Alice McLaughlin, founder of Arte & Fortuna Frames & Fortune, grew up in Venezuela surrounded by art and artists. As a professional, she combined her art knowledge with her journalism training, which led her to launch Frames & Fortune when she moved to the United States.
"We travel the world searching for undiscovered artists and we've created a TV series from it," she said. "We have featured close to 400 artists from more than 35 countries. While we have successfully been airing on American TV, we want to take that into nationwide. We also do pop-up art galleries."
McLaughlin received assistance from Prospera to grow her business, receiving grants for a business plan and marketing plan.
"Prospera took what I had been doing and gave it more shape," she explained. "They helped me procure our second round of funding and helped with loan applications. Over the years they've been a great support, a great network with very smart people. It’s not only the three grants; it's being there as a sounding board and providing access to mentors."
McLaughlin's advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is about the fundamentals. "Planning is everything," she said. "Also be patient. Everything takes longer than you think it should. Lastly, people are important. Find your dream team and don't let it go."