Interview with Martha Higgins, Arts Entrepreneur
Business: Hand Painted Glassware
Samantha Schell: Your business seems to be doing really well. Tell me more about the company.
Martha Higgins: Well, a couple years back I started painting wine glasses, decanters, and other glassware, just as a hobby, and giving them to friends for birthdays and other fun holidays. Once people started seeing my painted glassware around at houses, they wanted some of their own and that’s how it took off. My friends asked if they could give my name out and I started taking email orders.
Samantha Schell: That’s awesome! It was as easy as that?
Martha Higgins: Yeah, I kind of stumbled into a market that didn’t completely exist yet and found myself making things other people wanted. So for me, it was as easy as that, but I’m lucky!
Samantha Schell: We talk a lot about that aspect in my arts management class—finding something other people want and giving it to them. In your opinion, what role, if any, does a business plan play in building and launching an arts company (as a business pursuit)?
Martha Higgins: I think it depends on the person. For me I didn’t really have a business plan at all and still find myself just along for the ride. But for others, if you’re wanting to begin a business I could see how a business plan would be helpful. It would keep you focused and on target.
Samantha Schell: What three pieces of advice would you give aspiring artist entrepreneurs about planning?
Martha Higgins: Planning is a funny thing, if you ask me, because it could mean so many things. For me, if I plan to do something, it doesn’t necessarily mean I will do it, it just means I plan on possibly, hopefully doing it. I’m different than most entrepreneurs though. Don’t quote me on that!
Samantha Schell: Haha so do you think planning is important when it comes to running a business?
Martha Higgins: Well yes, planning is important and making sure you know what you need to accomplish.
Samantha Schell: What do you believe are necessary qualities, if there are any, for artist entrepreneurs to possess or develop?
Martha Higgins: I think the most important quality for an artist entrepreneur to have is belief in themselves and a complete undying passion for what they’re doing. Of course I just stumbled into this as a source of income from it first being a hobby. But for others who truly want to do something, you have to believe in what you’re doing. That goes for anyone in any situation though. You also need to have fun with it!
Samantha Schell: Thank you so much for your time! Do you mind if this interview is posted for others to read and learn about your company?
Martha Higgins: Don’t mind at all, I hope this helps point others in the right direction!