Meet Art Houzze and Wheaton Whaley Designs owned by women in Greenville SC
There is no set recipe for business success, but hard work, a great team, and a creative vision are certainly part of the mix. This month, we’re featuring two companies that bring beauty to life and help others make their dreams come true. And that’s a pretty good standard for doing right and doing right.
When entrepreneurs know their strengths, the results can be amazing. For the women of Art Houzze – Courtney Bohman, Jill Alper and Kim Glenn – it means marrying their own creativity with their business background to serve artists in a unique way.
“Courtney and I met years ago,” says Alper. “We were walking and started talking about having art parties and helping local artists. It happened slowly. We really wanted to bring art out of Greenville.
“We were talking about the number of artists in our city,” says Bohman. “The idea was to take art for artists. We would have an arts event, but we would also find a charity in this community that was special to our host and give back. “
They started with their first art party in Atlanta. The events served to showcase the artists and give them a new audience. That model has changed over the past couple of years, especially with the addition of Glenn to the business.
“We’re curators, of course, but we really want to take the commercial part out of being an artist,” Bohman says. “We want artists to paint. Sometimes the business part is the hardest part.
Now the team is working with hotels and other developers to showcase artists.
“We work with developers who really want to beautify their space through art and tell a story,” says Bohman.
At Camperdown, the outdoor art provided by Art Houzze changes every four months and an Insta-moment wall engages social media in the mix.
“It’s a win-win,” says Glenn. “We love what we do. We love working with artists. They have the ability to sell and promote. And that’s great for the audience.
Recently, the team started selling artwork on the Art Houzze website, in addition to hosting artwork (with handy QR codes for those who want to buy or learn more) in a gallery in the Bank of America building in Camperdown. The three women bring their creativity and passion to create an alchemy of art and business in the service of artists and those who experiment with their work.
“We have creativity, but we have a business background,” says Glenn. “We are leveling off and we are a great team. “
Alper has collected art wherever she has traveled for years. Art Houzze allows him to sow that seed for the residents of Greenville and the many people who visit downtown.
“Even when I had no money, I found a work of art,” she says. “My whole house, every room has a story. “
Learn more about arthouzze.com.
Ask any designer for the easiest and fastest way to refresh your home decor and cushions will definitely be part of the equation. And in an age when everyone is spending more time at home and big chunks are hard to come by, Elizabeth Wheaton of Wheaton Whaley Designs is responding to a need from clients and her team as well.
People who contact Wheaton often assume his last name is Whaley. Not enough.
“The grandmother who taught me to sew, her maiden name was Whaley,” says Wheaton. “When I was trying to come up with a name, I thought that was a pretty good tribute for her.”
The pillow business was born out of necessity, and it has grown widely in this way as well, providentially staying one step ahead of an emerging need. When Wheaton got married in 2014, her husband was a student at Clemson. Two months later, she found out she was pregnant. A few months before the birth of their first child, Wheaton, who was working full time, decided to start his own part-time business, ordering $ 100 worth of fabric and making a few pillows. Then things took off.
After selling through a friend online, on Etsy, and in local stores, the business has grown organically. When Wheaton was expecting her second child – she is now a mother of three – she set up a website to sell directly to customers. She also provided help in the form of a young woman who was working on creating her own clothing line.
“It was God telling me, ‘I’m preparing you for something. You have to do it now, ”she said. “I can see it now. After I had my second baby, I went back to work and they had cut my post. It was December 2019.
“When the pandemic hit it changed everything, including Wheaton’s business.
“Fortunately, I had created this website,” she says. Now Wheaton works with several people who sew the pillows, including his mother and sister, as well as a few house assistants. Every job she has created has filled a need.
“It really opened up a lot of doors that I never expected – not just for myself but for other people as well,” she says. “I also want to support creative people. “
Focusing on his faith and working behind his ideas gave Wheaton the strength to keep going. And she wants to use that to help other women move forward. “I was ready,” she said.
“I didn’t see this when I lost my job with a new baby at home, but God did. It literally started because when I was pregnant I had insomnia and bought the fabric at 1 a.m. You’ll never meet someone who says I’m lazy. I am willing to work very hard to accomplish what I need to accomplish. Most women are willing to work hard.
Learn more about Wheatonwhaleydesigns.com.