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Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers helps local businesses obtain government contracts.

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SourceLink® helps communities nationwide build vibrant and vital entrepreneurial ecosystems.
UMKC Innovation Center
April 05, 2017

Columbia Artist Turned Entrepreneur Connects Community Through Art

Artist Entrepreneur Wildy Self of Wildys World in Columbia, Missouri

Artists lead an isolated life. The public on the other hand, enjoys making art but often believes they don’t know how or they lack talent. Stacy Self, known as Wildy, recognized the need to connect art-inspired communities with interactive art making. “People need constructive social environments, creative team-building and opportunities to express themselves in a group setting,” explains Wildy. “Mural making is the ideal solution.” The idea formulated for 18 years while she worked as a freelance muralist, an art educator and Artist in Residence at the St. Louis City Museum.

After moving to Columbia, Missouri, Wildy surged through a few challenges settling in. The first was to find rental space for her community arts mural studio, the other was learning the intricacies of running a business. “It’s unfortunate that college doesn’t teach business skills to art students.” As a result, she had to learn marketing, promotions and all aspects of business ownership to make Wildys World possible. She’s grateful to the business community and entrepreneurial resources such as the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Small Business Administration (SBA) and 1 Million Cups to help her reach her goals but admits finding interns and outsourced experts will help her and Wildys World become greater.

Entrepreneurship is a huge undertaking and as a single mother of two and working part-time as a teacher, she must balance every moment. Her 2018 goal is to dedicate herself full-time to Wildys World and admits it’s frightening. However, it’s balanced with the joys of creating collaborative art with the North Village Arts District community and working on the Cooper’s Landing mural, ‘Sunscape’. “I was thrilled to participate in Tigers on the Prowl as a featured artist painting the pointillist tiger ‘Spectrum’ which raised $7000 for Rainbow House.”

She advises others to share their joy to improve the health and well being of the world. “Creating community murals is my impassioned solution. I want to be known for uplifting and inspiring people.”

Cooper's Landing mural by artist entrepreneur Wildy Self of Columbia, Missouri

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Post provided by Kris Edens, a copywriting and blogging resource for small business. She resides in Festus, Missouri and enjoys networking, writing and the entrepreneurial community.

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