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Q&A with Jack Glatzer

Master Violinist Jack Glatzer Featured Artist
in Kennedy Hall Recital April 5

Dallas-born master violinist Jack Glatzer will share his love of music in a recital on Wednesday, April 5, at 7:30 p.m. in Kennedy Hall at New Mexico Highlands University. Tickets are $15 per person. The event is sponsored by the Las Vegas Arts Council and Noonday Kiwanis.

Jack Glatzer, ViolinistGlatzer’s extensive performance background began with his debut recital at age 13. He had been a student of the instrument since age five. He regularly makes concert tours around the world and has played on every continent and in more than 50 countries. He is comfortable performing before large audiences in elegant settings and equally at ease with students in a classroom or a handful of patrons in small venues. Glatzer has given numerous recitals in Las Vegas over the years, and comes back often to renew old friendships and forge new ones.

He is recognized as a pedagogue, both in master classes and in lecture recitals. His background and interest in the history of culture have led to his highly successful concerts – son et lumiere – in which musical performance is explained by a lecture and illuminated by visual images. His particular focus is the unaccompanied repertoire for the violin, including the works of Paganini and J.S. Bach. He is also open to performing new works by talented composers.

ORP: When did you know playing the violin would be your life’s work?
Glatzer:
I began the violin at the age of five. After very few years of study I became so attached to the instrument that I knew it would be my life.

ORP: Who were your mentors as you developed your musical gift and honed your technical skills?
Glatzer: I suffered a great disillusionment with one of my famous teachers – who I won’t name. For a few years, I wanted to be a professor of history and took two degrees in history. Musically I was fortunate indeed to have two of the finest teachers of the last century, Sandor Vegh and Maxim Jacobsen.

ORP: How much of your success is natural ability and how much is practice and dogged perseverance?
Glatzer: I hope that there is some natural talent but there is no doubt that dogged perseverance and pathological obsession is with me every day.

ORP: You have performed all over the world to audiences large and small and have performed in Las Vegas on several occasions. What brings you back to Las Vegas time and again?
Glatzer: I have been fortunate over many years to develop deep friendships with persons and audiences in several cities. Among them is Las Vegas. Truly I have performed countless times there. I have such fond memories of that old series of house concerts – salon concerts to be sure – that took place in the lovely Carriage House. It was called Movable Music. What a joy to enjoy the gracious hospitality of my dear friend, Ann Bradford. I trust there are still friends who remember well those annual concerts. In recent years, my deep friendship and esteem for Ron Maltais has enriched my visits. I now have two works in my repertoire by Ron.

ORP: What size audience is more challenging to you as a performer?
Glatzer: The size of the audience does not matter, although I particularly enjoy intimate and small venues where it is possible to play very softly and hear the breathing and many colors of the violin.

ORP: In some performances you talk about the music and get into a teaching mode. Talk about that experience and how it makes you a better musician.
Glatzer: I enjoy talking to an audience, trying to go on an emotional trip with the public, trying to open the imagination of the listener so that together we voyage beyond the notes. This is particularly interesting in performing for students who are often so unfamiliar with the music.

ORP: Your recitals showcase the unaccompanied repertoire for the violin. Talk about that and how it affects your relationship with your audience.
Glatzer: I particularly enjoy the solo violin repertoire. Only composers of the highest skill would dare to write in this medium, so we have many true masterpieces, especially Bach, Ysaye, Bartok, Paganini. The solo music enables me to explore the many colors, the shading, the breathing, the crying of the violin. Also, people are amazed at how the softest sounds played with care and in tune will have such resonance that the sounds carry through the hall.

ORP: What advice do you give young musicians?
Glatzer: Remember that you are fortunate to be able to seek for the sublime with the sounds of your instrument. Never settle for less than this search.

What: Jack Glatzer Recital
When: Wednesday, April 5, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Kennedy Hall, NMHU
Tickets: $15 per person available at the Las Vegas Arts Council
Event sponsors: Las Vegas Arts Council and Noonday Kiwanis

Three to present at EN Forum

Entrepreneurial Network Forum, Monday, Feb. 6, 5:30 to 7 p.m., in the back room at Borracho’s. Featured presenters will be Sharon Vander Meer, Write Stuff; Mike Ulibarri, Ulibarri Farms Candy Shoppe; Sara Jo Mathews, Borracho’s Craft Booze and Brews.

Entrepreneural Network Forum

“The Entrepreneurial Network is so important for similar reasons to why it is important to have a business organization,” said EN facilitator Andrea Gottschalk, who has held that position for three years.

She functions as a one-on-one business coach where she helps a start up business or expanding business in every way possible to be successful. “I do that by listening to their individual needs and try to find answers to any questions they may have. This help may be through my own business experience. If I do not have the answer, I refer people to business experts in their field or to valuable programs that are being offered through the Regional Development Corporation.”

Gottschalk said there is technical assistance, market research, alternative micro loans, investments through the venture acceleration fund and much more accessible through the network. “Every business is unique,” she said. “It is my goal to help each and every client that comes to me for help in the best way possible, and to help them succeed in their own way, to the best of their abilities.”

Gottschalk said a business owner must rely on his or her own talent and experience.”I help them focus on what they are good at, encourage them to build on that in their business, and remind them to not overextend themselves. If you can talk somebody out of a very bad idea and save them from a lot of trouble, then that is a success too.”

Entrepreneurial Network forums occur about every four weeks featuring between one and three business owners talking about the goods and services they have available. The event is free and open to the public. Typically it held at the El Fidel Hotel Wolff’s Den room.

