Cathie Nelson is the owner of Uncork the Artist, an art collaborative that brings creativity to individuals, families, friends and businesses all around Toledo, creating unity and healing in the process. Cathie prides herself on being a combination of a teacher, social worker and self-taught entrepreneur with a whole lot of natural artistic ability. It’s a beautiful blend of type A and B personalities with a touch of ADHD! She tends to care about other people more than herself or money. While this isn’t a traditional business model, it certainly works for her!
Being a teacher, she has summers off but has found out that this does not mesh well with her “go-getter” type of personality so she’s always had a side hustle to make her own. Uncork the Artist is the one that stuck! It is a place that makes people happy and they always leave with a sense of accomplishment.
The biggest challenge she has had to overcome so far within her business is sustaining through COVID-19. However, this hasn’t stopped her from appreciating the impact of her work. Every time someone tells her how much Uncork the Artist has changed their life, it makes her excited to keep going! Seeing the customer loyalty in action and the community that’s developed has been worth the struggle. It is easy to get attached to people and their stories and soon enough, they become part of your family. It’s such a personal experience and it’s the main thing that keeps her going through this difficult time! She HAS to succeed for THEM.
An additional challenge that came up in the past was when a national paint & sip chain/franchise strategically opened directly across the street. This is a small business owner’s worst nightmare! She was no longer the only shop in town and having to actually compete on a larger scale was a new modality. They were fiercely competitive and it began to dull her enthusiasm. Nevertheless, she continued to focus on the passion behind what she does and resorted to acting like they did not exist. Eventually, she prevailed and they closed up their shop after three years.
As far as her future goals, Cathie would like to pursue an art therapy certification to be able to provide art to social service community agencies. She’s always had an interest in non-traditional classroom settings such as correctional or mental health facilities. Her goal is to get people to understand the therapeutic benefits art has and wants to develop a fully mobile model to travel anywhere and make an impact by exposing kids and teens to an art experience that they might not ordinarily have access to.
Her biggest advice to new female business owners and entrepreneurs is to seek a business mentor from the start! There is a wealth of knowledge to be gained from someone else’s experiences and this will allow you to be more productive and grow your business versus just sustain it. Make sure to connect with a successful business peer with similar goals in order to share strategies that work for both of you. Cathie has a few “go-to” people who are mutually invested in growth and nurturing. Trust someone, be vulnerable and be open to what you might not want to hear. It’s truly empowering!
Cathie joined HerHub because she followed the desire to be part of a greater whole within the community. The personal acknowledgement and accountability to do better and having the support and guidance from other amazing leaders is priceless! She feels this collaboration is important because sometimes you need to have your mind reset or refocused. It’s so easy to get stuck in your own head and having others around to keep you grounded is incredibly important.
She admires so many women in the community of Toledo including Natasha who owns Taste Wine Bar, a person with a mutual fire and desire to succeed. She is authentic, big on collaboration and lifting others up. She also recently met Stephanie Solheim who owns 3tubas Digital Marketing (and is marketing and communications for HerHub!). Stephanie completely overhauled her website and set it up for success and is an even better advocate for her business than she is!
Right now Cathie is offering her take-home art kits for 25% off. It’s a great way to unwind and hone into your creative side right in the comfort of your own home. Simply use code HERHUB at the checkout. We could ALL use an escape from the monotony of the world right now.
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