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?

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