Loreen Hospodar, Owner of Reenie Rose in Chicago has one of the coolest business! Loreen creates commissioned artwork of wedding florals. She immortalizes the bridal bouquet. I love this! Having been married for 8 years, I’m still struggling to find the right artwork for my home. This is a great keepsake for someone who is about to marry or has been recently married. Not only does it create a wonderful memento, but also acts as a wonderful artistic piece in a newlywed home. Make sure to check out the video of Loreen creating a masterpiece.
Owner, Reenie Rose
Why did you start your business?
Like many entrepreneurial businesses, Reenie Rose was more of a happenstance than a drawn out desire to start my own business. A family friend that had purchased artwork from me in the past wanted me to paint something for her niece as a wedding gift. After brainstorming a bit, we decided that I would paint the bride’s bouquet since I had always gravitated towards painting natural objects. Upon completion of the painting, we both stood back from it and realized that this painting was more than just a painting….it was an idea (and not one that many had discovered). So, I did my research and found this great niche in the wedding industry. The options for bouquet preservation were terribly out of date. The idea of something creative, timeless and modern was wonderfully embraced by my wedding industry peers as an option for couples looking to remember their wedding day through a piece of artwork.
What book do you recommend to new business owners?
I am very lucky with Reenie Rose…I can listen to audiobooks while I paint. I tend to do a lot of “reading” which has allowed me to discover that business books are really not as boring to listen to as people may think. I highly recommend Steve Jobs’ book. The story of Apple and his life are completely fascinating, and it brought me a clarity of how I want my business to run and be perceived. The E-Myth by Michael Gerber gave me a perspective on how to go about working ON my business rather than IN my business through systems and strategy. And, then there is The 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss which was recommended by The Simple Plan‘s very own, Kelly Simants. I came to her needing something to help me with time management, and this book definitely steered me into addressing time consuming issues in a more logical way. It also got me to thinking about painting on a house boat in Paris…..
Do you have any cool goal-setting tips to share with us?
I am always looking for new ways to successfully accomplish my goals, and what I have found is that different strategies work for different people. Having tested a few methods out, I am beginning to know what works for me. Looking at the big picture all the time stresses me out, so I only address 3-5 years in the future when I feel that I know what I want for that time period, and then I break down everything from that point ….year to quarter to month to week to days. I set goals for what I hope to accomplish in each of these segments and put a stronger focus on weekly and daily goals/projects.
What do you find to be the biggest challenge as a business owner?
There are a bunch of challenges when you own your own business, but I think when you are not only the business owner but also the producer, this creates a whole new set of challenges. Because my paintings take a little bit of time to create (about 35-60 hours depending on the composition), I sometimes have a hard time balancing being an artist along with all of the other business hats I wear. I am lucky to have my mom working with me on marketing Reenie Rose and an intern for the summer, but it doesn’t stop me from still wanting to have a hand in the tasks I delegate to others. I constantly remind myself that I have to work on the most important part of the business….the money maker….. the paintings.
If you were starting your business all over again, what would you have done differently?
Being a new business with a fresh new concept, it was difficult for me to price my work since there was nothing in the industry to compare it to. I raised my prices over and over again as I began to feel more confident with my work and how it was being received. All along I’ve known what my art was valued at, but I didn’t believe that others would value it the same way. If I could go back, I would have initially priced my paintings closer to what they are today. Rather than waiting for my audience to respond to Reenie Rose, I would have set the bar high from the beginning to truly reflect what Reenie Rose is today: a valuable asset reflecting a wedding memory.
And, if you’re in the Chicago area make sure to check out FORM tonight…
Natural Beauties, Abryant Gallery, Reenie Rose, and Kristine Aletha Weddings presents FORM a juried group-exhibition featuring ten artists and five florists. Collaboration is a process often used by artists, but is becoming more common in almost every other field. FORM is a platform for a cross-occupational exchange. Artists were asked to submit a work of art that is then visually translated by a florist into an arrangement. Both the artwork and the accompanying floral arrangement will be on exhibit to show the dialogue that happens through the art of interpretation.