PUBLISHED: 11:49 AM on Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Bobbi Epperly The Art Department
Give a brief description of what your business is.

The Art Department is an art supply store that carries a wide range of fine art media, craft supplies, framing hardware and provides a mat cutting service. We recently moved to our new location located at 9342 Glacier Hwy. No. 74, where we are able to provide classroom space for local artists to teach classes or to join our membership to utilize the classroom for studio time. Our new location has also provided us with the needed space to expand our product line, and to carry such items as art tables and wood easels.

What woman has inspired you or mentored you in business?

My mother, who is my silent business partner, has provided me with the inspiration to expand and grow The Art Department into what it is today. She is my sounding board and mentor that provides guidance when making important decisions that have an ever lasting effect on the store.

What does your business offer that is unique?

We provide a fast and inexpensive mat-cutting and do-it-yourself framing service that saves our customer's money. We will cut the matting and order special frame sizes, but the customer puts the final product together at home. Therefore, saving money by not paying for labor costs.

The Art Department also sponsors local artists to teach classes throughout the year. If you are interested in teaching please contact us, and we will set up a class for you to teach.

What has been your biggest challenge being a women-run business?

The biggest challenge that I feel that "every business owner" is facing today is the ever-rising cost of doing business. The increase in manufacturing and shipping products have been on a steady rise for the past five years, which is reflected in the cost of the product on the shelf. It is a challenge to keep the cost of products at a reasonable and fair price, but yet make a profit so one can take home a paycheck.