Dr. Ivan Misner, Founder of Business Network International, Speaking today with Rebecca Ann, Owner of The Gallery at Liberty Bay in Poulsbo, WA, and Founder of Change-makers, An Intentional Marketplace ♦ Recorded: Thursday, October 15, 2020
We are happy for the opportunity to catch up with Rebecca Ann. At the moment she has internet access so we are able to record this brief podcast interview.
Ivan Misner: Rebecca, where are you now?
Rebecca: I’m actually at home in Poulsbo, gearing up for the holiday shopping season, Ivan! The gallery is doing great and I am embarking on a new project this year. Would you like to hear about it?
I: Well of course!
R: My dream for a few years has been to connect people to the global community by way of art, what I like to call the universal language. Many people refer to math as the universal language, but I like to relate that way to art. Art brings understanding beyond language barriers, beyond timelines and more. This year I rented an additional space across from The Gallery at Liberty Bay as a seasonal shop, hosting functional and beautiful art from around the globe, at least the parts of it I have encountered so far. The inventory found within that space comes exclusively from artisans I have personally encountered in my travels. These pieces are purchased directly, benefitting the creators and their communities directly. And then when sold, an additional 10% of proceeds are directed back to their family, community, or where they have established the contribution should go. In this way, the artist is compensated for their wares, and also have the opportunity to collaborate with me about how my endeavors will best benefit their community.
I: That sounds amazing, Rebecca. How did you come about this endeavor?
R: Well over the last 12 years, I’ve been very privileged to travel to amazing places: Peru, Thailand, Ireland, Mexico and more. I’ve fallen in love with culture and how it is expressed in various places. No matter where you are, people create. Some people create to express themselves, while others create as a means for living. There are still plenty of peoples who are creating for their basic daily needs, and that necessity demonstrates what a fully connected community looks like. I believe it demonstrates the beauty of what we have largely lost. Now that we are more technologically connected than ever before, I believe our communities are suffering. That in no way means that technology is bad; we just could stand to regain our interpersonal connectivity with our neighbors, our families and our communities.
I: And how does this endeavor aim to do this? And by the way; does this newest endeavor have a name separate from the gallery’s?
R: Yes, it is called Change-makers: An Intentional Marketplace. I believe that connecting customers, not just with the location in which an item was made, but more specifically with the individual that created it, connects the buyer with a sense of community on a global level. We have become accustomed to machine manufacture or worse, an anonymous creator working in unknown conditions for the majority of the things we buy.
I: Well that sounds incredible. How long have you owned the gallery? And how did you go from personal training to restaurant management to gallery ownership?
R: I purchased the gallery in January 2019. It really came out of the blue, or so it seemed. Really, I created my first vision board in 2018 and that gallery was there. No, I didn’t have my specific sights on owning a gallery, but a phrase on my vision board was, “Art as Life”. I spent most of my life in the left side of my brain and my spirit had been crying out for creativity which felt so alien to me. I wanted more travel as well, and all these pieces continue to align just as I designed them.
This is why I also conduct Vision Board Workshops. I am continuously amazed by the results my clients share. There’s something about assembling meaningful words and pictures that paint the image of what one strongly desires. To assemble this collective image, the vision board, reduces the amount of left brain overworking to sort ways of attaining goals. Sometimes we try to make plans to get what we want out of life, but all we have are the resources we are already aware of! By creating a vision board and thus quieting the analytics we apply to tasks, we literally “call in” to our lives the things we desire most by enabling the resources to flow into our midst. It’s truly amazing.
I: Is the desire for more travel the reason for your gallery hosted tours?
R: In part, yes. All these pieces work together in harmony. I travel for the tours, introducing new people to cross-cultural travel and art. While on location, I am also purchasing for Change-Makers, expanding my communities and of course enjoying time with my friends.
I: So if I recall, you are planning 2 tours per year, right? Might you ever increase the number of tours since your first three are already sold out?
R: No, I will limit to two per year. Because I put my heart and soul into the planning of these endeavors and I want each participant to have a life-changing experience, this limit of two per year will remain the same! When the tours wrap up, I am flat out exhausted, mind you it’s blissful exhaustion! Coordinating these tours gives me the opportunity to explore the cultures and traditions I want to learn more from, so not only am I lining up all the background details; I am learning through fascinating cultural exchanges right along with my tour participants. You see? I myself am tourist, just as much as I am coordinator!
I: Wow! What vigor you must have!
R: I thrive because these things are a culmination of me following my bliss. I’m exactly where I want to be!
I: Well, I got SO Much more than expected from this interview, and we have not fully delved into your BNI experience yet.
R: BNI gave me utter confidence in myself as I learned business. As you mentioned before, I began my BNI experience as a new personal trainer. In 6 months I went from working at a gym, thinking I would let them handle the business side of my business, to realizing I needed to be in charge of what was best for my business, and I credit all the education and connection with other professionals through BNI with learning this.
I: What is your key to success?
R: Just as I learned it from BNI; maintaining focus o the principles of “Givers Gain”. I participate in no activity, no transaction, that does not benefit EVERYONE whom it affects.I do my best to focus outward in all I do.
I: Thank you so much for sharing with us, Rebecca!
R: The pleasure is mine! And thank you for inviting me today!