Preston Arts Center
222 6th St.
3048 Bardstown Road
What motivates you? While there is no single motivation, the greatest I have is sharing. I see sharing as a great spark for contact with others, for the exchange of ideas, for showing that we care for each other and want what’s best. Art (whatever that means to you) is a remarkable field with many benefits, personal, emotional, mental, social, etc. To share something so good, productive, and thoughtful with others brings something positive and hopeful to the table.
What is the biggest professional risk you have taken? The biggest professional risk I’ve taken is opening the Jeffersonville Preston Arts Center. It’s no secret that owning a small business has always been difficult, but doing it in a century when consumers have a world of choices and a portal to those choices in their pocket, it presents a whole list of challenges to meet and overcome. When we visited what would become known as NoCo Arts and Cultural District in Jeffersonville in Aug of 2018, we saw an opportunity in its early stages and knew that nothing ventured means nothing gained. The support and kindness of the people of Jeffersonville has been exceptionally encouraging, and we can’t wait to see more and more folks stopping in, taking classes and participating in our events.
What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living? The most rewarding part of what I do for a living is seeing someone I’ve assisted in the store take a project somewhere they couldn’t have before due to limits in understanding of materials and technique, or even a lack of belief in themselves. Bonus points for when one of our staff takes the initiative and helps the customer achieve this on their own. This pertains to both our classrooms and our salesfloor, which is essentially a big open classroom space depending on how you think about it.
Pacers and Racers
3602 Northgate Court
What motivates you? Having a store environment that both the customers and employees enjoy being at. Over the years, so many retailers have abandoned the charm and service in favor of being profit driven. As a small business, it’s been great to be able to focus on our community and stay true to what has made us successful – which is service. It’s not hard to be kind to people and treat everyone like family.
What is the biggest professional risk you have taken? I fell into my role here at Pacers and Racers, so I am fortunate to not have much risk now, but I have done a wide variety of things over the years. I was a working musician for a good while, so all of that was risky in a sense there was such a large part of your career that was out of your hands, no matter how much effort you put into it. I feel I have been pretty lucky in the risk department.
What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living? It would have to be helping others. Everyone is unique, so you not only get to meet all types of great people, but you get to help their feet out while doing it. Finding the right pair of shoes requires us to ask questions about what they do in those shoes. Not a week goes by that I am not amazed by the life of one of our customers. Everyone is on their own journey, and I am so thankful that folks wear our shoes for that journey.
219 Pearl St.
What motivates you? I get incredibly motivated when given the opportunity to guide, mentor and develop the talents of others. I really enjoy training our new hires, helping them discover their passions and talents, and creating and environment for them to further cultivate that passion and skill set.
What is the biggest professional risk you have taken? Choosing to open a brick and mortar store versus staying online and selling through pop-up shops was the definitely the largest professional and financial risk I’ve ever taken.
What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living? One of my favorite things is meeting with a client for the first time whose confidence has deflated due to weight gain, aging or other body changes, and watching that confidence be completely restored through the guidance of one of our stylists or myself. Positively impacting others is difficult when you don’t feel great about yourself. Knowing that we are causing a positive ripple effect by helping others feel great about themselves is very rewarding.
Sweets By Morgan
533 Spring St.
What motivates you? Being able to make something different and meeting new people are what motivate me each day. I love being able to create new desserts and design different cakes for customers. I would get bored if I did the same thing day after day, and I’m lucky to be able to have freedom to create.
What is the biggest professional risk you have taken? My biggest professional risk I have taken is to open a brick and mortar store. We will be celebrating five years at our location in October, so I’m thankful the risk has worked out thus far.
What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living? I think the most rewarding thing about what I do for a living is being able to make beautiful and tasty sweets for customers events and parties. It’s so awesome getting to do what you love every day. We have the best customers ever, and I’m so thankful for all of them.
HIM Gentlemen’s Boutique
40314 Pearl St.
2352 Frankfort Ave.
What motivates you? One of my biggest motivators is my passion for helping people feel great. At Him, I have created my dream shopping experience for guys that gives them confidence in their own style.
What is the biggest professional risk you have taken? My biggest professional risk was leaving my corporate job and putting everything I had into starting Him Gentleman’s Boutique.
What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living? The most rewarding thing is all the support I have received from the community. It’s led me to build so many relationships with incredible people.
234 Pearl St.
562 South 4th St.
What motivates you? I love when I hear the words, “This is the coolest shop.” This is verification that we must be doing something right. It is my biggest motivation to keep doing what we are doing.
What is the biggest professional risk you have taken? The biggest risk I have taken professionally was quitting my job in the corporate world and start working the store full time.
What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living? The most rewarding part of my job is knowing that we created a very successful, fun, quirky business that people love.
138 E. Spring St.
What motivates you? I have vision. I can see a way to affect people’s lives in the most powerful, potent and positive ways. I can see that the thing I’m doing has the potential to change the world; for people to heal themselves and be free. I can’t stop because the fire inside of me burns too hot.
What is the biggest professional risk you have taken? I can’t say it’s something that would be easy to see. But I think standing up for what I believe and holding tight to my point of view, even when I can feel the criticism, the judgment and the projection. It’s happening all the time. There’s a constant test to take. But there’s always someone knocking on my door saying I can’t do what I believe in – and I just keep going.
