Tammy and Michelle own a network of businesses in Carbonear: an art gallery and art school, a clothing company, a coffee shop/wine bar, and a boutique. The Ocean View Art Gallery represents over 65 established local artists; the boutique features the work of over 35 artisans, and the focus is very much on community.
Tammy and Michelle bounce ideas back and forth while dividing between them the tasks of running a business: one will attend an important client meeting while the other is networking or planning a future event. They work well together because they’re both driven, hardworking, and passionate about what they do. In spite of that, they were surprised to receive the award—“We thought they’d dialled the wrong number!” they said, laughing. But they are conscious of the kind of contribution they are striving to make: involving other people, being inclusive, and making an impact in the community.
Michelle and Tammy’s approach to new ideas is to think first in terms of the art, of creativity. After that come the practical questions about how to bring people in and implement the plan. Having a creative mindset first and figuring out the business end afterwards has helped them move forward, as has a positive attitude—ask Tammy Why? and her response is Why not?
Tammy and Michelle offer this advice to new entrepreneurs: do your homework, do your due diligence. Having ideas is wonderful, but they stress the importance of preparation, ensuring that the ideas are sound, asking questions, and listening to advice from anyone who will offer it: “Business is hard: you need to know what you’re getting into.”
The two business partners can list the benefits of entrepreneurship. Tammy appreciates the flexibility in managing work and home life: there’s no need to call in sick when you are the boss you would be calling. But it also makes for long hours of work, sometimes in isolation. Michelle loves being able to guide through the process of creating their art. They both draw inspiration from the people around them. Tammy is always learning from others; she says she takes a little piece of everyone she meets and uses it for good. Michelle is inspired to be the best she can be for her children and her art students.
Tammy always has a to-do list and checks it constantly, which is how she keeps her personal and business life moving forward. Life is busy, Michelle agrees, and she believes in creating a happy space: through this network of businesses she and Tammy offer a calm, relaxing, and inclusive place for the community to enjoy.
Economic Impact recognizes an entrepreneur whose business has significantly impacted the local economy. This entrepreneur has improved the economic position of the community in which it operates by employing local resources, stimulating growth and contributing to sustainable community development. Sponsored by Hebron Project