The Art of Business
Lisa England Schuster intended to work with artists, not become one. But along the way, the 1987 M.B.A. graduate deviated from the business plan she developed while a student at Xavier. And last November, she opened Schuster Art Gallery and Studio in Walton, Ky., to showcase and sell her own work.
Schuster’s original venture, created under the guidance of Sandy Eustis, former director for the Xavier entrepreneurial center, involved building a roster of artists and selling prints of their work to frame shops.
In the process, however, it planted the seeds for a major life change. “I was working with these artists and I always had the feeling, ‘I can do this,’ even though I’d never done art,” she says. “I knew what I wanted. So I started painting in 1994.”
Schuster accumulated a large backlog of paintings in a variety of media and decided to take the next step, opening her own gallery. Early results were promising—Schuster sold about a dozen paintings prior to Christmas.
Now she is looking forward to developing as an artist while retaining her solid business grounding. “Up until now it has been more about business—painting things that will sell,” she says. “Now it’s more soul-searching and more artistic. But it takes both for either of them to be successful.”