Shep & Caroline, A Portrait of the Founders
The path to the emerald front door cuts through a yard strewn with leaves released by a yawning birch that is very quiet. Inside sitting with coffees in their living room are Shep and Caroline, co-founders of Beaumonde, art-wizards and lovers of life lived beautifully. Biscuit their cat, a tabby, plays with a stuffed Yoda in a brown box behind a sofa. By the door is an original piece of art by Onicas Gaddis, given in gratitude, and near it a giclee of Steven Vaughan's hyper-realist painting called Greetings From Suburbia that explores what is secret in the apparently mundane.
Here at Beaumonde as a business we are more than just a combination of what services, products, and tools we offer to our markets. As an arts business we are a collection of people (our team) and of ideas – we are linked with the fellow artists and businesses we work with communally.
There is direction of flow from both sides: as we seek to help artists better themselves and to intelligently use the tools they need to thrive in the goals they set, to form new networks and strengthen existing ones, so we too learn and better know and grow ourselves in the process. Chief in this process is the element of open and honest communication. With that in mind I hereby introduce the creative and insightfully-motivated duo questing to better the world one brushstroke at a time, the friendly and wise, Shep and Caro(line).
Why did you two create Beaumonde and how has it moved from seed of idea to actualization?
Caro: About three years ago, we did our first project together. It wasn’t in the arts but we absolutely loved working together. We knew that we had a skill-set in creating authentic brands for clients and providing them the tools they needed to be successful in ways they hadn’t been before! Shep and I said “How can we do this for what we love the most – the arts.” That’s where Beaumonde came from. We wanted to bring the arts authentic brands, new media marketing, and awesome tools and resources that will empower them to be great!
Shep: We created Beaumonde because the arts need fresh strategies and experiences to stay relevant. Caro and I were trained that artists and entrepreneurs have a lot in common. As we’ve put our marketing strategies to work in the arts it’s been obvious that artists don’t have the same support resources as traditional entrepreneurs. That’s where we come in. Making this kind of support a reality for the arts has required a lot of hard work and research, but we see how important it is to the people we help. This needs to be done.
What were some of your motivations and inspirations in creating Beaumonde?
Caro: Shep and I are artists in our own lives which is why we have such a passion for this industry. When we first started out, we were given the incredible opportunity of working with the Gregg Museum of Art and Design, Ambleside Gallery in Greensboro, and international artist Guan Weixing. We were hooked after those experiences. We had a glimpse into the incredible world of arts & culture and I don’t think we could ever get enough!
Shep: Seeing the look on an artist’s face when they realize that they’re working with a team that actually “gets it”. (Laughs.) Artists are a unique breed, and trust is a huge factor in their decision to work with us. We want to be the reason that an artist hits their milestones! With the incredible artistry we've seen hiding here in North Carolina, it feels almost like an obligation to help these visionaries share their work and connect fans with experiences in fresh ways.
In a few words, what would you say is the purpose of Beaumonde? That is, What it does and how it operates in Raleigh. (More than just the purpose it serves as an entity but the people it helps and how it grows.)
Shep: Offering a new pathway to success for creative hustlers.
Caro: In short --> We are Beaumonde, trying to make the world a more beautiful place by giving artists the resources, knowledge, and support they need to “work smarter and art harder.”
For Beaumonde to delight fans, visitors and customers online all over the globe with more impactful and fun online content experiences.
We Envision a World Where:
Art stands at the forefront of creative marketing.
Aesthetic experiences are enhanced via mobile devices.
Immersive content deepens humanity's connection with art and culture in new ways.
What are some of your goals heading into 2018, for both Beaumonde as a whole as well as for any projects you would like to work on (personally or as a company)?
Caro: In 2018, The Triangle is going to see Beaumonde really break out of its shell and provide more awesome resources than ever to the creative community. In the past Beaumonde has done marketing campaigns centered around new tech, social media, etc. In 2018, you are going to see epic content, awesome collaborations, new 360° projects, and marketing services available to all kinds of businesses!
How do you juggle being Co-Founders for Beaumonde with other interests such as making art (Caro, you paint; Shep, you song-write)?
Shep: As we grow more, it’s important that we set aside time for creativity. To that end, writing music helps me keep a cool head during stressful times. 2017 was a crazy adventure, and served as the inspiration for an entire album's worth of songs that I wrote with my acoustic guitar (Coming 2018!). We’re surrounded by incredible artistry, so it’s only right that we contribute our own creativity to the mix at Beaumonde.
Caro: It’s always difficult! As a visual artist – I have to balance my style and creativity as an artist with all the artwork I see. Some days I am super inspired by all of the incredible art that I work with. Other days I have to actively define my own style from all of the work I have recently seen through Beaumonde. As a Co-Founder of Beaumonde and artist myself, I couldn’t be happier. I get to appreciate art, culture, and creativity all day every day.
What does a typical day in the life look like for you both?, if there is such thing as a typical day? Is there a certain routine you follow (or are there certain tools/systems you utilize) to maximize efficiency?
Caro: Exactly! There is rarely a typical day – just as there is rarely a typical artist. We do follow certain routines that keep our business, lives and collaborations on track. Our number one efficiency tool is Asana. This incredible task management system is how we work with our artists, teammates, and each other. Of course, we also operate off our fair share of coffee. The best way for me to answer this question is to say, every day for us is unique because we work to create authentic brands and marketing campaigns for our clients which often requires a personal touch. We often use tons of tools and resources to be productive in our time.
Shep: Typical day looks like “Wake up & grind it out”. We are a small team juggling lots of projects in a number of industries, so each day presents a fresh delightful challenge that we must tackle. Asana helps keep us organized and action-oriented, and caffeine puts a little pep in our step, but we are always keeping an eye out for new tools that can make a big difference. If we can do something more efficiently then we are all about that. Working smarter is a key to the startup life - we can’t afford to throw away hours on the little tasks. Optimize and overcome! All that being said, each day includes art, creativity, brilliant minds, fun music, and more. :)
What books are you each reading right now?
Caro: What’s Your Superpower! Haha! (Shep is a bigger reader of books than I.) I have recently become a big fan of a few marketing blogs – for example: artstorefronts.com's blog and adespresso.com’s blog.
Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive. (Epic fantasy fascinates me so much — I love to see how other minds can fabricate an entire universe. Tolkien was my first taste of another epic universe, which sets a pretty high mark. I’ve got to say though that Brandon Sanderson’s work does not disappoint.)
Traction, by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares. Of course we've got to understand how Beaumonde can get traction and grow in 2018.
We hope you enjoyed this look into the minds of our insightful co-founders. The team at Beaumonde would like to wish you a prosperous new year full of delight and creativity. May this be your best year yet!