Ariadne C. Pilarinos
Ariadne C. Pilarinos
Ariadne Twelve Tangents
As a fine artist, Ariadne C. Pilarinos was fully trained in all aspects. However, getting her artwork into the market was a big challenge. By specializing in producing acrylic paintings on hand stretched canvases, Ariadne became a business owner in 2014, while still taking part in the WEDC 60+ hour Entrepreneurial Training Program. Her biggest challenge was the marketing aspect of her business, but she was surprised to see opportunities for stability as opposed to being an artist with no road map to the future. “I saw the potential of sharing my art as a business, instead of a hobby, according to the IRS. All at once, I noticed that doors with opportunities were cracking open and then I just pushed through,” she explains.
Ariadne has no other employees yet. Her clientele consists mainly of individuals who are either engineers or IT specialists, and they are the target market for her art. “They tend to get my work without having to explain it,” Ariadne says. She highlights the importance of keeping in touch with clients on a regular basis and providing great customer service. She decided to be self-employed “…Because companies were not hiring women over 50 who happen to have beautiful grey hair,” she says humorously. Self-employment allows Ariadne to have more freedom as an artist and it gives her control over the type of artwork she produces, as well as her work habits and timeline.
In hopes of learning more about the business-related aspects of the art world, Ariadne participated in the Path to Entrepreneurship Program at the Mt. Vernon Library. She also took part in WEDC’s 60+Hour Entrepreneurial Training Program, Mastermind Class, Selling to the Government, MWBE Certification, Small Group Counseling, Strong Women, Strong Coffee, and other workshops that WEDC offers on the topics of capital funding, and crowd funding. She has learned to always carry her business cards around, so that she can pass them to potential clients that she meets in various encounters of her day-to-day life. “You should always be marketing yourself wherever you are, not just at networking events,” she says. She calls WEDC her current support system.
“I am my business, and so as I have advanced, so has my business,” Ariadne says. Improving her elevator pitch and becoming comfortable with promoting herself has helped her business grow. She progresses by acquiring the skills needed for her business to flourish overtime. Through interacting with the people around her and paying attention to their artistic taste, Ariadne finds opportunities to expand her market and receives valuable feedback regarding her art.
Ariadne has the following advice for people that are thinking about starting their own small business: “Start with WEDC, the price is right, and the opportunities are there for the grabbing. It is up to you. The more you put into the programs, the more you get out of them.”