Business Owner Spotlight: Cerulean Arts

Tina Rocha & Michael Kowbuz

Cerulean Arts

Location: 1355 Ridge Avenue // Years in Operation: 11

Instagram: @cerulean.arts // Contact: (267) 514-8647

How did you come to be business owners?

Almost on a whim. We both love art and one day one of us said “Wouldn’t it be nice if someday we had our own art gallery?” We started looking at buildings with a commercial space close to home, found the perfect one at 1355 Ridge, and we were off!

What is the mission of your business? Your mission as business owners?

Cerulean Arts’ mission is to cultivate an appreciation for art by presenting exhibitions, offering unique decorative and fine art for sale, and providing art instruction for personal fulfillment. As business owners we feel strongly in making art accessible to everyone. Our receptions and artists’ talks are free and open to the public. There is a wide range of price points with handmade earrings starting at $10.

Give three words that describe the small businesses you like to visit as a customer.

Warm, inviting, personable

What’s the one concept or principle that has been key to your success?

Viewing everyone who walks through our door as integral to our business. We wouldn’t exist without our terrific artists and customers.

What’s one thing you know now about running a business, that you wish you knew then?

We opened in September of 2006, right before the financial crisis. Our initial plans for the business probably ended up taking twice as long and cost twice as much.

As a business owner, how do you decompress? Our two cats – strays who found their way to the gallery over the years – provide much comic relief at the end of the day.

How does your business/business community fit into the larger business community in Philadelphia?

We hope that Cerulean Arts serves as a connector between communities. We have a particularly strong connection to the Fairmount neighborhood since it’s also our home. With Francisville and Temple University just to our north and newer development on Broad Street just south of us, a lot of the gaps between neighborhoods are being filled.

In a few words, describe your small business corridor or community. For many years, we have been the only business on our stretch of Ridge Avenue, just southeastof Fairmount Avenue. We’re excited for the upcoming construction projects on our block and feel uniquely positioned to play a role in the development of all three adjacent business corridors: Ridge Avenue, Fairmount Avenue and Broad Street.

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