We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexandra Franzese and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alexandra, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I started my own business, much like many others, panicking during the beginning of the pandemic. I lost my job due to lack of available work from COVID-19. Of course, I applied to as many jobs as I could, but without luck, I tried to make my own work. I have many online art shops including a Redbubble shop, TeePublic, Spoonflower, and Etsy shop. I wanted to make money to support myself. That was my main motivation in starting my own business.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My art journey started at Ringling College of Art and Design. I needed that education to really push me into being a better artist. I learned so much about the industry and what the art world had to offer. It was never easy trying to be a professional artist, even as a student. It is emotionally draining, it is long hours, and it is packed full of competition. After graduation it felt like I was never going to find a job. What kept me going was my passion for doing art. I felt like the only way I was going to be happy waking up every day was being able to do art. A large thing I learned the hard way was that no matter how hard you work, no matter how many rules you followed, it wasn’t guaranteed you were going to get a job. It still feels like a lottery sometimes. I decided when enough doors closed on me, I was going to make my own door. So I started my own business.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Currently, I’m living in Atlanta, but I am from Saint Petersburg, Florida. There are lots of places to visit there. I would recommend anything close to the beach. Saint Pete Beach is wonderful, as well as Clearwater Beach. There are so many great restaurants to eat outside and enjoy the sunny weather. I love downtown Saint Pete as well. There are great ice cream shops and a small park to walk around. Lots of museums to visit and art galleries to explore in walking distance.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are lots of people that have helped me get to where I am today. First, I would like to thank Ringling College of Art and Design. I graduated with my bachelors degree in illustration there. I would not be half the artist I am today without that education. I also want to give a shoutout to my family. Always, without hesitation, have believed that I could be an artist.