“It’s a great way to promote your business and network with other like-minded people. You get updates on what is new in town and who does what, when and where. If you need any assistance with your business please call me at my store, Unikat, 425-6113. It is a completely free service and exists in four Northern New Mexico communities: Taos, Rio Arriba, Mora and of course here in San Miguel County. It is sponsored by the RDC, Los Alamos National Laboratories and Las Vegas First Independent Business Alliance.

The forum on Feb. 6 will be at Borracho’s on Bridge Street in the back room, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Presenters will be Sharon Vander Meer, Write Stuff; Mike Ulibarri, Ulibarri Farms Candy Shoppe; and Sara Jo Mathews, Borracho’s Craft Booze and Brews.

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Disclosure: This information is presented to promote the Entrepreneurial Network Forum. In this case, I am taking part in the event and wish to thank Andrea for including me.

Q&A: Ronald Maltais, artistic director of the Castañeda Concert Series

and Emmy Grimm, co-founder of EmiArteFlamenco

flamenco

The Feb. 18 EmiArteFlamenco event will feature singers Eva Encinias and Joaquin Encinias, guitarists icardo Anglada and Mario Febres, and dancers Elena Osuna, Nevarez Encinias and La Emi. The group will also offer two free Flamenco workshops in the Plaza Hotel Ballroom at noon for children ages six through thirteen and 1 p.m. for high school students and adults.

Ronald Maltais, artistic director for the Castañeda Concert series, recently announced the next two performances, the first of which will take place on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 7:30 p.m., in the Plaza Hotel Ballroom. The performance showcases Flamenco musicians and dancers. The third concert in the series will be on Sunday, May 7, at 3 p.m. at Ilfeld Auditorium with violinist Elizabeth Young, cellist Dana Winograd, percussionist Ralph Marquez, and Maltais at the piano.

The Feb. 18 EmiArteFlamenco event will feature singers Eva Encinias and Joaquin Encinias, guitarists icardo Anglada and Mario Febres, and dancers Elena Osuna, Nevarez Encinias and La Emi. The group will also offer two free Flamenco workshops in the Plaza Hotel Ballroom at noon for children ages six through thirteen and 1 p.m. for high school students and adults.

Ron MaltaisMaltais, previously director of music at the United World College USA, left that position to devote more time to composition, directing and performance. He has been a life-long student of the piano, beginning at the age of four. Formal lessons at age eight with noted teachers led to a love of music and a gift for envisioning the creativity and art of performance and composing. Originally from southern New Hampshire, his studies with Maurice Hoffman led to degrees taken at New England Conservatory (piano performance), and Boston University (music composition). Maltais pursued vocal training and has devoted significant time to choral directing and artistic direction. His Meditation for Viola and Strings was conducted by Lukas Foss at Boston University in 1998. Maltais’ travels have led to engagements as a musician and lecturer in several US states and in India, Turkey, South Africa and Peru. He is currently composing an opera based on the life of Camille Claudel. Maltais premiered his Star Axis Preludes for a select audience at the first Light SpectrumConcert (Dwan Light Sanctuary/ United World College USA) in April 2016.

For La Emi (Emmy Grimm), performance and teaching are the heartbeat of a life spent immersing herself in the art of Flamenco. She has had several apprenticeships under Carmela Greco and has performed in various venues throughout Spain. She has also studied with Ivan Vargas Heredia, José Galván, Gala Vivancos, Inmaculada Ortega, Yolanda Heredia, Juana Amaya, Juan Paredes, Torombo, Rocio Alcaide Ruiz, and many more influential Flamenco dancers. For three seasons she performed with the Juan Siddi Flamenco Santa Fe. In 2014, Vicente Griego and La Emi began her own company, EmiArteFlamenco with Skylight Santa Fe as its home theater. In 2016 she opened EmiArteFlamenco Academy offering classes for toddlers, children and adults. For more information about La Emi, go to www.emiarteflamenco.com.

The Flamenco in Las Vegas Castañeda Concert is sponsored in part by Allan Affeldt, Plaza Hotel, Las Vegas Arts Council, New Mexico Arts and generous donors. Tickets are $15 per person and available at the Las Vegas Arts Council. They can also be purchased at the Plaza Hotel and at the door on the night of the performance.

ORP: What is the greatest challenge in putting together a concert series?
Ron: There are many facets to designing and arranging a compelling concert series. Intuition usually guides me, and I am thinking about great variety in the various programs and juggling the availability of prospective performers. My mission in Las Vegas is to feature New Mexico performing artists. This season certainly achieves that goal as all of the performers reside within the state. When people attend a Flamenco performance, the venue, lighting, sound design, graphic design etc. are all critical components to achieving a spectacular result. In the May concert we will bring back a violinist and cellist; both performed at the Castañeda in Sept. 2016. This decision was partly due to the favorable comments of audience members who enjoyed their virtuosity and musicianship.

ORP: What is the most rewarding for you as an artistic director?
Ron: When I am in the audience or performing in an event I produced it is very exciting to feel the energy in the room; to see how the people attending are reacting to the program. An example is when there was a spontaneous ovation at the end of the first half of the Castañeda concert last fall. Usually ovations occur at the end of an excellent performance. I am very committed to enhancing the concert season in Las Vegas. I begin by looking at what is already happening around town and then proceed to add something different to the mix.

