Arts, Entertainment, & Recreation

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Entrepreneur’s Guide: Starting and Growing a Business in Pennsylvania is a 108 page booklet filled with current information about free services, check lists, helpful tips and licensing procedures. Because the information in this guide is not intended to be the final statement on any subject, you will also find addresses, web sites and telephone numbers for contacting business-related agencies.

Mainstreet Art Centre

Professional artist and business owner Frankie Johnson, faced an unexpected challenge when her business partner decided to dissolve their partnership.

With decades of experience as an artist and teacher, she was confident Mainstreet Art Centre could still thrive under her leadership. Johnson quickly sought guidance from her local SCORE chapter and learned how to successfully organize a buyout and new business plan. 

Mainstreet Art Centre provides art classes, open studios, workshops, and supplies to artists northwest of Chicago.

To learn more about Mainstreet Art Centre, visit mainstreetartcenter.com.

Owner/Founder
Frankie Johnson
My Location
Lake Zurich IL
United States
Year Company Formed
1994
My Successes

As the new owner of Mainstreet Art Centre, Johnson reports that the company has been able to maintain a healthy level of profitability. The growing business provides a wide range of classes that are popular for professional artists, budding talents and children just discovering the fun of art. In addition, the facility also sells frames, equipment and art supplies and hosts demonstrations, workshops and other art-related events.

How SCORE Helped

While Johnson felt confident that she could run Mainstreet Art Centre as its sole owner, she had no idea about how to proceed with the buyout, particularly since the partner wanted their stake to be paid out in cash. She assumed that it’d take a business loan to execute the buyout, but even that was unknown territory for her.

"Buyouts were a complete mystery. I was a member of the chamber of commerce, which sponsors the local office of SCORE, so I went to SCORE," Johnson says.

Volunteer mentor Seymour Stoller met with Johnson and carefully examined Mainstreet Art Centre’s financials. He felt that the buyout could be funded entirely from company profits and recommended a structure for the buyout proposal. The details were worked out over two meetings, and after a series of negotiations, Johnson's partner accepted the proposal. Four months later, Johnson owned Mainstreet Art Centre free and clear.

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Haven Art Group Finds Success with SCORE

Drawing on her experience as a paintings specialist at Sotheby’s of London, a supervisor of appraisers at Chubb Insurance and director of the art services division of American International Group, where she advised on the management and protection of private art collections worth from $10 million to $1.2 billion, Claire Marmion started her own business, Haven Art Group, in 2009. The purpose of the business is to provide art management services for high net worth individuals with major art collections and for internationally-known art collectors, as well as art claims services for major insurers.  Claire  refers to herself as “a curator for hire”.

In October 2008, Claire came to SCORE seeking help in getting her business off the ground.  As Claire said, “I first stumbled onto Score completely by accident through a friend’s recommendation.  It was one of the most brilliant discoveries of my first year in business—a bright glow while wading through the slow and sticky tar that is building and then running your own office for the first time.”

To learn more about Claire’s business, see her website at http://www.havenartgroup.com

Owner/Founder
Claire Marmion
My Successes

Since its founding, Haven Art Group has grown substantially, opening offices in New York and Chicago.

What's Great About My Mentor?

Her primary SCORE counselor has been Mitchell Morris, with whom Claire has been working on a monthly basis.  According to Claire, “Mitch and the SCORE team were absolutely vital in keeping me focused, in providing tips for maintaining discipline and solving problems in bite-sized chunks—a business partner to brainstorm ideas with.  And it’s not over yet.  I hope I shall be sapping their energy for many prosperous business deals to come.”

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