Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in fine arts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Stacey MacNevin, founder of Esperanto Gallery & Studios Inc., located in Markham, ON, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We are the first artist-run woman-led contemporary art gallery and studios located in Markham with a focus on creating a new, more inclusive language of art.

Tell us about yourself

As a self-taught visual artist, I was used to forging my own path my own way. As my practice grew and continued to expand, I discovered many talented voices and many art lovers outside of the existing "art" models. I wanted to create a space and place for them to come together. Esperanto was named after the auxiliary language created by L. L. Zamenhof in 1887; it is meant to be a universal second language for international communication, a way to connect us all. "Esperanto" in the language means the one that hopes, and I am motivated by creating a supra culture of artists and art lovers.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Opening an event-based, people-driven business in a pandemic was a huge risk. I am proud that despite the many lockdowns and challenges this year has brought, we have mounted five in-person exhibits and have sold numerous works of art to art collectors.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Being a solopreneur means that there are no days off truly, and sometimes there is a multitude of ways you need to level up all at once.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Surround yourself with the right people - whether it's consultants or contractors, staff, colleagues, even clients. If your goals, schedules, protocols, and values are not aligned, it will cost you in ways you cannot imagine; time and attention resources are most precious.
  2. Tap into your resources ( and everyone has them). Whether it is knowledge, wisdom, money, skills, network, or materials, we all have people around us we can learn from and leverage one another's skills. Always be sure to be mindful of making the exchange reciprocal, ensuring that you both benefit.
  3. Read as much as you can! I know that sounds daunting when you are growing a business, but this is another way to tap into resources, learn best practices, to apply knowledge to your company and brand. Seek out materials or books outside of the field related to your business, look at science, psychology, design, and even fiction as a way of growing your thought process.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I think the whole culture of grinding and hustling is counterintuitive to most businesses' success rates. Establishing and incorporating healthy protocols of sleeping, resting, movement, and connection best serve your blossoming business. It may feel like you are giving it all you've got sleeping 4 hours and ignoring your health, but you will never do your best work when you are in a deficit of any kind plus, you got into your own thing likely because you wanted to create your own day!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.