ORP: You’ve taught, conducted and composed music. Which do you most enjoy and why?
Ron: I made a decision to step away from a full-time position as a music director/ teacher at the United World College USA this season (after a 15 year run). This surprised many local residents who have been very loyal supporters of my concerts and overall work in the past. I see it as a way of challenging myself to return to a more intense focus on piano performance and music composition. In the May concert I will present an original work composed for a professional colleague. When you announce such a thing you must follow through. It’s a bit frightening, but in a sense you are lighting a fire under yourself! Also, the Brahms Trio which I have programmed for the May concert is quite difficult, and I am greatly enjoying the process of mastering the piano part in this work.

ORP: The next two concerts have been set. Talk about the Feb. 18 performance and what led you to select Flamenco as the art form for this event?
Ron: There is a strong Flamenco tradition in New Mexico. In some ways it is different than what you might see in Spain. I feel it is up to artistic directors to invest serious time and thought in looking for ways to promote important cultural traditions. When I first came to New Mexico I was drawn to Native American music, and through numerous visits to several Indian pueblos within our state I was amazed by what I saw and heard in the music performances and sacred dances.

ORP: What appeals to you about Flamenco?
Ron: The drama of it is compelling; sometimes subtle, but then wild and seductive. The chemistry between the dancers and musicians springs from a kind of improvisational daring. Watching Flamenco (even once) could be a life-changing experience for spectators. I remember seeing a small, excellent Flamenco ensemble in Cordoba, Spain some years ago, and the images are still engraved in my mind, along with the unforgettable sound of their music. I walked back to my inn on that balmy summer night feeling somewhat dazed.

ORP: How do dance, vocal and instrumental performances differ in presentation and preparation, or do they?
Ron: I am not a dancer, but I have observed/collaborated with dancers many times, even composed music, which colleagues then choreographed. Watching the body language of confident musical performers who are not dancers (ex. A jazz quintet) is not so different.  There are many ways to communicate, and body movement is key to this.

ORP: The objective of a concert or performance is to provide beautiful artistic expression. What are the technical or logistical aspects of putting together an event, aside from practice, practice, practice?
Ron: The greatest performers sometimes talk of states of consciousness they experience in their quest to achieve the highest possible expressive outcome. Some get there rather easily through natural talent/ intuition. After getting through the preliminary technical work of learning musical notes or learning dance steps you must find a way to take it to a different level. Of course your own gifts allow it to become personalized. Your interpretation would likely be different than any other and this is the magic we strive for. As performance artists we are actually recreating art over and over again. This is a difficult question to answer and I hope my response makes sense!

la-emiORP: Emmy, talk about your company of Flamenco artists.
Emmy: My company was founded two years ago by my Godfather, Vicente Griego and myself. This is a family company. We feel very blessed because we get to do what we love with the people we love, in the place we were born and raised.

ORP: How long have you all been working together?
Emmy: We began working with each other prior to the opening of EmiArteFlamenco. We have been working together many years.

ORP: What excites you about the art of dance?
Emmy: Flamenco is an art form that originated through the people.  It was born in the streets amongst families. It is a way to tell one’s story. It expresses everything that I go through in life, love, heart break, anxiety, joy and many more emotions.

ORP: When and how did you become a Flamenco dancer.
Emmy: My father, David Grimm, worked at the box office for Maria Benitez during her Summer Season of shows at what is now The Lodge at Santa Fe. My mother used to go to the shows when she was pregnant with me. I grew up going to these shows and at the age of four I began my studies with the Maria Benitez Institute for Spanish Arts.

ORP: What is the greatest challenge when putting a performance together?
Emmy: For me the greatest challenge is making the time to do all of the needed things. It is important to promote the show, but you also must make time to rehearse every day.

ORP: What is the greatest joy?
Emmy: I believe that the Lord put us all on this earth to serve our purpose. God blessed me with a love to dance. It gives me true joy to be able to do what I love and share it with my community. This show is truly exciting. We will be celebrating our love for New Mexico, as well as for the art form of Flamenco and what a better way to do it than amongst familia!

For more information about EmiArteFlamenco go to www.emiarteflamenco.com

What: Castañeda Concerts: Flamenco in Las Vegas
When: 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 18
Where: Plaza Hotel Ballroom

Cost: $15 per person
Where to purchase tickets: Las Vegas Arts Council and online at lasvegasartscouncil.org. Tickets are also available at the Plaza Hotel. 

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La Emi Photo: Daniel Quat Photography

One Roof Publishing Digest

I’m changing my website look with the idea of making it more user friendly. Not sure I succeeded. I liked the old theme that popped up with a nice display of ten recent posts with a photo. The new theme may do that, but if so, I haven’t figured it out yet. Please let me know what you think by commenting at the end of this post or by e-mailing me at fsharon@msn.com. It is a work in progress, so more changes are coming.

Following is a digest of links to recent posts you may have missed. I hope you will take time to check these out, like, comment and share.

