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Spring Open house at the Central Creatives!

Directions: Central Creatives is a part of the Piano Works Mall.

It is located at 349 W Commercial St, East Rochester, NY 14445.
Park near Ferrari’s restaurant look for a red door between the golf pro shop and the weaving shop. Enter the building at the red door, and proceed down the hall to the elevators. Take that to the second floor. You will exit the elevator and see welcome signs directing you to the various studios open for in the collective. 

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Happy Thanksgiving- so grateful for you!

This is an email I just sent to my dearest cheerleaders…

“Autumn Glory”

Happy Thanksgiving!

 
Thank you for your constant support of me and my big dream. So many of you have been with me, cheerleading from the beginning (40 years or so!) your encouragement, kind words, and support have truly helped me to bloom. This year has been an interesting one full of joys and challenges, I am grateful for both!
 
Holiday news! I have a whole line of new holiday cards for you in my greeting card company Greetings 4 Good! I am really excited to share that I have upgraded the stock I am printing on. It elevates the cards so nicely! I have cards that are appropriate for Christmas, Solstice, Hanukkah, and general holiday wishes. Cute and sentimental both! They are available on my website as well as in my studio! 
 
This weekend is Black Friday and Small Business Saturday! I have exciting items to help you give unique (and not big box boring) gifts. Puzzles, market bags, art mugs, prints, and more! I am open Friday and Saturday from 11 am until 4 pm!
 
One of the items I am most excited about is “Seeds of Affirmation – it is an affirmation deck of cards that I have created. Science proves that positive thoughts have an incredible influence on our health. It reduces stress, increases immunity, and even prolongs our life!  This deck is a set of fifty-two cards, each with a positive affirmation and original art. The debut was earlier this month and it was so well received, that I have already printed it a second time! The introductory price of $25 is valid through this weekend. Find the deck on my website or in my studio!
Affirmations celebrated
 
I have so much more to share, but I also know this is a crazy time and you likely have too many emails already. Thank you for reading mine! 
 
I hope that you will pop in this weekend (or make an appointment to do so) – or if you are not in the Rochester area, I hope to hear from you in another way. I hope that you are well. I hope your family and friends surround you with love and this holiday is full of great joy for you. 
 
Thank you again for your love and support. It sounds cliche, but I truly feel that my success is fueled by the positivity and support of those who have been so passionately supporting me. Thank you. 
with so much love and gratitude, 
Susan
 
Where to find me!
How to find me! My studio is a part of the Central Creatives at Piano Works Mall. It is located at 349 W Commercial St, East Rochester, NY 14445. If you park near Ferrari’s restaurant you will see a red door between the golf pro shop and the weaving shop. Enter the red door, and proceed down the hall to the elevators. Take that to the second floor. You will exit the elevator directly across from our collective. My door is to the right of the main door. The Suite number is #2795. My studio number is #12. 
 
 
 
 

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Spring Pop up at Genrich’s!

When I moved to Irondequoit, (seventeen or so years ago) I had no clue how this community would become such a big part of my heart. I love so much about our town. I am grateful for so many relationships that I have been blessed with, incredible neighbors, being so close to Seneca Park, our community, and even the sidewalks!
One of the dearest blessings has been my friendship and relationship with Deborah Berman Genrich and the Genrich family. Genrich’s Garden Center Florist & Greenhouses is a beautiful shop, but honestly so much more! When I say that this place has become a special kind of home for me, I am not exaggerating. Of course, they have beautiful flowers and gifts, but also, they treat every single person that enters their business with such care and joy!
All of this said I am really excited to share that I will be doing a Spring pop-up in May with Deborah and Stephanie, and all the lovelies at Genrich’s. I hope you will save the date, and come visit. I am so lucky to be in the greenhouse with all the plants and flowers. See you soon!
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Open House This Saturday!

This is my last formal open house! I hope you will consider supporting my small business!

