors is what I like to call them)- whether you prefer music, literature, performance, whatever- art is the fabric of who we are, the people we associate with, what we love. Collecting those experiences is the important act of art collecting.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the SJ Art Consulting story. Tell us more about the business.
SJ Art Consulting specializes in client satisfaction. Whether we’re working for an artist installing a show in Boston, consulting at a private residence in Manchester, or curating the rotating art exhibitions in the tap room at Gentile Brewing Co in Beverly, SJ Art Consulting aims to promote successful, lasting relationships between artists, clients, and the community.
As a company, I feel that SJ Art Consulting is proud of the positive reputation we have built amongst those who hire us. The future is exciting for the company as we broaden our relationships with galleries in order to increase sales and exposure for artists. We are also training new art installers and an administrative assistant to promote growth and sustainability. In early 2018, SJ Art Consulting will be opening a new artist showcase space in downtown Haverhill called The Switchboard, where local artists will have the opportunity to have their work professionally curated, installed and exhibited.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
This is a funny question because we have a joke in my family about the “Johnson luck”. (Johnson is my maiden name). For example, our neighbors’ tree recently fell on and totaled my work van. Thankfully nobody was hurt, but I was reminded that I couldn’t escape the Johnson Luck simply by changing my name!
Your question, though, has me thinking about luck as it relates to business-ownership. Growing up, I only knew my parents to work for small family businesses. It’s a constant “let’s try this new idea” environment, one in which there are a lot of successes and failures. I don’t really see the failures as bad luck, though, since they’re the result of charted efforts towards a new direction, not just a bad turn of events.
I will say how absolutely lucky I have been to find the right support system of artists and entrepreneurs. None of this would have been possible without my pack of friends, colleagues, and family members coming to events, continually supporting our projects, and knowing exactly when I need a break and some wine.
- Website: www.sjaci.com
- Phone: 8029995506
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @sj_artconsulting
Photograph of the stairway install (6th down) – “Design, Kristina Crestin Design.”
Second image from top – Barbara Moody exhibiting at Kingston Gallery