Gallery owner learns the business side of art

Galleries On The Go of Pinellas County

Sara Mullins knows the struggle of being an active artist in today’s society, but she definitely breaks the starving artist myth.

In 2013 Mullins started her business, Galleries On The Go, a company that brokers highly trafficked public spaces for local artists to showcase and sell their work around the Tampa Bay area. Originally starting with one location in Indian Shores, the business has since grown to 14 locations around the Tampa Bay area.

Like many small businesses, she faced a few challenges in getting her company started. Mullins reached out to the Florida SBDC of University of South Florida to learn new ways to network her services. “The SBDC of USF has been such an instrumental part of helping me do the research and discovery ways to network as well as getting those ideas in place that can really help me move forward,” Mullins said.

Working with her consultant Karen Krymski, Mullins soon discovered her business qualified for the HUBZone program, a platform that helps businesses located in underutilized areas.

“The specific consulting services that I received from the SBDC at USF have to do with the research regarding the HUBZone this building is in and then reaching out to the city of Clearwater and finding out what the opportunities might be in the area and being able to sit down with those city officials and talk through the proposal and then ask for some feedback and to stay in touch,” Mullins said.

Understanding the needs and how to reach out to the local area and business market is paying off. Mullins continues to work with Krymski and has recently found success in developing a contract to manage the gallery spaces at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater.

“The advice I’d give to any small business owner is do your research, find people who can help you find the research, and stay with them. One thing that I like about Karen Krymski is that she follows up, I don’t have to go looking for her and that’s important to me because I’m a busy person and on the go all day long and small businesses need to know that there’s somebody out there that they can reach out to. If Karen doesn’t know the answer I know she’s going to find it for me and get right back to me,” Mullins added.