What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living? When people’s lives change for the better. And when they change in ways that I couldn’t have predicted. It feels like a miracle. Every single time.
Dress & Dwell
138 E. Spring St.
What motivates you? The hunt. I am always on the hunt for the latest and greatest. I love searching for what’s on trend at our Dress & Dwell fast fashion price point. I’m always on the hunt! From market to travel. I absolutely love market as well as sourcing and finding new brands when I travel. I am very interested in traveling and what else is going on in the fashion world that isn’t what I am most familiar with. I’m currently in France scouting boutiques and finding new brands as well as antique buying with my husband for his business and buying displays for Dress & Dwell.
What is the biggest professional risk you have taken? If you’re an entrepreneur you are definitely more of a risk taker because as a small business owner, you aren’t guaranteed anything. I’ve taken my fair share of risk over the eight years we’ve been in business, but I believe in steady growth that’s good for both Dress & Dwell and my family. Steady growth has helped us build a strong brand, which has its own difficulties. As you grow, you are challenged to learn new things that maybe isn’t your what you are accustomed to and familiar with and that within itself can be risky.
What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living? It’s a two part answer: It’s wonderful to help women feel great through fashion and enjoy an experience that makes them feel joy. I also love mentoring my team, seeing them grow and the relationships that cultivate through our business.
J&B Magic Shop
129 East Spring St.
What motivates you? At the end of the day, it’s just people: I’s about making people smile and making people have a better day. I was going through a divorce, unhappy and didn’t know what I was gonna do. I walked into a magic shop, and it changed my life. I walked out a happy man. I didn’t think about the divorce and losing friends and losing everything. For three or four days, all I thought about is “How the hell did that thing happen?” and I just want to give that moment to people.
What is the biggest professional risk you have taken? Six years ago, I quit my big job, a sales job, to start the Magic Firm, which is a magic business consulting company. I dropped everything. I looked at my wife, Stephanie, and said I’m just not happy doing what I’m doing, I need to be doing something else, I need to be making art. We downsized the house, sold everything, eliminated all of our overhead and started living the dream so I could do what I loved to do. And then three months ago, we got a brick and mortar magic shop in New Albany where we are doing shows and theatre.
What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living? The most rewarding thing I do is sharing moments with people. We actually had a customer come in this week, saw a magic trick, left, came back three minutes later crying, “I don’t understand what just happened. Thank you for that.” Part of having the magic shop is passing the torch forward. I get to see people my age bring their kids in and tell me the story of how they went into the magic shop in Jeffersonville 20 years ago. And hopefully these kids that come into my magic shop will remember the magic and that moment.
222 Pearl St #102
What motivates you? One of my favorite quotes is “Owning a business is like riding a lion. People think, “Wow, that’s really brave!” In the meantime you’re like, “How the hell did I get a lion, and how do I keep it from eating me!?” I get so wrapped up in the day to day stuff sometimes I forget to stop and be present in the moment.
What is the biggest professional risk you have taken? The biggest risk would be owning Mariposa Consignments. That was nearly eight years ago. There were many freak out moments in the middle of the night – still do sometimes. Downtown was just beginning, and the bridge had closed. It was sink or swim. I ate and breathed Mariposa. No one cares more about your business than YOU. Owning a business is a love/hate relationship.
What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living? The most rewarding things are those moments when customers come in and tell us we made a difference. Sometimes, it’s us (Mariposa staff) and sometimes it’s our space. We help them find that special treat and become a part of their day. What has surprised me are the moments when a client says,”You know, when I was here last week, it was one of the worst days of my life. I came in here and you made me feel better.” I never expect that, and it humbles me every time. Our customers have become like family. We have been through births, deaths, proms, weddings, special occasions, health diagnoses, promotions and life changes.
4020 Earnings Way
What motivates you? Enjoying my job motivates me. Having good workers around me doing their job motivates me.
What is the biggest professional risk you have taken? Biggest risk was opening my own business. Most rewarding is opening my own business. There were and always will be struggles, but overall, I would have rather have taken the risk of opening my own business than looking back years later and wondering if I could have done it. I live with the risk of failure everyday, but it just keeps me moving forward and trying new ideas and taking more risk.
What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living? The most rewarding thing to me is the accomplishment of taking nothing and building a financially successful business from the ground up.
NICOLE LENFERT SHARP
Balance Holistic Salon
1419 E Spring St.
What motivates you? My motivation and inspiration stems from my creativity. I love being an artist. The beauty industry has allowed me to express my artistic side for 16 years now. As a business owner, I can finally put all of my ideas to life. Balance Holistic Salon is my work of art.
What is the biggest professional risk you have taken? The biggest risk I took was opening up my space in two weeks time – but I did it! Passing state board, ordering supplies, filing LLC, and promoting my new business with a logo, brand, etc. I probably didn’t need to go so big so fast, but that’s how I roll. I get an idea, and so it shall be done!
What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living? The most rewarding thing to me about being a hair designer is the experience we give our clients from the minute they walk into the door. They can finally relax. From the scalp massage to their finished look, we are making people feel good about themselves.