Pod Contemporary Gallery: Selling Contemporary Art and Artful Pieces - At Pod, owner Helen Mears offers an opportunity to take in contemporary art and boutique style shopping at the same time.
How do you combine your passion for art and convert that into something you do for a living?
I remember being in my early twenties and I traveled to Seattle for numerous weekends away and noticed how a lot of hotels and restaurants had original art displayed.It wasn't very prevalent in Vancouver and decided that I wanted to incorporate into my business endeavor. At the time, in East Vancouver, where my shop Mecca was located, there were many struggling artists with not many options to exhibit. I had a beautiful old storefront with 12 foot + ceilings. Art enhanced the space. I continued to incorporate it into my future businesses:Cafe Talia and Pod contemporary. I watch as people react, connect with and observe the work I exhibit. It's an exciting element of my work.
As a woman entrepreneur how has that shaped your work environment and how you engage in your daily work activities?
As an entrepreneur you have to be both focused and open minded. Business has a life of it's own. Customers may not respond to the broad approach you started with and you have to be willing to listen, observe, pick up cue's as to the direction your business is moving in. Analyzing and reassessing is an ongoing process. Being open, and experimenting with new ideas is exciting and taking risks is part of the growth-for the business and it's owner. Experienced customer service is really valued and builds trust and long term engagement.
What advice would you offer to yourself if you could speak to a younger version of you?
If I was to talk to my younger self I would say 'Way to go!'I didn't have experience or all the answers.
Know what inspires and interests you and the rest is an invaluable journey that will depend on instincts, trial and error. It's been the most exciting, enriching career. Throw yourself into it and give it a try.
Deirdre Rowland on behalf of the CEDC