After 25 years of selling art in downtown Olympia, owner Deb Moody is ready to move on. She’s ready for freedom away from set hours and ready to possibly sell her own art on the Oregon coast.
Now, she just needs to sell the business. State of the Arts Gallery is advertised for sale at bizbuysell.com and so far has attracted interest from “six or seven” people, she said, including Julia Annis, 46, of Olympia, who works as a server at Alderbrook Resort & Spa.
Annis, who met with Moody on Tuesday, appears eager to buy the business on contract from Moody. She’s launched a GoFundMe page and hopes to raise $20,000. In making her case to be the next owner of the gallery, Annis cited her good credit, her business background and the steps she’s taken to improve her knowledge of business, including participating in the low-income entrepreneur training program offered by Enterprise for Equity.
Annis, too, is more than familiar with the gallery because she used to work next door at Buck’s Fifth Avenue and ran a gallery of her own called Firebrand.
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She called buying State of the Arts a “great opportunity.” One of her early ideas, should she become the new owner, is to offer art classes, she said.
She said she thinks Fifth Avenue is about to “pop” in terms of increasing activity, thanks to more apartment dwellers downtown.
Whoever becomes the next owner, Moody offered this advice: Expand the hours, review the inventory of art to ensure it fits the owner’s vision and support the artists who show their work at State of the Arts.
“Enjoy what you do,” she said.
As for Moody, she said it took tenacity to run the business all these years, adding she was grateful for her husband’s support.
“I just believed in what I was doing,” she said. It also was, at times, a wild ride, citing her experience during the Great Recession.
“As with any business, sometimes there’s no figuring out the public,” Moody said. She also leaves with some mixed emotions, saying her son practically grew up in the gallery. He learned to greet customers as a boy and even sold a few watercolor paintings.
Moody said her goal is to sell the business by Jan. 1.
“I’d like to go out with a big party,” she said, giving her an opportunity to say goodbye and for the new owner to say hello.
State of the Arts Gallery
Owners: Deb and Hugh Moody, but perhaps not for much longer. The business is for sale.
Location: 500 Washington St. SE.
Type of business: Art Gallery.
Years in business: 25 years.
Hours: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Did you know? The business is advertised for sale at bizbuysell.com. Deb Moody is also an artist. Her preferred mediums are mixed media and encaustic art, using hot wax.