Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in arts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rikiesha Metzger, Founder of Art with Rikiesha, located in Baltimore, MD, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

My business is all about making art. I began Art with Rikiesha in 2010 after receiving my Masters in Community Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art. While attending graduate school, I frequently found myself visiting various schools and recreation centers in Baltimore City in an effort to inspire more people (from children to adults) to embrace art as a way of expression. As a result, I now work with homeschoolers and private schools, host art events, and tutor students who wish to advance their artistic abilities.

Tell us about yourself

I am a multifaceted, multi-disciplined International Community Artist-Philosopher with a wide range of interests. My art is a synthesis of my spirituality and my feelings. My inspiration comes from spiritual influences that are unseen but felt through my emotions. As a multifaceted, multi-disciplined International Community Artist-Philosopher who uses everything from paintings, sculptural forms, performance arts, and digital art platforms, my work revolves around themes related to race, identity, and beauty. I first started working on my business after attending graduate school. I created miniature figurines I call Little Inspirations of Hope as a way to stay connected with the people I came in contact with while working in Baltimore City. A 'little inspiration of hope' is my motivation. Through these little inspirations, I am reminded that we are all spirits having a human experience, which allows us to relate to each other because of our commonalities. These inspirations give me hope that art might be the change the world needs to see.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is being able to work for myself with freedom and flexibility! In my capacity as a working mother, wife, doctoral candidate, and adjunct faculty member, I am free to come and go as I please, accept or reject independent contracts, and determine my own rates. I place a high value on the work I do and the services I provide because I am aware of how valuable I am. Creating connections within this achievement has been beneficial. As a result, I am able to meet with customers in various locations across Baltimore and the surrounding area. We can collaborate via zoom, or I can do studio sessions at my home.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Being a business owner is challenging in many ways, including remembering to take care of oneself. I occasionally have a tendency to get so engrossed in marketing and advertising that I neglect to perform the most basic things, like taking a break. I constantly remind myself to maintain a healthy lifestyle to prevent burnout. Being in charge requires accountability and discipline. I am responsible for everything business-related, including winning contracts, issuing invoices, and bookkeeping. As a one-woman operation, I need my family's support and understanding to realize that I am a whole person and I cannot be divided. When it comes to acknowledging the numerous hats I wear, I've learned to be kind to my family and myself.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Start your own business without fear! You can do it, but it will require a lot of work.
  2. Focus on your business, vision, mission, and goals. Once you are clear on what you want, all that is left to do is go after it.
  3. Query other business owners for advice. Support is crucial. Do not try to reinvent the wheel. Use all of your available resources.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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