Editor’s note: For our annual Women in Business issue, we invited women in our local business communities to share insights they’ve gained through their work in Western North Carolina.
Local artist Melissa Moss owns and operates Melissa Moss Art, a studio inside Riverview Station in the River Arts District. Her work is also featured at Kress Emporium, Woolworth Walk and Art Garden.
Xpress: What piece of advice do you wish you’d been told prior to launching your business?
Moss: I think time management is a struggle for any small-business owner. You never feel like you can take time off because everything depends on you. I wish that someone had made me feel OK about taking time off for me. Burnout is real, especially in a creative business, and it’s really important to continue to love what you do.
How do you feel women in leadership experience their roles differently today than they may have in the past?
I’ve been in the art business for over 20 years and have definitely noticed a change in the way women are perceived and treated. When I first started shopping my art around, I was told by a male gallery owner that I would never be able to show in a gallery without an MFA, which was wrong, of course. I just can’t see that happening today. “Women-owned” is something customers seek out now.
What is your most memorable experience as a business owner, and what have you learned from it?
Last year, I moved out of my basement studio in my house into a studio in the River Arts District, a huge leap for me. It was scary at first, and I was out of my element, but now I love being a part of this artist community and interacting with customers. Change is good.