I do not know how to express to you what a difference it makes when you support artists and other small businesses. I don’t want to whine about it being a difficult three years. (but it has) I don’t want to tell you that this year has been hard. (but it has)

I do want you to know that the art and other products I have to offer are made with love. Art, the creation of art, seems to be taking the best that I am and putting it into a card, a painting, or a scarf. It is carefully choosing the colors and images to create something wonderful. It is working on a painting until it feels finished. It is about bringing the best that I am to offer to you and to the world. This can be incredibly vulnerable, but also incredibly thrilling when you affirm that I am doing good work. This happens with your kind words, your purchases, and your encouragement. 

I hope to see you Saturday- 

thank you for your support!

Sending so much love, 

Susan

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The Best Decision

Next in the #MarchMeetTheMaker challenge is to share the best decision I ever made.

Well goodness! I can think of several! Create Art 4 Good is not my first business. It is, however, the business I have taken most seriously. The first thing I did was to write a business plan, set goals, and do everything I could to attain those goals.

My first big goal was to have a brick-and-mortar in five years of beginning my business. I had it in TWO! I would say, the business plan AND taking the leap to have a gallery space were two of the best business decisions I have ever made! #grateful #CreateArt4Good #greetings4good #artistlife

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Empowered Women Day

A sticker created by Susan Carmen-Duffy found on Greetings4Good.org

There are so many things I want to say about today. However, I am certain you are going to be inundated with others’ thoughts and ideas too,  I certainly don’t want to be “noise” I will do my best to keep this brief.  (I cannot promise)

Today, on the international stage, has been declared “Empowered Women’s day”.  While I am thrilled to celebrate this day, EVERY DAY should be empowered women’s day. But, I digress. Today is a day where I am hoping we step back and take a look at how we treat women. This goes for not just men, but also women. As a mother of one daughter (and two bonus daughters), and a grandmother of one granddaughter, this day is a reason for pause, to take stock, to certify that my actions are true of empowerment. 

First- words matter. What you say and how you say it really DOES make a difference. We are here to help each other be the best possible humans we can be. I have preached to my children to be the best they can be, no matter what path they may choose. Living your best life is not easy. The world can be so full of roadblocks. My job as the chief cheerleader is to help them navigate the roadblocks, or sometimes just to sit and listen while they do. Sometimes empowerment means to just sit and hold space. 

Think about this- what if you only had support for your ideas, for your dreams? Certainly, it is a journey and not every idea is going to bloom, but you will with certainty grow, learn what works and what does not. If you have support (and no judgment) the likelihood is we will celebrate the process instead of feeling shame about the lessons (aka failures).  

Next, leave your garbage in the trash bin. The world can be a challenging place. However, my experience is not yours and yours is not mine. While personal experience can bring wisdom, it shouldn’t bring roadblocks for others. I see this, particularly when speaking with my children and grandchild. It is vital for me to step back, perhaps guide a little but ultimately let them follow their heart without me dashing their thoughts. I might not agree with their choices, and some might even scare me a little, but ultimately, it is their choice. 

Perfection. This is the killer of all greatness in my opinion. As women we have these images in our heads that we have to have superpowers, be the ultimate —- fill in the blank along with a hundred other things. Certainly, I have learned that for me perfection is not attainable, and the seeking of which is ultimately setting myself up for failure. Today, my best might look very different from tomorrow. The goal here is not perfection, but to do the best and most invested you can be at this very moment. If you fail? Change the path a smidgen and try again, but perfection is not a worthy goal, authenticity is. 

Lastly, your success does not diminish me. “A rising tide lifts all boats.”- Celebrating each other, our success, supporting each other through the difficult times serves everyone. EVERYONE!  

So today. take a minute to ponder how your actions and words to empower other women. You have the opportunity to take stock and grow a little. You have the opportunity to send someone a text, remind them why they are doing so great. You have the opportunity to write a note of encouragement and slip it onto a co-worker’s desk. You have the opportunity to pay it forward even in the smallest of ways. YOU have the power to make a difference. So go do it. 

A rising tide lifts ALL boats. 

