The economic downturn inspired owner Sara Mullins to find space for art despite the rapid closure of traditional galleries. She was also out of work and looking for meaningful employment, and found that many positions that she was qualified for and interested in no longer existed due to downsizing.
So she started Galleries on the Go, an art vendor service that connects local artists with businesses and municipalities to place gallery space in high-traffic areas.
Beyond creating her own job as head of Galleries on the Go, Mullins has been able to put artists back to work, both in design jobs and also in creating public art projects.
“When a rather large potential project came across my desk, I immediately reached out to my mentors,” Mullins recalls. “It was not directly related to my business vision but had huge sales potential. They saw the potential too, and strongly encouraged me to pursue the opportunity.” The success of that project was a huge revenue booster for Galleries on the Go.
Although Mullins has a business degree, SCORE mentors provided guidance and accountability to stay focused as Galleries on the Go grows. “I have a solid business plan and support, and dreams for the future. My mentors gave me extra-curricular reading assignments, too.”
Mentors Keith Knowles and Mats Bengtson from the Pinellas County chapter put their unique personalities together to work with Mullins. “They played 'bad-cop-good-cop' sometimes,” she says. One would give me the kick in the pants I needed to get back on track, and the other would give an encouraging word to feel good about the direction I was going. I don't think they staged it that way on purpose, but it was effective.”
“Having the backing of SCORE gives me credibility,” Mullins says. “I'm not just some artist painting out of my garage. When I mention that I have been in mentorship, people listen.”