Q&A with Ron Querry

Ron QuerryRon Querry should be an actor in a Western movie. He has the craggy good looks, air of romanticism and steely-eyed stare of a cowboy hero. He would scoff at such a description, but his tongue-in-cheek memoir tells a different story. Creative license aside, I See By My Get-Up reveals a man much inclined to finish what he starts, and one who learns by observation, intuition and application. Despite growing up in an age of disillusionment and questioning everything, Querry kept on course when it came to education and earned his Ph.D. in American Studies in 1975. He spent a few years as a professor at the University of Oklahoma, and taught at Highlands, Lake Erie College for Women, and conducted seminars on Native American Literature in Italy. Read more…

Q&A with Andrea Gottschalk

WelcomeBeing in business is a challenge and an opportunity all wrapped up in one great adventure. When you’re good at it, you share your expertise with others who are dipping a toe into the entrepreneurial waters. With more than thirty years of experience under her belt, Andrea Gottschalk of Unikat Fine Jewelry has grown her business and reached out to help others. She believes in working in concert with other business people and making the most of networking opportunities. She has an abundance of talent as a jewelry designer and creates a customer-friendly shopping experience as a business owner. Her insightful responses to the Q&A reveals a woman who enjoys what she does, and who remains grounded in the essentials of business ownership: making wise market decisions and operating within your means. Read more…

Q&A with Nancy Colalillo

nancyNancy Colalillo is one of my favorite people, fearless in the face of just about everything. Her entrepreneurial spirit brought an exciting book store to Las Vegas several years ago. After she sold that successful enterprise, she went out on a limb and opened Paper Trail, a card and gift shop. This venture has been so well received, she has now moved to a bigger space – 166 Bridge Street – and expanded her card and gift product lines. There are darling baby items, a card for every occasion, gift books, gift wrap, lots of gift ideas and plenty of new merchandise. This locally owned and operated business is a jewel of a shop. Read more…

Q&A with Michael Ulibarri

Christmas GoodiesThe Ulibarri family’s route to its new shop at 161 Bridge Street has been circuitous and – as is often the case with small businesses – not without challenges. What it has continued to have is faithful customers who love the candy they make. The store came out of a family who personifies “family first” when it comes to making decisions. Read more…

 

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One Roof Publishing is a free site. I have elected to not monetize it with annoying pop up ads. I use this site as a link to my work as a writer. If you enjoy One Roof Publishing and would like to see it continue, I will appreciate you buying my books, available online. Click on a book image to the right or go to Books on this site to order one (or all  🙂 of my titles. Your purchase will be greatly appreciated.

 

 

Q&A: The Candy Man

…and family

We're Open!The Ulibarri family’s route to its new shop at 161 Bridge Street has been circuitous and – as is often the case with small businesses – not without challenges. What it has continued to have is faithful customers who love the candy they make. The store came out of a family who personifies “family first” when it comes to making decisions.

Mike, a native of Espanola, moved with his parents (Jose and Magdalena Ulibarri) to their home town of Anton Chico, N.M., when he was in junior high. Donna’s parents, (Eloy and Marcella Montoya), owned and operated the Plaza Supper Club at the Plaza Hotel from 1962 until they sold it in 1975. They moved to Golondrinas (Mora County), where Mike, Donna and their son, Chris, currently reside. Mike said he and Donna met at the Flower Pot (on the Plaza) in 1979 and married in 1980 at Our Lady of Sorrows Church. “Old Town Las Vegas has always meant a lot to us,” he said. After 20 years in the Navy, Mike retired. He and Donna moved back to Golondrinas to help Donna’s parents.

Mike said Donna’s gifts of candy at Christmas one year were such a hit, he talked her into making it for a craft fair. They sold out by noon. That was in 2002 and they have been making candy commercially ever since, but had to take a break from the business in 2009 when Donna’s father’s health began to fail. Mr. Montoya passed away in 2012.

Christmas GoodiesWhen Mike and Donna decided to go back into business in 2014 they choose to go with a home-based business for production. Only the family can sell the product, but the Ulibarri family is okay with that. Electing to keep the enterprise small and manageable, for two years they sold “door to door” and participated in fairs and farmers’ markets. It meant loading and unloading, setting up and tearing down, which began to affect Mike’s health. When they saw that Paper Trail was relocating, the soon-to-be vacant spot looked to be ideal for their needs. The Ulibarri Farms Candy Shoppe opened its doors in late October.

The family has put its signature style on the interior with a counter made from reclaimed wood and, for now, seasonal decorations made and arranged by Donna. It is an inviting space with delectable temptations. Below are Mike’s responses to questions about what being in this business means to him and his family.

ORP: What inspired you to go into the candy making business?
Mike: Donna made candy as Christmas gifts. They were such a hit I encouraged her to make them for sale. At our first fair, we sold out before noon.

ORP: What three pieces of advice would you give to someone who wants to start a business?
Mike:

  • Have good people behind you. I couldn’t do it without my family.
  • Be prepared to work harder than you’ve ever worked.
  • Have fun.

ORP: What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful business person?
Mike:

  • Honesty
  • Have a good attitude.
  • Don’t be afraid to try. The worst thing that could happen is that they say, “No.”

Peppermint Fudge BallsORP: How did you decide what candies you wanted to make when you kicked off your business?
Mike: The brittle has always been a great seller and my wife’s fudge is a close second. We are known for them.

ORP: You make the candy at home. Talk about the challenges of having a home-based manufacturing operation.
Mike: Days like today are very challenging. When one of us has to stay home, and cook, while the other is at the shop. Tomorrow Donna will be home cooking. She and her mother, who is blind, will package all the candy she makes, as well as the candy I made today. We have a designated area for candy production that we keep separate from the living area, so really the biggest challenge is time management. Our son Chris, is finishing up his semester. He does an online school from home. As soon as he is done we will have an extra pair of hands.

ORP: How has running the business affected your life?
Mike: We didn’t expect it to be so much fun!

ORP: What motivates you?
Mike: I have a nice life, and a nice family. That’s what motivates me every day. I’m proud of the candy we make and I’m proud that so many people like it so much.

