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The Toronto Sun CareerConnection


Don't be afraid to challenge convention

By Roger Pierce

The business of art conjures up images of people sipping wine in a trendy gallery, gushing over the colourful pieces hanging on the walls. Entrepreneur Nadine Hunt is challenging such conventional methods by selling art in a different way.
Entrepreneur Nadine Hunt sells the works of talented artists on her greeting cards, which are sold over the web and at "card parties."

Hunt sells the works of leading illustrators, visual artists and photographers on greeting cards through her company Impart Inspirations ( Her cards can be purchased conveniently through her online store and at "card parties" hosted in customers' homes.

"These options, in particular the card parties, are unique marketing methods for the greeting card industry," Hunt says.

She got the idea for her small business while visiting a friend's art exhibit. "I thought there would be a real market for his work," she recalls. Intrigued, she did some research and discovered that greeting cards are an excellent and affordable way to deliver the beautiful works of artists to consumers.

It's a win-win situation for Hunt and her participating artists, who gain access to a previously untapped market.

"We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with an amazing group of artists," Hunt says. "Their art has helped us to create a breathtaking collection of greeting cards for all occasions."

By thinking "outside the box," entrepreneurs can create innovative new ways to do business. For example, Michael Dell revolutionized the personal computer industry by selling customized machines directly to consumers instead of through retail stores.

However, being an innovator can come at a cost.

"I've learned that things take much longer to happen than anticipated, so it's important to have patience," Hunt says. "You've got to stay motivated and upbeat because there are so many frustrations when starting your own small business."

Nonetheless, Hunt gets excited about the endless opportunities for her young venture. "I can't wait to add new artists, build my online store and develop more card parties," she says.

-- Entrepreneurship expert Roger Pierce trains people on how to start a small business in the Up & Running Biz Launch Program.

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