“I didn’t know what I had before Ventures”
Seven years ago, Amaranta Sandys was a single mother working part-time jobs and wishing she had more independence to raise her son. Without support from family, however, it was hard to image maintaining financial stability while making a career change.
That’s when she started taking classes with Ventures. These classes helped her develop her ideas into a business plan. She started Art Maranta Illustrations, which provides bi-lingual educational art services to schools and lets Amaranta sell her art at the same time.
“For many years, I worked the 40-hour work week as a dishwasher, answering phones,” said Amaranta, “Now, I have a product and a service. Ventures helped me understand that. I didn’t know what I had before Ventures.”
“I love that you never stop learning.”
2020 has been particularly hard on small businesses, especially ones like Amaranta’s which were based on in-person interaction. The Ventures Marketplace, where Amaranta sold art, needed to shut down because of the pandemic and much of Amaranta’s in-school teaching was thrown into limbo.
But Amaranta did not panic. She said that the lessons of self-reliance and problem solving she learned while starting her business gave her the confidence to adapt. “It takes a lot to be your own business, but it works with my personality. I love that you never stop learning,” said Amaranta.
She was able to work with Seattle Public Schools to teach her classes to young students remotely using Facebook live. She dropped off art supplies with some students and developed 90-minute videos that could be used for educational purposes.
Amaranta also looked for new opportunities to bolster her business during COVID. She applied to design the artwork for a COVID-safety public service campaign from the Department of Transportation. Now you can see her artwork on bus billboards with coronavirus safety information.
“Having my artwork out there has been a dream.”
Amaranta is excited to have the Ventures Marketplace re-open. While she has participated in virtual galleries and set up an online store, she thinks that buying art is a personal experience and hopes the Ventures Marketplace will help her re-connect with customers.
Amaranta remains upbeat. She is grateful for Ventures’ business resources and coaching, which helped her stay creative and adapt during a difficult year. “Now I’m thinking I need to call my coach because I need to figure out how to sell on Instagram. I don’t know how to do that yet!” she said.
Visit Ventures Marketplace Friday & Saturday 10am – 4pm and Sunday 11am – 4pm to support Art Maranta Illustrations and over 75 other small businesses. We are also offering curbside pickup through our online store.In About Ventures, Impact, Impact Spotlight, Incubation, Incubation Spotlight