ORP: How do you generate ideas for expanding the types of candy you offer?
Mike: My wife wakes up in the morning with all kinds of ideas. I don’t think she ever sleeps!

ORP: What is your greatest concern, and how do you manage that concern?
Mike: I worry that we can’t keep up. So we work harder.

ORP: How do you define success?
Mike:
Happiness.

Gift BasketsORP: How did you fund your business?
Mike: Navy Federal Credit union gave us a small personal loan.

ORP: How did you build a customer base?
Mike: Word of mouth, walking around town and giving out samples, attending meetings like the one (Rotary Club of Las Vegas) where I met you.

ORP: Talk about your new location on Bridge Street?
Mike: We love our new Ulibarri Farms Candy Shoppe. It’s just the right size and Bridge Street is so quaint. Lots of foot traffic, lots of great stores and restaurants and the other merchants in the area have given us the warmest welcome we could have ever gotten.

ORP: How do you market your business?
Mike: Radio, flyers, social media, and I talk to EVERYONE!

Quick Facts:
Ulibarri Farms Candy Shoppe
Location: 161 Bridge Street, Las Vegas, NM  87701
Hours: M-Sat 11 am to 6 pm, Sunday 11 am to 3 pm
Phone: 505-425-3123
Website: Ulibarri Farms
E-mail. Ulibarrifarms@aol.com
Online: Like us on Facebook

 

 

Spread a little kindness

My challenge for December is to post – among other posts – links to uplifting stories and videos, be it music or news that makes us smile for a while. Enjoy, comment, like and share. If you have a personal, or local story to share (like the one below about the Riveras and their annual Thanksgiving gift to Las Vegas, N.M.), or know of one, please contact fsharon@msn.com with a lead and I’ll follow up.

Public Raises $100K For Widower Selling Kindling to Pay Wife’s Medical Bills

kenneth-smith-facebook

That’s the headline, now read the rest of the story. One person taking an interest in this gentleman made a big difference in his life. Be sure and read the last paragraph. This is exactly the response my father would have had.

Las Vegas, N.M. El Sombrero Restaurant:

el-sombrero-restauraynt

A local and amazing story about giving freely and with joy. Thanks to The Las Vegas Optic for publishing this article. More than 700 people were served this year by Helen Rivera, her family, and volunteer servers/helpers. (Note: if you are not an optic subscriber, you may need to sign up for limited access to read the story.)

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Images from the internet

The Signing Experience

Book SigningI’ve done several readings at Tome on the Range in Las Vegas, NM, featuring my books. Every time I do one, I’m a wreck and second-guess whether I said the right things and whether people received my reading well. On Saturday at my most recent reading and signing, my friend Jim Terr recorded portions of the readings and the following is one clip of three he will be posting. I thank those who could make it on Saturday, and to those who couldn’t, I hope you enjoy this clip. And by the way, buy the books! You can find Finding Family at Tito’s Gallery or Tome on the Range. The poetry books you may buy directly from me. Contact me  at fsvandermeer@gmail.com, or order through the click buttons in the right column.

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Video: Jim Ter

Jewelry Artisan and Entrepreneur

Making art into a business

WelcomeBeing in business is a challenge and an opportunity all wrapped up in one great adventure. When you’re good at it, you share your expertise with others who are dipping a toe into the entrepreneurial waters. With more than thirty years of experience under her belt, Andrea Gottschalk of Unikat Fine Jewelry has grown her business and reached out to help others. She believes in working in concert with other business people and making the most of networking opportunities. She has an abundance of talent as a jewelry designer and creates a customer-friendly shopping experience as a business owner. Her insightful responses to the Q&A reveals a woman who enjoys what she does, and who remains grounded in the essentials of business ownership: making wise market decisions and operating within your means.

Andrea was born and raised in Germany. She graduated from high school in 1985 and went on a  two-year world travel adventure, including an extended visit to New Mexico. She returned to Germany and attended the Goldschmiede Schule in Pforzheim. She returned to New Mexico in 1988 “for the love of it,” and started a home based jewelry business working as a sub contractor for many different retail jewelry stores in Santa Fe such as Spirit of the Earth, James Reid, Mitzi Lynn, Mahdani and many others. She made special orders and custom pieces. Andrea moved to Las Vegas, NM in 1995. “I opened Unikat Fine Jewelry in 1998 where Genesis Computers is located now. I moved across the street in 2004 to 158 Bridge St., where I had my business until September of this year.” When the opportunity came to move into a much bigger location she took it and is now operating at 160 Bridge St.

Unikat Fine Jewelry will have a Grand Opening celebration at its new location, 160 Bridge St., in conjunction with Paper Trail, 166 Bridge St. The event will be Friday and Saturday, November 11 -12.

ORP: You’ve made the move to your new location. What do you hope this will do for your customers?
Andrea:
A lot more browsing room without feeling cramped in. Lots more inventory to select from. Big store windows to do window shopping, and it’s easy to find me.

ORP: What inspired you to go into business and how long have you had the store?
Andrea:
I opened my first store in 1998 when Price’s Ilfeld closed their jewelry department. I was their repair jeweler for about one year and I took the business opportunity to fill that niche. I had been making jewelry since I was sixteen. I went to gold smithing school in Germany. I had always worked for other retail stores making their custom pieces. There was an important link missing for me in that I never got to have the contact with the client and never could see their joy in purchasing that piece of jewelry I had made. That was the biggest inspiration to have my own store, to have that direct connection to the client and feeling proud of what I accomplished when I would see their reactions to the finished product.

