Gallery a picture perfect mix of art and business
BY her own admission, gallery owner Hannah Stoney is far too organised to be a full-time artist.
So launching Yellowstone Art Boutique has proved to be the perfect way of keeping some structure in her life while also continuing to produce her own artwork.
The gallery has been open at Trentham Shopping Village for 18 months and stocks a variety of art, gifts and crafts ranging in price from £1.80 to £300.
Hannah, of Stone, said she has always wanted her own gallery and in particular wanted to open a business in Staffordshire to fill a gap in the market.
Now she is entering The Sentinel Business Awards in the Young Business Person of the Year category, sponsored by Beswicks Solicitors.
The 24-year-old said: "I knew I wanted to do this before I went to university and it has been a massive project.
"I knew I wanted to represent graduates and artists who were trained but perhaps didn't have a reputation yet or were working towards making a name for themselves.
"I'm from Stone and all my education has been in Staffordshire, apart from university, and I used to moan that there was nothing like that here. So I thought instead of moaning about it why not set something up.
"I contacted the Trentham Estate about my idea and it has really gone from there - everyone here has been very supportive."
Hannah, a former pupil at Blessed William Howard Catholic High School, in Stafford, gained a first class honours degree in Fine Art at the University of Gloucestershire.
She works with artists within five years of them graduating.
She said: "A lot of galleries work with artists who do it as a hobby. I work with full-time artists to set us aside from the likes of craft shops. Also I know how expensive it is to go to university."
All the artists which work with Yellowstone are British, which means the gallery's reputation is spreading across the country.
Visitors to Trentham Shopping Village from outside the area were also contacting the gallery after returning home to ask if goods could be sent on to them.
As a result, Hannah opened an online shop in May and its success has gathered pace at an alarming rate.
Hannah added: "A lot of shops and galleries specialise in maybe one thing, like glassware or ceramics or prints and I never understood why nobody put them all together.
"We offer a bit of everything. And the gallery is changing all the time because sometimes we stock items which are a one-off or we might just have a small range of one particular thing because that artist is progressing their work. The gallery can be a completely different place from one day to the next."
Another area the gallery has branched out into is fabrics.
Hannah said: "I spent the summer working on a really special range of our own fabrics. We've had nine fabrics made with my own drawings and paintings on them.
"I'm incredibly proud of them and the products we've made from them and it's lovely to have products that are exclusive to the Yellowstone brand."
Hannah, whose mum Steph Stoney works with her in the gallery, admits setting up in business has been a learning curve. And she believes in shouting up when she doesn't understand something.
She added: "I'm much more confident now. Staffing was a really difficult thing for me at the start and I've learned to take on people with an art background so that they understand the products.
"I've got a great accountant and although I feel confident in what I am doing if I don't understand something I will find help instead of trying to do something the wrong way.
"We've got a really good team here and our customers are really getting to know us and what we are about."
Yellowstone is now preparing for the Christmas shopping period, when it will be open until 8pm on Friday for the estate's Christmas lights switch-on plus late-night shopping on December 5, 12 and 19.