December Business Spotlight - Art of Hope
This month’s featured business of Art of Hope, owned and operated by Hope G. Smith.
Tell us about yourself:
I am 40 years old and have a husband (Kevin) and two children Weston 13 and Savannah 11. I have loved art for a long time and got a serious interest in it in high school. I decided I wanted to make a career of some sort of art so I attended UNCG and received a Bachelors degree in Art Education. I taught art in the schools for 3 years and this led me to wanting to open my on art and frame shop in which I have had for almost 15 years. Which leads me to how AOH started.
How did Art of Hope come to be?
When I knew teaching art was not for me, I set down one day and decided to just dream up what I would really would want to do if I could do anything. I wrote it all down. I wanted a gallery to sell my art and a frame shop to go with it (they kinda go hand in hand). I had been told by one of my college professors that I could open a gallery if I moved out of NC somewhere art was thriving (lol). Well here I was in Wallace NC with population of 3500 and not what I’d call an “art community” to say the least. But I was young and clueless enough to think it could work (thank God). So...I opened Art of Hope and have literally prayed my way through this journey. I now have 3 stores and ship all over the world. Our minds are powerful and if we believe we can...we can. If we seek HIM first and let him guide instead of “reason” then he will NOT let us down. “Delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” He has done just that and continues. I could have never dreamed this up! Well I guess I did and then he decided to blow it out of the water! Lol
What do offer?
I paint acrylic on canvas paintings that are whimsical inspirational pieces. Some have verses or sayings or songs in them that inspire others. They have lots of color and movement in them. With most of these pieces we scan them and make prints on canvas and artist paper to sale. I also paint places such as landmarks, homes, places of businesses, churches, etc. for customers. We also have framing that we offer for all. Customers bring their personal pieces in and we custom frame them.
The biggest obstacle in owning my own business:
The numbers side of business has always been a challenge for me. My husband takes care of a lot of this but I have to do a lot of it as well. Also, anything that goes wrong (and it will) reflects me. My name is on it and it really hard for me not to take it on. I tend to be a people pleaser and want to make everyone happy but it doesn’t always happen so I take that hard. I have many verses that help me through things like this. Business is scary and can activate all your fears but all this can be turned into faith and a chance to trust the lord to do his thing to work it out...and I’ve seen him do this over and over. Which leads me to ...
What are the rewards in business...
Seeing God take someone who is very human and ordinary (myself) and take the vehicle (art) and use it for his glory and making it all extraordinary! He always blows my mind. Every time I have another opportunity open up and the human side of me is very scared and fearful...he says “do you trust me?” and being that He has proven himself over and over I know I can trust Him and I go for it. And God keeps showing off. That is our purpose...allowing God to do what he does through us! He just happen to be using art and framing for me to do it through.
I now have 3 locations:
105 W Main Street
Wallace, NC (original location)
106 East Main Street
5425 Hillsborough Street
All locations are open Monday- Saturday 10-5
I am so impressed by Hope, and love that she used her talents and passions to create a live she dreamed of through her faith in God. If you are local to one of her locations, make sure you stop buy.
Hope, thank you so much for being such an example to all women in business chasing their dreams!