ORP: What is the single biggest challenge to being a sole-owner business and how do you address it?
Andrea:
All the investments are on your own risk. All the debt you may accumulate is yours. There is no corporation that backs you up if you fail or no government that wipes your debt clean. You are solely responsible for every single decision you make and sometimes that can be very nerve racking.

ORP: What are your biggest opportunities as a business person on Bridge Street?
Andrea:
The Bridge Street/Plaza area is the most well known historic area and most walked on foot by locals and tourists alike. The chance that someone will stroll by and and take a peek into your store and buy something is huge.

Designing EntrepreneurORP: In addition to being a business owner, you also make jewelry and do jewelry repair. Talk about what inspires you as a business owner?
Andrea:
I would have to answer that in reverse, making jewelry inspired me to become a business owner and having my own retail store. The creation of jewelry and the sales aspect of it and going more and more into designs and repairs for customers directly,  taught me to have a good professional attitude with clients and subsequently has made me a good  business owner. I cannot say enough how important it is to have a professional, service-oriented attitude to gain a good loyal customer base. Yes you are in business for yourself but you really work for the client and their satisfaction. If that is not understood then you better not be a business owner. Of course quality is on top of everything.

ORP: What inspires you as a jewelry maker?
Andrea:
The color and shape of gemstones. They inspire the whole design and the outcome of a piece. I also love gems in their natural uncut beauty and often set them just as they are found in nature. I love combining different metals into one piece and personally I am very drawn to geometric simple shapes so a lot of my own creations have that as a component of the design.

ORP: Where do you get ideas for your jewelry designs?
Andrea:
Usually when I see a gem stone that grabs me at a supplier or at gem shows, I see a whole piece of jewelry around it in my imagination. That is what I create for the most part. I really don’t sit down at the drawing table much and think a piece through from start to finish. While I create a piece the design may change in the process when I see that something works better than originally thought of. Those are usually the best pieces.

ORP: If you had a motto as a business person, what would it be?
Andrea:
Know your market and don’t get in debt over your head. Don’t overspend on a huge inventory. Start slowly and built up your inventory when you can afford to invest more in it. If you create something make it top quality!

ORP: What do you like about being an entrepreneur?
Andrea:
You are responsible for your own self. When something goes wrong you only have yourself to blame. If it goes right – and hopefully  that’s most of the time – well, then all the credit goes to you and you feel you deserve it! It makes you an integral and meaningful part of society when you have the ability to produce something that people appreciate and cherish.

ORP: You are also active in the Las Vegas First Independent Business Alliance. Why is it important to you as a small business person to be part of an organization of this type?
Andrea:
There is strength in numbers. Belonging to a business organization where everybody has the same mission, same goals, struggles and joys, you truly have a sense of belonging and you can commiserate or share the joys and successes together. You can find solutions together to common problems. Of course our top mission is our motto: Keep your money where your house is. That means to buy as much locally as you can and keep your tax dollars in town. It makes a tremendous impact on our town when the City has more tax revenue to spend. Quality of life improves for everybody by having better streets, parks, clean-up efforts, sidewalks, lighting, things for our youth and elderly to do, school improvements and the list goes on and on. People forget that all this depends largely on the revenue that comes in from tax dollars, and a huge amount is generated through our gross receipts, which is generated by shopping here locally.

ORP: Talk a little about Entrepreneurial Network and why you think it’s important.
Andrea:
The Entrepreneurial Network is so important for similar reasons to why it is important to have a business organization, but with more specific multi-functions. The EN facilitator, which has been me for the past three years, functions as a one-on-one business coach where I help a start up business or expanding business in every way possible to be successful. I do that by listening to their individual needs and try to find answers to any questions they may have. This help may be through my own business experience. If I do not have the answer, I refer people to business experts in their field or to valuable programs that are being offered through the Regional Development Corporation. There is technical assistance, market research, alternative micro loans, investments through the venture acceleration fund and much more. Every business has a uniqueness to them. It is my goal to help each and every client that comes to me for help in the best way possible, and to help them succeed in their own way, to the best of their abilities. It is their own talent that they need to rely on. I help them focus on what they are good at, encourage them to build on that in their business, and remind them to not overextend themselves. If you can talk somebody out of a very bad idea and save them from a lot of trouble, then that is a success too. Every other month I have what is called the Entrepreneurial Network Forum where I invite one to three business owners to do a public presentation on their services and goods to an audience of other business owners and interested people. This is free and open to the public and is usually held at the El Fidel Hotel Wolff’s Den room. It’s a great way to promote your business and network with other like-minded people. You get updates on what is new in town and who does what, when and where. If you need any assistance with your business please call me at my store, Unikat, 425-6113. It is a completely free service and exists in four Northern New Mexico communitites: Taos, Rio Arriba, Mora and of course here in San Miguel County. It is sponsored by the RDC, Los Alamos National Laboratories and Las Vegas First Independent Business Alliance.

Andrea’s new location and contact info:
Unikat Fine Jewelry
Location: 160 Bridge St., Las Vegas NM 87701

Phone: 505-425-6113 or cell 505-617-6113
E-mail: unikat@spinn.net
Unikat on Facebook

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Photos: Sharon Vander Meer (Note: If you are interested in doing a Q&A on One Roof Publishing, please contact fsvandermeer@gmail.com.)

