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Art for Sale

Photo of Heather Sams

Jacksonville, FLA- Heather Sams, Owner of HAS Art Solutions, LLC. (HASAS) has increased her revenue by 50%, has hired 7 new people, and has expanded her space as a result of her participation in ScaleUp North Florida, funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and administered through the Small Business Development Center at the University of North Florida.

The ScaleUp America Initiative is designed to help small firms with high potential “scale up” and grow their businesses so that they will provide more jobs and have a greater economic impact, both locally and nationally. The SBA has structured this community-focused initiative with local entrepreneurial ecosystems in mind: a key emphasis of the program is building and strengthening entrepreneurial networks within a particular community, so that firms can grow by leveraging and complimenting the existing resources and expertise in their areas. Jacksonville, Florida is one of the handful of metropolitan areas that this program is available in nationwide. Visit the ScaleUp North Florida Website for more information about participation information.

Sams started HASAS in 2009, after the recession because the art firm she worked for closed down. The company provides design, consultation, commissioning, acquisition, framing fabrication, delivery, installation, artist development, and representation for the art industry.  Sams was active in the arts community for 30 years and at one point worked for a museum working in their curatorial, development and marketing departments. Her passion for art and creativity would serve as the basis for her business, but she was not naturally entrepreneurial. She was still searching for another job when she was laid off. It was not until a previous client asked her to continue to help them search for art pieces in the interim that she decided she would work for herself. That client would later also convince her to start a business and work for herself. Sams agreed in part because she needed to support her 4 children.

Selling art and design can be a difficult industry to be profitable in. Some challenges include managing inventory for artists and meeting demand for a client’s vision. There is also no typical budget per project and it varies greatly based on what the client needs. Sams leveraged her experience in art to provide customers with a vision. She has M.A. in Art History and an MBA in Arts Administration. This background gave her the knowledge on buying and supplying art to clients, however she was not fully prepared to handle the administrative components of the business. Although Sams described her biggest challenge in growing as confidence, she feels better equipped to run her business after participating in the ScaleUp program.

In growing her business, Sams identified ways to provide art so that it would be cost effective and allowed her to have a competitive advantage. She diversified the business by adding custom framing and other print productions to her business line.  Adding a manufacturing component to her business allowed her to grow her revenues, however her accounting practices were leading to losses.

The ScaleUp program offered Sams the opportunity to review her finances in detail with a specialist. The specialist helped her identify some pain points and together they created a strategic plan to combat the losses. Sams along with the other students created actionable goals and used those strategies to grow their businesses. The changes have allowed Sams to grow the company in all the measurable ways a business can grow such as revenue, space, and job creation.

Heather Sams, Owner, HAS Art Solutions, LLC. can be reached at 2385 Corbett Street, Jacksonville, FL, 32224 or at               (904) 503-9800. The company website is www.hasartsolutions.com.