Sending you so much love, 

Susan

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Small Business Weekend Visit & Shop

I am so excited to invite you to my holiday open house! You are invited to shop small! Shop for Art, Cards, & gifts created for you and all the special people on your list! Several studios at the Central Creatives will be open for your shopping pleasure! Remember when you show small you support real people (in this case, a real artist doing her best) to spread love and joy this holiday season! Your purchases support the big magic!
Visit our building at the Piano Works Mall. 349 West Commercial Street (Suite #2795) East Rochester, NY 14445! Enter the building through the red door to the left of the Golf Pro shop. Proceed down the hall to the elevator or through the door to a set of stairs. Go to the second floor- you will see the Central Creatives doors there welcoming you to our little slice of heaven! 
 
Create Art 4 Good/Greetings 4 Good is in studio #12-585.210.3161 (gallery phone) Email Susan 
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In the right place…

Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm. A. Lincoln

I have had to ponder this for a bit, it all felt too jumbled emotionally to share. I honestly couldn’t decide if I was happy or sad or both. At this point, I feel the emotion just “was” and defining it ultimately served no real purpose. It was instead an opportunity to move through it and find a way to the other side. 

A few weeks ago, would have been my tenth anniversary having a studio at the Hungerford. I bring this up only because leaving the Hungerford marked a huge transition for me. I made note of the date literally the day before. As I said above, I wasn’t sure if I felt happy, sad, or otherwise. 

The Hungerford was my first “real” studio. I made a studio space into a gallery. I embraced the esthetic of not so long ago industrial and created my own real-world gallery.  I supported artists there. I had a new exhibit with a guest artist (or artists) every single month. I held workshops there. I held events that supported and reached out to the homeless, women in crisis, and those being treated for cancer. I held meetings to support small business Marketing, Artisan Socials, and more. 

I worked so hard there… I grew as an artist and a person there… I made some dear friends there… it was home. 

In January of 2020, I made the decision that it was time for a change. I love(d) what I was doing- but something in me knew it was time for a big change. I had a lot of time to think about this as I spontaneously drove to Florida by myself (after an invitation twelve hours earlier from my son and bonus daughter) to spend a week with them.  I did it! (If you only knew how out of character this was for me) 

When I got home about ten days later I knew that change was in the wind. It was happening, I just wasn’t sure how. ( The last time I felt this way I went back to college.)

Enter a Facebook post by Brandi Marino. Brandi shared about a new collective at the Piano Works Mall. I decided to go check it out. My original intention was to see it and if I liked it, consider opening a second site for Create Art 4 Good. Perhaps I would hold workshops there. 

Two days later, after seeing the space twice, I made the decision to move from the Hungerford to Central Creatives. (My husband was not pleased, but thankfully he was supportive) 

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew this wasn’t just about changing location. It was about changing the business altogether. 

The universe must have agreed because out of the thin air I had people volunteering to move me. SO many people! It was really quite amazing. (talk about grateful!) I moved in on February 23, and on February 29th, we as a collective had our first big opening. 

Then… the global pandemic hit, and we shut down. 

Why on earth am I telling you all this? Well… you see, I changed far more than location. I changed the business. While I still try to support my fellow artists, I do not have a new exhibit every month (who could in a pandemic?) This forced me to make some changes. I am certainly not suggesting that I love the pandemic, but as my mother would have said, “There’s always something to be grateful for.”

What I am grateful for is that I have found a way to prioritize my own work. I have taken quite seriously my art, my greeting card company, and my mission. I still pay it forward with a portion of the profits going to charity. I still support other artists- I am a pretty good cheerleader, but also I have taken over Rochester Artisans started by the ever wonderful Stefani Tadio. This is a group that assists other artists with all things business. It gives me joy to facilitate that group. I even still do a workshop or two. During the height of the pandemic- zoom became a very handy tool. So the changes are there, but maybe it is more of a shift. Perhaps it was time. 

So, I might not be at the Hungerford. But I am celebrating a business that is twelve years old. I am celebrating my own personal and professional growth. I am celebrating surviving and even having moments of thriving in the pandemic world. I am grateful for the opportunity to take my own work more seriously, and the courage to do so. I am grateful for you.

(whew, this was a long one, wasn’t it?)

I believe, with my whole heart, I am in the right place.

The best is yet to be… 

Thanks for listening! With so much love, 

Susan