Paper Trail Moving on Up–

And across the street…

nancy.jpgNancy Colalillo is one of my favorite people, fearless in the face of just about everything. Her entrepreneurial spirit brought an exciting book store to Las Vegas several years ago. After she sold that successful enterprise, she went out on a limb and opened Paper Trail, a card and gift shop. This venture has been so well received, she has now moved to a bigger space – 166 Bridge Street – and expanded her card and gift product lines. There are darling baby items, a card for every occasion, gift books, gift wrap, lots of gift ideas and plenty of new merchandise. This locally owned and operated business is a jewel of a shop.

For those of you who don’t know Nancy’s background, here is a brief bio in her own words:

Born and raised in the Garden State, just one atlas-page away from New Mexico. Graduated Georgetown University School of Foreign Service with a BSFS in International Economics, and NYU with an MBA in marketing. Early career in Washington, DC included working at the Imperial Embassy of Iran (Press Office), the National Schools’ Public Relations Assn.(editorial assistant), and the US Department of Labor (Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance). Left DC to join the family business due to my father’s health issues. Learned supermarketing from the ground up, from Produce to HR, Floral to Meat Room. Sat on various coop buying committees, including Produce (vice-chair), Seafood, and Floral (chair), and the Consumer Affairs (chair) and Labor Relations committeesk. During a 2-year hiatus from the supermarket industry, worked at a New Jersey advertising agency creating and implementing large scale special events for food industry-related clients. Followed a dream and landed in Las Vegas in 1994.

ORP: As an entrepreneur, what do you think are the three critical skills to achieve success?
Nancy:

  • Creativity. (Finding a niche that needs to be filled, and meshing your dream with the needs and desires of those you serve.)
  • Perseverance . (Always looking for ways to improve your business.)
  • Optimism. (Believing that next week, or next month, or next year will be better.)

Kid StuffORP: What ignited the spark in you to start Paper Trail?
Nancy:
The sidelines that I offered at Tome on the Range for 18 years were no longer available and folks were asking for them. When I learned that 161 Bridge Street was for rent, I figured I couldn’t get into much trouble in such a small building. That’s the short answer!

ORP: The move to 166 Bridge Street is complete. What does this mean for Paper Trail customers?
Nancy: A broader selection of gift items and greeting cards, and the space to browse  and enjoy.

ORP: What will the move to your new location enable you to offer that you didn’t have before?
Nancy:
I’m working on an expanded kids’ selection, particularly infant to preschool, which will include (surprise) books! I’m also scouting items suitable for shower and wedding gifts, and fun, funky, just-because gifts. Like the sign on the window says, there will be more of “what tickles nancy!”

ORP: You’ve more than doubled the size of your boutique shop. How creative did you get to fill the space with merchandise?
Nancy:
Trust me, buying and filling up space is not an issue! Finding the right mix is the challenge.

ORP: What is it about being in business that appeals to you?
Nancy:
Damned if I know! But seriously, in this town, one of the most appealing things is the support and collegiality of the independent business community. Plus, I am unemployable. I have a brain and a big mouth and don’t hesitate to use both. Many bosses don’t want that from a female employee, or at least not when I was entering the workforce. There’s a lot to be said for answering only to yourself and your customers.

ORP: It’s one thing to start a business. Keeping it going is the test of success. How do you keep fresh ideas flowing to energize yourself and your employees?
Nancy: By being curious and critical. Busman’s holidays are crucial. See what others in your business are doing, both right and wrong. See what other unrelated businesses are doing that could apply to your business. And always think like your customers; see your business through their eyes. My father always used to say that it was important to walk into your shop through the front door.

Christmas Cards & Gift IdeasORP: Who is the biggest inspiration in your life and career?
Nancy: Every nun who ever taught me, particularly at my all-girls high school where it was crystal clear that women could achieve at every level, and my father. My dad tossed a coin and ended up joining a group of independent grocers that would become the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the country, Wakefern Food Corporation. He was a butcher with an eighth grade education who took chances, always believed in himself, and set goals by saying, “How high is the sky?”

ORP: Aside from money, what motivates you to succeed?
Nancy:
It has nothing to do with money. My retail ventures in Las Vegas have been about creating retail spaces that add to the quality of life in Las Vegas. What I love is the validation I get from customers who enjoy what I have to offer and let me and my staff  know.

ORP: Add anything that will be helpful to customers and any other web presence you would like to promote related to your business.
Nancy:
Our official grand opening will be Friday-Saturday, Nov. 11-12 and is a joint celebration with Unikat Fine Jewelry, which has also moved to the north side of Bridge Street – again, like me! Paper Trail is currently open M-Sat, 11-5. I’ll be working on a website, but in the meantime folks can find and like us on Facebook. I’m usually on KFUN’s Over the Back Fence on Wednesday mornings with others from Las Vegas First Independent Business Alliance. It’s a great way for folks to hear about what Las Vegas businesses have to offer and what is going on in the larger community. And I’m working on a telephone number!

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Q&A: Music at the Castaneda

A unique concert experience will take place on Sept. 10, in the historic Castaneda Hotel, featuring the works of famous composers and under the guidance of artistic director Ronald Maltais. The program is underwritten by Allan Affeldt, the Las Vegas Arts Council, Southwest Capital Bank, and other donors. Tickets for this first of a planned three-concert series, are $15 per person.

