081: Growing a successful business with solopreneur and artist Brenda Priest

Brenda Priest is a pen & ink artist and solo entrepreneur at Your Door & More. In this episode, Brenda outlines her journey from a 9-to-5er to freelancer to running her own successful business She doles out helpful tips for budding entrepreneurs from the practical to the philosophical. Brenda even shares her excellent elevator pitch. Be inspired by Brenda Priest’s drive, community spirit, and intentionality. 

Brenda Priest

Brenda Priest creates incredible hand-drawn sketches from photographs of buildings including homes, historical buildings, and collegiate landmarks. Recently she was commissioned to illustrate sports stadiums throughout the United States, including Lambeau Field, Wrigley Field, Fenway Park and dozens more. Check out her website yourdoorandmore.com to see her work and read stories of people who received her striking drawings as wedding gifts, anniversary gifts house-closings, and more.

Brenda Priest is a 21 year resident of Holly Springs, North Carolina. Being a Stay-at-home Mom, she converted her freelance work to a full-fledged business. All she learned came from the collaborative experience of her fellow business owners.

This episode is brought to you by the Soapboxers, the official patrons of the Artist Soapbox. If you like these episodes and want more, get on the Soapbox! This episode was recorded at Shadowbox Studio. Artist Soapbox theme music by Bart Matthews. Additional audio editing by Merrybelle Park Productions.

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Would you describe the scope of your business? (What is the work that you are doing now?)


You have been an arts entrepreneur for 10+ years now. Why did you take the leap into running your own business? You wrote: “With a degree in interior design/architecture, I could sketch but didn’t know how to business. My kids went to school and I went to Barnes and Noble to learn how to run a small business.” Would you talk about that learning process? What did you learn and how? What were the pivotal business ideas that led to your success? Any missteps along the way?

Based on our phone conversation, it sounds like “marketing art as a widget instead of a passionate piece of your soul” has been really effective. Would you talk about that mindset and how you got there?

Taking that approach has been very helpful from a business standpoint, and it doesn’t seem to diminish the emotional effect that your work has on your clients. Pen and ink home portraits are very personal/emotional/sentimental pieces of art. What kinds of responses have you received from clients who buy or receive a portrait of their home?


Would you talk about the Launch Holly Springs program? What other arts & business programs are you a part of (maybe the Wake Tech connection?)? What advice would you give to aspiring arts entrepreneurs?

Anything else?

Artist Soapbox podcast is a listener supported podcast. If you listen, please support the podcast by sharing episodes with friends and contributing via our Patreon campaign.

If you have feedback, questions, suggestions, please email artistsoapbox@gmail.com. FEEDBACK IS EVERYTHING TO ASBX.

Artist Soapbox

Artist Soapbox is a platform for original scripted audio fiction and an opportunity for artists to discuss their creative work in their own voices. We do this through our interview podcast, our blog, live events, and original audio dramas.

Artist Soapbox is an anti-racist organization. We believe Black Lives Matter. In addition, as a podcast production company, ASBX has signed the Equality in Audio Pact on Broccoli Content.

Artist Soapbox is more than just a podcast.

We lead writers groups, accountability support, workshops, and events. We produce and create audio dramas too! Listen to the Master BuilderThe New Colossus Audio Drama, Jesus Pancake, Declaration of Love, Food for Thought, and ASBX Shorts. Stay tuned to hear about more projects written by the Soapbox Audio Collective Writers’ Group.

Audio Dramas

Jesus (1400 × 1400 px)-2

Jesus Pancake

Jesus Pancake is the newest scripted audio fiction series from Artist Soapbox. Nine episodes of zany dark comedy.


The New Colossus

The New Colossus Audio Drama is a totally unhinged dark comedy reboot of Anton Chekhov’s classic play, THE SEAGULL.


Master Builder

This audio drama was adapted from Tamara’s 2018 stage play produced by Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern and inspired by Henrick Ibsen’s classic, The Master Builder published in 1892.


Declaration of Love

Co-producers Aurelia Belfield and Tamara Kissane of Artist Soapbox commissioned eleven NC playwrights to craft short audio scenes based on the prompt “Declaration of Love.”


Food for Thought

Three pilot episodes of new scripted audio fiction series inspired by the prompt Food for Thought.


ASBX Shorts

ASBX Shorts are six short audio fiction pieces created and produced by North Carolina artists. Artist Soapbox Shorts were specifically contributed by the artists to aid in fundraising and to get everyone excited about Jesus Pancake, our new audio fiction series in development.

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