An interview with Allison Thurman, owner of Art by Allison in Batavia.
Q: Describe your business. What do you do?
Address: 420 Church St., Batavia, IL 60510
Owner: Allison Thurman
Year business started: 2005
Web address: www.ArtbyAllison.info
A: I am an interior decorator and decorative painter. Many people have different needs and budgets, and I accommodate them by providing a wide range of offerings and prices for both home and business. No job is too small or location too far.
Q: What made you start your business?
A: Client wishes. I've always been a fine artist and fashionista that harbored a long interest in interior decorating. I had accepted a job as a personal shopper and was asked by my clients to assist with their homes. After discovering the creative connection between art, fashion and design, and having an affinity for all three, I decided to leave retail and enter into self employment. My clients were as thrilled at my becoming more available and accessible.
Q: What has been the most difficult obstacle in running or starting a small business?
A: The toughest aspect in running the business is keeping current with ever changing technology.
Q: What do you enjoy most about operating your business?
A: Being sole proprietor, the flexibility of hours and situation variety. Working long and late hours is not unusual, even on holidays. I once decorated a client's home on Christmas Day while they were out of town. I love what I do and don't at all mind having an irregular schedule.
Q: Is this what you pictured yourself doing when you were young?
A: I've been drawing from a very early age and having a need for a regular creative outlet in some form, always planned on having a vocation with an artistic bent.
A: When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up? A painter, even if that meant being a starving artist.
Q: What keeps you up at night?
A: Encountering situations where there are multiple decision-makers who have differing design goals.
Q: If you could give one tip to a rookie business owner, what would it be?
A: Try to put everything in writing with as much detail as possible. It's safer for all.
• Every Monday we feature a small, suburban business. We want to hear about yours. Contact Kim Mikus at email@example.com.