Ron Maltais

Ron Maltais

Maltais, director of music at the United World College USA for 15 years, became involved with the piano at the age of four, and later began formal lessons at age eight. Originally from southern New Hampshire, his studies with Maurice Hoffman led to degrees taken at New England Conservatory (piano performance), and Boston University (music composition). Maltais pursued vocal training and he has devoted significant time to choral directing and artistic direction. His teachers included Jung Ja Kim, Katja Andy, Anthony di Bonavenura, Charles Fussel and Lukas Foss. His Meditation for Viola and Strings was conducted by Foss at Boston University in 1998. Maltais’ travels have led to engagements as a musician and lecturer in several US states and in India, Turkey, South Africa and Peru. Maltais previously composed a work for Jack Glatzer titled Dark Woods. He is currently composing an opera based on the life of Camille Claudel. He premiered his Star Axis Prelude for a select audience at the Light Spectrum Concert in March at the Dwan Light Sanctuary. Maltais recently resigned from his position at the UWC-USA to devote more time to music composition and piano performance.

The performing artists for the Sept. 10 concert include Pleiades String Quartet: Elena Sopoci, violin and viola; Elizabeth Young, violin and viola; Carla Kountoupes, violin and viola; Dana Winograd, cello; Roberto Capocchi, guitar; and Ronald Maltais, piano.

ORP: How did the Concert Series idea come about?
Ron:
Several weeks ago I was given a personal tour of the Castaneda Hotel by Allan Alfeldt who is the present owner. Allan plans to restore the hotel and he will hopefully begin this project very soon. I was struck by the acoustics in the large dining room, and immediately imagined the possibilities for concerts in that space. A few days later I called Allan and asked if we could perform a concert in the dining room before the renovation begins. We discussed the logistics and decided that it would be interesting to schedule a concert there in its present condition. This first event will be one of three being planned for this concert season. Hopefully on Sept. 10, we will announce the other program dates. There is tremendous interest and support from the community already, given that the series was only announced in mid August.

ORP: As a musician, why do you want to perform in the Castaneda?
Ron: I often walk into rooms and have visions of what could happen there musically. There is something special about the Castaneda; the sound, feelings about the history of the place and the events which happened there in the past. Surely there must be a few ghosts around? I have also seen historic photographs of musicians holding mainly brass instruments outside of the building.

Pleiades String Quartet

Pleiades String Quartet

ORP: You’ve selected works of Vivaldi, Mendelssohn, Dvorak and Boccherini. Why this selection for the first concert of the series?
Ron: I checked with a violinist (Elena Sopoci) who is a long time colleague of mine. She has pulled together a standard string quartet and they will give their premiere performance as the newly formed Pleiades String Quartet on Sept. 10. Most of the music reflects romantic (mid to late 19th century) esthetics. The exception is the Vivaldi which is Baroque, but we will perform a newly arranged version of the autumn concerto. In this piece I will join in as a pianist. The Boccherini will feature another wonderful colleague (Roberto Capocchi) who will play classical guitar in an ensemble with the string quartet. Boccherini loved the guitar, and included it in many ensemble pieces. We attempted to include some late 19th century music because of the age of the hotel.

Roberto Capocchi

Roberto Capocchi

The arrangement of the Autumn Concerto for Vivaldi’s The Seasons is by Max Richter. The String Quartet No. 2 in A minor is a very early work, which already foreshadows Mendelssohn’s genius. The Dvorak Cypresses impressed me greatly when I saw the American Ballet Theater dance to them years ago. The Boccherini Guitar Quintet in D Major Fandango is well known, and demonstrates the wonderful blend of Guitar with strings.

I have asked many ticket holders to wear 19th century dress to the concert if possible. That will be interesting!

ORP: As a concert pianist what do you like most about performance?
Ron: Well, all I can say is that it was my dream (even as a young child) to perform in front of audiences. I was a shy and introspective child and teenager. Music was my way of communicating, and it allowed me to transport myself; I felt at home with composers I admired when I delved into their music.

ORP: What is the most difficult aspect of putting a concert together as artistic director?
Ron: It always seems to evolve quickly from a vision which can be quite powerful. Invariably it begins with an interesting performance space; a musician or group of musicians, which I am impressed with. The program evolves rather quickly once negotiations begin. Artists do want direction, and this is the kind of work which excites me. Sometimes I participate in portions of a program (as a pianist or singer). A critical factor in the success of a concert is to plan a program which is the right length for the audience; a program which offers variety, excitement and a bit of challenge for the listeners.

ORP: Who influenced you as a performing artist?
Ron: There are many musicians I have seen in my lifetime who have influenced me greatly. I saw Arthur Rubinstein in recital when I was a conservatory student in Boston. He played a magnificent all-Chopin recital; that was a life changing experience not only for me but for the entire audience. He played eight encores, and the management began to protest. I went backstage to meet him.

ORP: Talk about your work as a composer and if you plan to perform original works in future concerts.
Ron: I will devote much more time to composition this year. There are literally dozens of works in my mind, and I am presently working on a string quartet and a piano concerto with string orchestra. The piano concerto is really a challenge for myself to keep a touch of tendonitis (right arm) at bay. Playing is the best therapy for sure, but within a proper balance. I composed works for colleagues in the past, and premiered two piano preludes in the Light Spectrum Concert (Dwan Light Sanctuary) in April 2016. The preludes were an experiment in that they were half composed and half improvisations. They continue to evolve, and there will be several preludes in all.

What: Castaneda Concerts
When: 3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016
Where: Historic Castaneda Hotel
Cost: $15 per person
Where to purchase tickets: Las Vegas Arts Council and online at lasvegasartscouncil.org