Each month, Fund 17 profiles an entrepreneur to share unique stories and promote local businesses. For April’s feature, we are showcasing Artice Hunter of Artice Creative Designs. Artice participated in our Spring 2018 Accelerator and Benchmark program and has continued to grow and expand her business.

About Artice

Artice Hunter is a New Orleans native, who has had a artistic eye and a heart for service ever since she was a young child. Artice grew up with a very artistic and creative mother and grandmother, her grandmother’s specialty was home decor and her mother created custom designed clothing pieces. Artice can recall always going above and beyond on her school projects when she was young, pouring her natural creative energy into it. Growing up, being an artist for a living was never something that Artice believed she could do. She always envisioned herself working in the medical field, because she has a heart for service. One day her church was having an event and they asked her create a few pieces to give away as prizes. When her pastor saw the pieces he recognized her talent and encouraged her to turn her art into a business. Those were the words of encouragement that she needed to officially register her business.

Artice Creative Designs became a formal business in 2016. She is a licensed barber and stylist and a commercial driver, she drove school buses for 10 years. Artice Creative Designs is now her primary job and full time business. Artice Creative Designs specializes in custom creations, she creates original wreaths, jewelry, clothes, and custom decor for special events. Her incredible creations quickly spread through word of mouth, her first buyer was a fellow church member who purchased a custom designed wreath for her home and after that more and more customers began purchasing and supporting her custom designs. More recently, she has suffered from an injury to her arm, so her creations are temporarily on hold. If you would like to support Artice along her road to recovery you can donate here .

Overcoming Challenges

Artice explains that being an African-American woman has been a challenge to break into the entrepreneurial space, especially as an artist. She says “There just aren’t enough resources available to people like me. There are resources available for entrepreneurs but if you don’t know the right people, or you don’t occupy certain spaces you may not be aware of the resources available to small minority business owners. That’s why I was so blessed to come across Fund 17.”

Experience with Fund 17

Artice participated in our Spring 2018 Accelerator and Benchmark program working with Fund 17 Business Case Manager, Jasmine Powers and Fellow, Kayla Bell. Together they added updates to her website including a blog page, started an Etsy page and created a YouTube account where she plans to post DIY and “How To” videos to continue to market her business and expand her customer base.

She discovered Fund 17 while she was sitting in an H&R Block flipping through a magazine and she landed on an article about Fund 17 and the services offered to local small entrepreneurs. She sent Executive Director, Haley Burns an email inquiry to learn more about us and Artice has been working with Fund 17 ever since. She’s motivated to continue building her business and expanding her personal brand because she wants to leave a legacy for her future children. She enjoys the perks of being a business owner because it affords you the flexibility of being able to make your own choices and have executive and creative control over your work.

From One Entrepreneur to Another

Artice’s advice to her fellow entrepreneurs and artists is this, “once you’ve determined what your gift is, focus on that gift, stay determined and be encouraged”. There will be people who will try to distract or deter you from your dream, but don’t allow them to. Be very careful about who you share your vision with because not everyone is going to believe in that vision, all that matters is that you believe in yourself and in your vision. She also encourages entrepreneurs like herself to stay open and available to new opportunities, because you never know when you might meet that one person who can help make your dream a reality.

To learn more about Artice Creative Designs please check out her website and her Facebook and Instagram pages. Stay tuned for future content and pieces on her YouTube and Etsy pages. While she is temporarily on leave due to an injury she sustained to her arm, she will back making her beautiful creations shortly.

April Entrepreneur of the Month: Artice Hunter