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Check Out Amy Stock’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amy Stock.

Hi Amy, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I grew up in a household where being an entrepreneur was undeniable for me. The house I lived in that was physically surrounded by the operations of my family’s business. Evening dinner conversations always included my parents talking about the day-to-day operations of the business. If I had to ask my dad permission to do something, it usually included me patiently waiting for him to finish a conversation with a customer before I could ask him my question. While all of this seemed very normal to me growing up, I quickly learned in my first corporate jobs out of college that the knowledge I gained from being surrounded by all of these conversations and operations made me wise beyond my years. I purposely chose to work for large corporations at the beginning of my career as I knew that corporations are a huge part of what makes this country run and if I was going to succeed as a business person, I needed to understand that culture. So what did I learn? I learned a lot of how not to do things and most importantly, I learned that my heart truly loves the culture of small businesses. Now I spend my time running my own small business and volunteer some of my free time to promoting all of the other amazing small businesses in my neighborhood.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I always knew that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. But what that looked like took years. My gut always told me to be patient and that it would come to me when it was time. I also knew that once I had solidified an idea in my head of what my business was going to be, how my business grew, was going to be a journey that took me on a path, I may have never planned. I knew that as long as I stuck to my true intentions, the path would take me on a journey to exactly where I needed to be. When I got to the place where I realized I wanted to open an art gallery, I was fully aware that to have a traditional brick and mortar space was going to be a big expense and it was quite possible that it wouldn’t be profitable. Fortunately, at that time, doing pop up galleries was just starting to be an upcoming trend. So I decided to go that route and build my business as a pop up before investing in a retail space right away. As 2019 was ending and 2020 was beginning, my sales were starting to look like opening a brick and mortar was going to be the next logical step. However, the pandemic quickly changed that. But what has come from people being at home on their computers is art collectors buying habits have also shifted and they are nowto being more comfortable buying art from their computer. This has lead me to my current iteration of my gallery being fully online. I think one of the most important qualities of an entrepreneur is enjoying a good challenge. That being said, I look forward to my next big challenge!

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’m a gallerist based out of Long Beach. I’d previously manage an art gallery in Orange County and was fully immersed in the art scene there and had never really paid attention to the art scene in Long Beach, even though that is where I lived. About five years ago, I started to realize that there were lots of artists living in Long Beach, however, there weren’t very many art galleries and I wasn’t seeing the type of art I gravitate towards. Everyone was going to Laguna or LA to buy art. That’s when I realized there was a huge opportunity to do something in the arts right here in Long Beach. As I did more research, I realized there was a need for more business-minded people in the arts locally, so I took the opportunity to open my own art gallery. Even though Long Beach has the most artists per capita west of the Mississippi, it’s a fairly tight-knit community that’s been so much fun to navigate.

My goal from the beginning has been to focus on the business aspect of promoting and selling art making sales, marketing and customer service top of mind, so that the artists I work with can focus on creating art. I’m here because I truly want my artists to be able to make a living doing what they love and not have to worry about the day-to-day business side of the art world. While growing up, I never imagined that my love for both business and art would lead me to owning my own art gallery. But I’m sure glad that’s where my path has taken me!

What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
I would have to say patience. It’s one of those themes that are constantly popping up in different ways. From knowing I needed to be patient in what my entrepreneurial endeavor would look like, to how I’m growing my business. I think someone that is wired to be an entrepreneur usually throws themselves into their idea wanting everything to come together quickly, and can often forget to step back and look at all of the hard work that’s been put into the business. Knowing when to step back and realize that it will happen in due time can be hard, but sometimes slowing down is when the best things happen.

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(for the two photos provided that are outdoors) Photo provided by Downtown Long Beach Alliance Photographer: Candice Wong

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