Host Profile: June Parker of Pipe and Palette
what brought you into the world of arts and crafts?
As a child, I was always crafting. I loved cutting up fabrics and sewing up clothes for my cats. Or, making myself clothes to wear too. I made a dress and jacket at the age of 10. I even wrote and illustrated a book when I was 8. I have to say, my mom was great at enrolling me in classes to keep my creativity at an all time high as a child.
The love for painting and making new things came when I would go to work with my dad. He would do projects for home re-modeling and I loved the building and painting side. I would beg to just sit and watch the builders all day. I even traded out going to Six Flags with my mom and sisters so I could learn more with my dad.
What's the best thing about teaching painting classes?
Teaching to individuals who don't think of themselves as an artist, but wish they could be someday. Getting to see where an individual started and what they accomplished in just a few classes. Seeing how they have grown and that they are truly proud of their work, that in itself is very rewarding.
"Starting a business on my own, from all my personal savings was a huge risk
...which turned out to be the biggest accomplishment."
- June Parker
What are your major achievements/meaningful moments in your business thus far? Any hurdles?
Honestly, just getting the retail studio open was a huge deal. Starting a business on my own from all my personal savings was a huge risk. And, it was a day by day thing. I never knew if I would be closing the doors or keeping it open. But now, coming up on year 3 in September. The biggest accomplishment is that every year I open the retail side and the studio side just continues to grow.
"If you are going to be an artist, you have to jump into it with both feet. Not half way, not one toe in, but really jump in with all you have."
- June Parker
Any advice for other people who want to start their own business and pursue what they love?
One of my art professors told me this saying in college, so I will repeat it for too. "If you are going to be an artist, you have to jump into it with both feet. Not half way, not one toe in, but really jump in with all you have. No part-time artist makes it in life. Pull out a loan and make yourself a professional studio. When your art is the only thing you have to make a living, no matter what happens you will find a way to make a career at it."
At the time, I was thinking this professor is insane. He wants us all to go into debt, not get real jobs and start a studio. Just sit in a studio, day by day with no clientele, no real-world skills at running anything. I was so discouraged and frustrated. So, I graduated and took a job in the art field. But I wasn't passionate about it. I was really good at my job, I was the best actually but, I didn't really care about it. I realized this when they offered me a promotion to be the Art Director and I said no. And that line, my professor said, as we were having our final days as seniors really just replayed in my mind. And what he said was true. And I finally got it.
The saying can apply to anyone.
Find out what makes you passionate and run at it with all you have. Let everything else go and chase your dream. Because when you truly are passionate about something, you become great at it. And greatness is contagious and contagious leads to success.