We had the good fortune of connecting with Courtney Turner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Courtney, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started my own business because I wanted to make more money and I hoped to eventually have more time to myself as well. I had been frustrated working for other people; toiling in middle management where I didn’t have enough power to make important changes to the company culture, but I did have just enough power to be responsible for the problems that arose from the clunky corporate structure. I worked in retail, so I’ll just leave it at that.
So in my late twenties, I decided to take a gamble. I would borrow every cent I could get my hands on and open a salon and spa, which is an industry that I thought could be very enjoyable if it was done right. I put everything on the table, every credit card, the equity in my house, my car, everything. People thought I was crazy, and sometimes I thought they were right. I would just say, I’m betting on me. I’m betting that I can work around the clock, suffer any hardship, and just fight longer than anyone else. Then I lost my house, my car was repossessed, and I was sued by a dozen creditors. There was nothing left to take, and so there was nothing left to lose. I kept a smile on my face, kept my problems to myself… I even made friends with the lady who would serve me papers seemingly every week. We would smile at each other and she would graciously serve me the court documents in silence so my clients and staff didn’t know. I faked it until I made it if you will.
The guiding principle was to treat people right. Most stylists are treated rather poorly in most salons, and my gamble was that if you treat them right, success will follow. It turned out to be a good bet. Gradually I developed a great team of people and now I work a lot less. Although it took almost ten years, I’m really glad I stuck it out. Now I get to raise my kids, focus more on creating art, and I launched a company to sell my work, called Kinsley Cole. So far, I’ve met a lot of people, sold a few pieces, and I’m learning how to market in this new industry. I look forward to a time when I can create art on a full time basis.
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.
I’ve been creating art almost 25 years now. I have had many challenges over the years. I attended college as an art major for two years before I decided to change to a business major instead. I was also discouraged by many people who thought art was not a very “safe” career in terms of money. However, these are the same people who told me not to open a business either, so.
A lot of artists concentrate on one type of medium or subject matter but I enjoy it all. My favorites are soft pastels, acrylics, watercolors, and oils. I get bored easily, which I think is common for entrepreneur types. Although if I had to pick one subject to paint I think it would be landscapes and seascapes. Dramatic clouds and oceans are probably my favorite.
Over the years I have watched thousands of videos, read hundreds of books, and studied under some amazing people. With all the Youtubers and wonderful technology we have today, the learning path is really wide.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
South Florida has some of the most amazing art districts and art shows. The art district in Miami and in Orlando are probably two of my favorite places to go. Magnificent displays of so many different artists and varieties of styles. My town, Vero Beach, has multiple art shows throughout the year. Vero Beach has an entire art district in the downtown area which has gallery after gallery. I also have the pleasure of living very close to the Vero Beach Art Museum which exhibits many different artists on a regular basis. One of the state’s most popular parks is Riverside Park which is where the art museum is located. There are numerous art museums and events to visit in the Treasure Coast vicinity, not to mention the West Palm or Miami area.
Thousands of restaurants and outdoor cafes complete any Florida experience. Florida is also known for its outstanding beaches and parks, many of which are wonderful to paint.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Over the last few years, I have studied and followed the works of Chris Fornataro, Susan Jenkins, Bethany Fields and Andrew Tischler. They have been a huge help in bringing my work to the next level and I credit them for much of my recent success. Also my husband, who is always so encouraging, and he is sitting nearby and probably reading this.